Whether you're a Smiddy challenge regular, weekend social rider or just getting into cycling, one thing applies to all of you—how your bike is running will directly impact how much you enjoy your ride.
We caught up with bike mechanic Trevor Menhinick to find out just how you can get (and keep) your bike running smoothly.
Trevor's a certified bike mechanic who has worked across several of Brisbane's favourite cyclist haunts for almost 15 years. And growing up racing bikes around the Auckland North shore, getting the most out of bikes is second nature to Trevor.
Trevor also worked as the on-tour mechanic for the Adelaide to Uluru Challenge, taking care of 58 bikes that were put through long days and tough conditions on the road (pictured right).
"Being mechanic on a Smiddy ride is a great time and I'd recommend it to any mechanics out there," Trevor said.
"It tests your knowledge and your skills as a mechanic, and being out there on the road really tests your ability to problem solve and adapt to get bikes running smoothly with the tools you have."
Trevor's passions for bikes extend past tuning up modern machines—he's currently restoring a classic 1975 Peugeot bikle with parts found on eBay.
"Bikes are like watches," Trevor said. "They're bits of lightweight machinery made of small, intricate parts. But unlike watches your bike is out in the elements, facing wind, rain, dirt and whatever else gets thrown at you. It's so important to take proper care of your bike to get the most out of it."
And there are some simple steps to make sure you get the most out of your bike.
Trevor's top tips?
"Do a little bit, often"
- You should be doing a little bit of work each week to make sure no big issues build up
- Give your parts a quick clean with a stiff paintbrush to get rid of any dirt or grit
- You should try to use oil or lube on your parts each week. Online instruction guides can help you with your bike's specific needs.
"Get to know your bike"
- This is so important. You can read your bike manual, get tips online, go to your local bike shop for a maintenance course—there's so many avenues where you can learn the skills to take great care of your bike.
- If you know your bike you'll be much better equipped to properly maintain it.
"Get a full service twice a year"
- Especially as you increase your kilometres if you're training for a big event, it's important to get your bike fully serviced. There are so many issues that may not be easily apparent to you but can greatly impact your ride, especially as your rides are getting longer.
"Get a pre-check before you take on a Smiddy Challenge"
- If you're going to put your bike through a big ride like a Smiddy Challenge, the last thing you need is any mechanical issues slowing you down from the start.
- Get a bike check up a few weeks out to make sure you get to the start line with a smooth, issue-free machine.
"It's not just your bike"
- Make sure you take care of your accessories too—an issue with your pedals or cleats can really impact your ride so don't forget them in your maintenance checks.
Follow these tips and you'll be amazed how smooth your rides can be!