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Photograph: Andy Parsons

How to properly take care of the bike you bought in lockdown

London Bike Kitchen director Jenni Gwiazdowski shares her tips for cycle TLC

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Bought a bike in lockdown 1.0? We chat to London Bike Kitchen director Jenni Gwiazdowski about how to keep it in ship shape.

Bring it inside

‘I know space is at a premium in London, but storing your bike indoors is the simplest way to keep it happy. Rain wreaks havoc on metal parts, accelerating corrosion and rust. Squeeze your bike inside somewhere, or if that’s not possible, try a sheltered bike rack or a Bike Parka cover.’

Go easy on the lube

‘Don’t oil your chain like you water a plant. Listen to your chain – if it’s making squeaking noises, bike lube may help. Clean your chain by wiping it down with isopropyl alcohol first. Place one drop of lube on each bushing (the bit between each link) on the bottom of the chain, let it sink in for 15 minutes, then wipe off. A thin film is all you need.’

Look out for your poor tyres

‘Pumping your tyres will help prevent punctures and protect your wheels, but it’s important to use the right amount of pressure. The recommended PSI (that’s the pressure level, fyi) will be printed on the side of your tyre. Buy yourself a track pump and use it at least once a month.’

Wipe down your rims

‘There are two common types of bike brake system. For rim brakes, wipe the rim with a warm damp rag once a month – the build-up of vehicle brake dust, dirt, and grit speeds up their wear. Disc brake rotors should be wiped with a clean cloth and isopropyl alcohol. Not sure which type of brakes you have? Ask at your local bike shop.’

Ready to get on yer bike?

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