Keeping the bicycle healthy
The bicycle is an amazing piece of mechanics, both in its simplicity, and in its sophistication. In order to keep it running smoothly for many years, it is important have some basic care and maintenance skills. Despite what you may think, it does not require much work to keep a bicycle in good shape. The amount of maintenance that you will have to do will greatly depend on the kind of road and climatic conditions to which you expose your bicycle.
For example, if you ride often under rainy conditions, you will have to do a light clean up after every one or two sorties you do with the bicycle. Using a simple water hose will suffice. Do not use high pressure water machines. The high pressure water would remove all lubricants from your bicycle moving parts and thus make it much more susceptible to wear. Simply project the water flux on all sides of the bicycle. Pay a particular attention to the transmission system, the chain and the wheel hubs. All these parts are involved with a moving part of the bicycle. Riding under rain will, most of the time, cause sand and mud accumulations on these parts. Always make sure there is no such accumulation on your bicycle mechanical parts. Mud and sand are your worst enemy.
Over time, as you wash these parts with water, the bicycle oil and grease lubricants will slowly get washed out. It is thus important to apply new lubricants periodically. Without these lubricants, your bicycle moving parts will rapidly deteriorate. A sign of bad bicycle maintenance is the noisy sounds it creates as you use it. An healthy bicycle does not produce much sounds when used. Only the light gears clicks will be heard, if at all audible. We will talk more about this in the following sections.