How To Tune Up A Mountain Bike – Step By Step Guide

Mountain biking is a fun game that most people love doing irrespective of the weather season. I love it because it can be performed almost anywhere at any time. You may like biking from your backyard or the gravel road around the estate. You may also be a fun of riding off the trails. Especially countryside roads, forest paths, up and down mountains or deserts.

As much as we enjoy biking it’s never super fun with a crooked mountain bike. You should always check it out before going on a trip or try to maintain it now and then. I know mountain bikes are different from other ordinary bikes. These are built with enhanced durability and performance.

This spring if you are mountain biking with your old bike then you may find this simple tune-up technique important. Prevention is better than cure.

How To Tune Up A Mountain Bike

Chain Cleaning

Cleaning your mountain bikes chain should be very simple. Just remove it and soak for some time like overnight, then you can disassemble wash each roller. You can use a cotton swab or anything comfortable to use. For super cleaning you.

Adjusting Brakes

There are these bikes that have a brake lever that reaches the handlebar. This brake lever does one of the following three things;

  • Stopping your bike unexpectedly
  • Wearing out your seat pad or,
  • Stretching your brake cables

In case these happen, know that all you have to do is replace the pad. If you need to use your bike immediately, you may decide to rotate barrel adjuster. Rotating it one click at a time helps adjust brakes then testing it. If it doesn’t work then, you need to repeat the same procedure until it is fixed.

Smooth out deposition

You may clean your chain nicely, but as you return it in position, it begins to jump making you skip gears. You may also get disappointed thinking that you didn’t do it the right way when the only problem here is the cable for tension could be loose. You missed to tighten it. In this case, just flip your bike upside down, rotate the barrel adjuster to the back of the derailleur at 900. After that, try to spin your pedals to see if they shift once.

It may also hesitate to jump to the following cog, just redo the same process but if it gets to jump twice in one shift, you have overdone it. In case you get to overdo it, back it down anticlockwise at -900.

How To Get Your Bike Ready

It’s obvious that you have been biking around all winter and you had less time to check your bike out before you set out this season, it is time to do some close checkup. Before you begin your inspection choose a systematic method you are going to use either from front to rear or according to similar features. Here is a rich list of ways in which you can replenish your bike for the season;


This is a very crucial part of your bike. It’s good before you hit the road, determine tread amount your tires still have. Similarly, the knobs may be peeling off and need to be checked. One great thing about checking the tires is that you may solve one small problem that would have cost a lot. For example removing small pebbles or thorns stuck in the tire.


Checking out the wheels include viewing where nipples meet the rim, hairline cracks, the tension, and wobbles. Squeeze the spokes a little to ensure that they are not loose. On the same note, make sure the wheels are spinning freely.


The brakes are another vital part of the bike. You should, therefore, check the brake pads to ensure they are in the right size. See if the rotors are bent or not. Look closely to know if there are any side to side wobble.


Inspecting the sag is a very simple task. First, the shock stanchions, make sure they have no scratches or nicks before wiping the fork seals. If the seals have cracks, you need to replace them. The suspension should also be in position.


Detach the seat and put some grease on the seat tube. Remember, the handlebar also needs to be detached so that you can check signs of over-clamping. As you do that if you see deep gouges don’t ignore them. When done, reattach everything by making sure the stem is straight, and the headset is in the position of your liking.


Do you know if your bike’s frame is made of steel, carbon or aluminum, the brake, and shiftier housing could rub unduly against it? But don’t worry fixing it won’t be a problem. Just add a small strip of protective tape along with rubber cable to protect it from marring and silence cable slap.

Drive Train

Inspecting the drive-train includes checking out the chainrings and cassette cogs. This is to see if there are signs of bent or breaking teeth. I know teeth have different shapes on modern bikes and it helps in the durability of the chains but it’s good just to double check it for wear with a chain tool.


Finally, I advise you not to miss checking the gears. Just take your time and look at what connects you to the bike. Are the buckles in good shape and cleats firmly screwed in? Is your helmet bearing any cracks? If so replace it. Is your hydration pack refilled? This is also the time when items you see useless sometimes like energy wrappers become more important to include. Also, add a few punctures tubes in your bag, just in case of need arises, they may come in handy.

You can watch this video below from our friend Cindy:


Go on a ride, then when you come back you are going to agree with me that prevention is better than cure. Instead of buying a new bike every season, just make an appointment with your old one, try to fix it and I can assure you, you will be impressed by how long that rough road monster will serve you. Just keep in mind the basics of maintenance, and you will be impressed.

About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle for bike advice. I take it personally when someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

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