What are the periodic maintenance tasks (weekly, monthly, annual, every X miles) that anyone who relies on a bike for transportation (typically in urban/semi-urban environments) should be performing? Ideally stated in terms of miles travelled (where applicable).
My bike service guys wrote a blog article along these lines. You may find it useful.
The article recommends four principals for basic bike care. These are
- Keep your tyres pumped
- If it lives outside, use it. An unused bike exposed to the elements will fairly quickly rust & seize up
- Lubricate - little & often, less is more
- Check your cables and bring back tension where needed
Mostly it depends on where and how far you commute, and road conditions (sandy, snow, salt etc etc).
At a minimum what I do is:
Daily: check tire air pressure.
Weekly: Check brake pad wear, tire wear, clean/wipe down entire bike
Monthly: Check chain tension, chainring/cogs for wear, lube chain, adjust brakes, oil all pivot points on derailleurs, brakes etc.
Annually: complete tear down, inspection and reassembly with synthetic grease on all bearings.
Being a big guy (~400lbs), I do a lot of damage to my bikes, so I check things more often and most of the time there isn't a problem. It's just better to double check. So as a result, here is my paranoid check schedule:
- Brake fine adjust (at the lever to maintain feel).
- Chain lube.
- Chain cleaning (if it has been wet out, this can be more often than below).
- Clean disc brakes with rubbing alcohol.
- Tire pressure by feel (squeeeeze, it's like a hug for your tires!).
- Brake feel (give it a good hard stab on my way out of the driveway).
Every 3 rides:
- Accurate tire pressure.
- Headset adjustment.
- It's a quick check, takes all of 30 seconds if it isn't out of adjustment.
- Visually check the brakes for any damage or maladjustment.
- Bottom bracket adjustment.
- Chain clean.
- Wheel bearing check.
- Accessory tightness (is that rear rack still attached?).
- Lube rear cog bearings with chain lube.
Every 3 months:
- Chain ring bolts.
- Pedal bearings and make sure they're tight.
This depends greatly on the type of bicycle: a Dutch type commuter bike requires very little maintenance. Simply checking tire pressure weekly/monthly and maybe lubricating the chain once a year will keep it in good conditions for years (with minimal repairs needed).
The reason is that very few sensitive parts are exposed to weather and outside conditions: completely covering chaincase, internal hub gear, hub dynamo, etc.
My feeling is that it does help a lot to store the bike inside or at least under a roof to better protect it from rusting.