Regular maintenance of your bike and its equipment is essential to ensure a long life. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or an amateur, regular tune-ups will keep your bike running properly for as long as possible.
The average cost of a bike tune up is $90.
A bike tune up cost varies depending on the area you are in, but as a general rule :
- For a basic tune-up, the price ranges from $50 to $100 (Minor tune up).
- For an advanced tune-up, the price can range from $110 to $150 (Major tune up).
- For a full restoration, the price can exceed $250.
As a cycling fan, I have searched for you the details of a tune up, tips for the care of your bike, to bring all the answers to the questions you may have about the maintenance check of your bicycle.
Let’s get started.
Why do I need a tune-up ?
We all felt a drop in performance of our bike at one time or another. Like any machine or tool, the bike wears out. Getting a tune-up will limit this wear and tear and make your bike, or at least some parts, last as long as possible.
Our babies are mainly made of metal or carbon parts that deserve to be well treated. Indeed, if we are not attentive to the maintenance of a bike, it can be damaged quickly, and become dangerous. We don’t want to find ourselves with the handlebars in our hands while riding downhill, do we?
What does a bike tune-up involve?
Again, this depends on the bike shop that is in charge of your tune-up, in general, a tune-up consists of :
- Checking Tire Pressure & Inflating Tires
- Checking and Adjusting the Brakes (Brake Pads, brake cable)
- Checking Gears and Bearings
- Adjusting Cables
- Drivetrain Lubrication and adjustments
- Cleaning and Degreasing Chain
- Cleaning and Degreasing Bike
- Truing the Wheels
- Checking Headset and Bottom Bracket, bracket adjustment
- Checking and correcting the tightness of the screwed parts
- Lubricating of moving parts
- Safety Check
When the bike tune-up is more advanced, some parts such as bearings or chain can be replaced. You can also have your bar tape changed.
How often should I tune up my bike?
This depends on your use and the type of bike you have. However, it is recommended that you do one at least once a year. You have probably already heard about the “annual tune up”.
Of course, if you use a mountain bike without taking it easy and often ride over big roots and rocks like a wild man, plan on having a bike tune-up every 6 months.
Keep in mind that maintaining your bike, even if it represents basic adjustments and regular costs, is largely profitable in the long run. Your bike will be kept in better shape, perform better and last longer. This applies to everyone, whether you are riding in the mountains, on the road or in the city.
How long does a bike tune up take?
For basic bike maintenance a professional will take between 30min and 1 hour to perform. More advanced maintenance takes up to two hours on average. However, don’t expect to be able to drop your bike off at the store and pick it up two hours later.
Stores often have a waiting list, and will take several days to process your bike, especially in summer. Make sure you get there in time and don’t get stuck waiting for your bike to be serviced when you want to ride it!
Is a bike tune up worth it?
Yes, even though sometimes a bike tune up cost can seem important. In the long run you will always win.
For example, if you have bad tools and it is difficult for you to repair your bike components or bike frame on a regular basis, the basic tune up allows you to “start again” from zero, with a bike like new.
Where to do a bike tune up?
Very simple, your nearest bike store will offer to pick up your bike.
You can also call on more well-known organizations, for example the REI company offers standard tunes up in their stores for $90 (a reasonable bike tune up cost), they are located all over the US and easy to find.
How can I service my bike myself?
Doing a deep cleaning of your bike yourself is a possibility!
Some people, to save some money or because they have enough experience in the field, will prefer to do the tune up themselves.
Let me share with you one tutorial that is well presented:
Little tips for the maintenance of your bike
In order to have the best performing bike possible, for the longest time possible, we advise you to adopt a few habits. These tips will allow you to keep a bike in better condition and limit its wear and tear.
At each ride:
- Check the condition of your tires and inflate them if necessary to avoid a flat tire.
- Check if you have any broken spokes.
- Pay attention to the state of your brakes, that they work well.
- Check that the various accessible parts are well tightened, neither too much nor too little.
- If the chain is not lubricated enough, do not hesitate to add lubricant.
- The saddle should be well positioned, it should not move with each stroke.
In a less regular way this time, and to adapt according to your use:
- Clean your tires and the frame of your bike. To do this, use warm, soapy water. Hot water helps clean the grease from your bike. Take two large car sponges, one for the greasy parts of the bike and one for the non-greasy parts.
- Check that the frame is not damaged, that it did not receive a violent blow which could weaken it.
- Clean the chain, cassette, crankset and derailleur.
Regular service and basic safety checks are the best habits to follow for maximum durability for your mount.
What to do next?
While seeing a professional in your local bike shop is essential for the longevity of a bike, by getting into the habit of maintaining your bike, you will learn a lot and save money by doing some of the work yourself.