At Love to Ride we believe that you should support your local bike shop and get your bike serviced once a year by a qualified mechanic, possibly twice if you commute in all weather. But it's great to be able to do some basic bike maintenance yourself, so we've spoked around the internet and brought together the best short and sweet guidance we could find to help you keep your bike in the best condition
Cleaning and oiling your chain
This skill is as simple as it is important. Here's a great 90-second video from Specialized that shows you how to lube your chain.
If you ride regularly in bad weather, you are awesome. You may also appreciate a guide to more thorough chain maintenance to help you keep yours in perfect working order.
The best way to avoid punctures is to buy decent tires and inflate them to the correct pressure (this is printed on the tire wall). A cheap pair of puncture retardant tires can keep you riding for 1-3,000 miles.
If you are unfortunate enough to get a puncture, inner tubes are often easy to repair. You'll need some tire levers, a pump, and a repair kit or self-adhesive patch. First of all you will need to remove the tire, as clearly demonstrated in this video.
Once you have removed your inner tube, you can repair the puncture. This great video from the Global Cycling Network shows you how to repair an inner tube with a conventional repair kit; the procedure is much the same with self-adhesive patches.
It's obviously not safe to ride without fully-functioning brakes. Often, though, brakes that don't halt your bike effectively just need a minor adjustment to get them back to full working order. This short and sweet two-minute video shows you how to adjust your brakes to make sure they are safe.
Earn the Cap of Cleverness and become a Bike Maintenance Smarty Pants by tuning your own gears. If your chain skips or rubs when you change gears or if you are unable to shift onto your inner or outer rings, you will need to give your gears some TLC to get them running smoothly again. This great video from BikeFixIT gives a thorough guide to indexing your gears.
*Note: adjusting your derailleur is an advanced adjustment, so it can be a good idea to reserve those repairs for a trained mechanic. Not that you can't do it on your own, it just may save you some hassle if you're not confident in your adjustment expertise!
Now get geared up and go!