25 Aug, 2016

The Importance Of Care


People are just not used to checking or fixing things themselves when they go wrong anymore. They will take it in for fixing, call someone or just throw it away. I’m actually rather urked sometimes when a sad person comes to me with a three- to six-month old, R20 000-something bike and it is in a horrific state and parts need to be repaired.

When addressing the person about this, the usual replies come in an angry tone: “But why? It shouldn’t be like that!”, “It’s a mountain bike” and “It cost me a fortune” and so on and so forth.

The problem starts like this. You’ve gone and done your homework, like we talked about last month and made your choice accordingly, purchasing that all so hardcore machine you’ve always wanted. You ride it like the “Pro”you feel you are, again, and again, and again. Not for a moment thinking about what a beating this precious metal takes.

After every session, you spray it clean and wipe it down so it looks new again, then it gets stored or displayed like an appliance or even a trophy, forgotten till the next weekend.

Now here’s the thing you need to understand. It is not an appliance that you can just use again and again without expecting anything to go wrong. Most stores will offer you a few free services very soon after the sale is done.

These are not to be missed or ignored as these are not major services, but rather a few simple adjustments to be made as part of the settling in period.

If these are missed because you don’t seem to see the need for them, especially because the bike is still so new, that’s when things start going wrong. What happens in these early stages, “The settling in period”, is the parts that makeup the greater components get stretched and pressed according to the way you ride.

Meaning that they don’t sit as snug as they originally did. The small or free services are there to adjust and maintain the steed to its optimal best for you and to prevent premature wear and tear. This procedure has to be repeated a few times with every follow up visit to the workshop too.

You would be surprised how much more life you can get out of a component, if this is adhered to. It would literally mean the world of difference of a headset or hub needing to be replaced in six months to a year or in two to three years, the choice is yours.

Now that the bike has settled in and you have relatively long periods of hassle-free riding, take the time to understand how everything works and what functions they serve. This will save you a heck of a lot of time, fustration and money.

When needing to book your bike for official paid services, you can now tell the store attendant exactly where you are experiencing the problem with your bike. Not only will this make you wiser, but once again preserve your bike. I find it very often when people just keep on booking bikes in for full services when they are not needed, you must know the mechanic has a set procedure of going about this.

Opening everything up, cleaning it and then putting it all back together here, the settling in period for your bike starts all over again, but this is at your expense and your time.

One also has to remember that every time something gets removed and refitted again, the process of wear and tear will happen and will not feel the same way as it did before, so in a nutshell timing and recognising wear patterns is crucial if you want a hassle-free bike and savings in your pocket too.

Even if its just a materialistic lump of technology, its still your “baby”, your trusted machine and needs to be treated like one. The effects of maintaing your ride will go a long way to enjoying the ride even more.