Riding a bike takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It also requires a bit of oil and grease to keep your bike moving smoothly with all the blood, sweat and tears that you’re getting on it. Have you ever question what to oil and grease? Have you ever questioned the frequency at which you should be doing such? We’ve got your post-holiday, slightly out of shape, Mechanic Mike here to tell you what to oil, grease and what to keep nice and dry. If you’ve got any questions or have a suggestion of what to cover here, leave us a message or stop by the shop anytime!
What should I oil? What should I grease?
Chain? Oil regularly, at least every month if you ride regularly. Just remember to clean off excess oil with a rag so it doesn’t attract dirt.
Cables/ housing? Oil new cables and housing and to loosen up stiff cables.
U-Lock? Definitely put some oil in the key slot and a bit of grease on the lock mechanism if you live in a damp climate or leave the bike locked outside.
Brakes Levers and assemblies? Can’t hurt to oil the calipers, especially older springs and contact points. Keep the oil away from the pads.
Derailleur levers and assemblies? A couple drips of oil around springs and joints keep your bike shifting silky smooth.
Rack bolts? Definitely put some grease on the bolt threads to make removal easier.
Fender bolts? Grease as above.
Pedal Threads? Your mechanic will thank you in a few years if you grease the pedal threads when you install your new set of pedals.
Seat post? Grease! (at least with aluminum and steel, carbon is a different animal) Seat posts are notorious for getting corroded in place as water seeps down the upright tubes.
Kickstand? Does it get wet? Is it metal? Does it move? Grease or oil.
Springs? Oil away!
Threads? Grease away!
Bearings? Grease… More info on hub overhall is available online.
Quill Stem? Grease… Threadless? Very light grease in some cases
What I should not oil? What should I keep oil away from?
Carbon – All carbon components have their own requirements for maintenance.
Handlebars – Keep the clamping surface clean for handlebars that don’t slip.
Anywhere near your braking surface (rims or disc brakes) – This one is super important. Keep your brakes operating well by keeping them oil free. Disc brakes can become corrupted if they absorb oil or grease.
Tires – Just like the braking surface keep oil and grease away.
Cassettes – Keep your cassette as clean as possible to get the most life out of your drivetrain.
And remember WD-40 is not “oil” or and should generally never be used on your bike.