10 Ways To Make Bike Components Last Longer
A well looked after bike will always ride better and be faster than a neglected bike. A big part of that is keeping on top of your components, which is much easier to do than you might think.
Parts such as chainrings, cassettes, and chains need to be looked after properly to keep them working well and to help them last longer. In this article, we will be telling you many different ways you can make your bike components last longer.
What Are Components?
Before we start, it’s important to understand what we are speaking about when discussing components. The components on a bike are all the elements that make a bicycle when put together. This will be the drivetrain, wheels, brakes, saddle, forks, and much more.
1. Keep It Clean
A great way to prolong the life of your components is to keep them clean. The less dirt that gets into the system and stretches it all out, the longer the components will last. If you want to destroy components quickly, ride on a beach. Sand is terrible for components.
We recommend after every ride giving the bike a soak down with water and once a week a deep cleaning using proper cleaners, degreasers, and putting fresh oil on. Have a big focus on the chain, chainrings and cassette. You will also want to use this time to check the bike to ensure it’s in full working order.
2. Avoid Riding In Poor Weather
There’s a reason why so many cyclists have winter bikes as well as summer bikes. Poor weather has a terrible effect on components. Not only does it make them dirtier, increasing wear and tear, but it also isn’t the optimum temperature for them to work at. You won't get very far with a frozen jockey wheel.
A little oil goes a very long way when it comes to bikes. Adding oil to the chain and other required areas makes a huge difference. Not only does it make everything work much better, but it also protects components from rust and other contamination.
Using dry lube in summer and wet lube in winter is also a great way to ensure the bike stays lubricated as it should. We see many riders use dry lube in winter, go out in the rain, and come home with a squeaky, dry chain, wearing out twice as fast.
When it comes to bikes, keeping on top of your servicing goes such a long way. Regularly swapping out components before they break keeps the components lasting longer and stops pesky mechanicals that require a car ride home.
The best way to go about servicing is to do little jobs through the summer season, such as changing the chain and anything required. Then, at the end of the year, get a full high-level service, which would typically be a rebuild.
5. Use High-Quality Components
If you invest in high-quality components to start with, they are going to last much longer. A solid Rotor Bike crankset is made of much more durable materials and has a much better structure compared to products from budget brands.
Not only do they last longer, they perform better, but you can end up going through three or four cheaper budget chainrings in the same amount of time as if you had just bought a high-quality part. It can save you money and time having to work on your bike.
6. Use Components Properly
Next, we have to use components properly. You can get so much more life out of your bike components if you use them as intended. Easing off when shifting and not stabbing on the pedals sharply goes a long way to prolong component life. A poorly-ridden groupset lasts half as long as a properly used groupset.
7. Keep On Top Of Your Chain
If you have a worn chain, it wears down the connected components around it much quicker. Although we speak about regular servicing, chains often come around sooner. A new chain keeps other components in tip-top condition and prolongs the life of your components. They said you should change your chain after 0.75mm of stretch or 1500 miles, and we agree.
8. Use The Bike As Intended
If you want your components to last, they must be used correctly. If you have a road bike, avoid going off-road. Surprisingly, many riders take road bikes down a trail as a bit of fun, and this puts incredible wear on components.
Not only does it make them very dirty, but much more pressure is applied onto them in ways they are not designed for. A good example is a rear derailleur. When being ridden on the road, it stays fairly stable at all times. Off-road, it is thrown around and often doesn’t have a clutch system to ensure performance and protection.
9. Regular Checking
Another great way to prolong the life of your components is to keep on top of checking them. If you can get to parts when they are worn and not broken, then they are fixable and won’t need replacing. A good example is bearings. Get to them when they are noisy, and it can stop them from getting loose, which can let dirt in and ruin the bearing track.
10. Avoid Overloading
A lot of bikes come with weight limits, but many cyclists don’t know that components do as well. If you overload a component, not only does it wear down fast, but you risk breaking it. It’s a good idea to check the maximum capacity of components such as wheels, frames, forks, and more.
It is not rare to see a rider on a bike with a weight limit of 130kg with upgraded wheels that only can cater to 110kg. This makes the bike only really safe to ride at 110kg or less, which, when loaded with bikepacking or touring gear, soon becomes too much for the components and wears them down.
A big part of prolonging component life is just looking after them and using them as intended. We hope you enjoyed our article on ways to make your components last longer. Make sure to check out our other articles.
Happy Riding #ROTORian