A full-suspension mountain bike is a sophisticated machine that deserves regular care and attention – routine bike servicing will prevent costly repairs and keep your bike running quietly and efficiently. Routine bike service extends your bike’s performance and keeps the good times rollin’.
How often should your bike receive service?
We diagnose routine mountain bike servicing based on yearly intervals and hours of ride time. Many riders find that it’s easier than ever to calculate ride time using technology such as a Garmin or Strava. Below you will find a thorough description of the bike service options available from the Sports Garage Cycling service department, including recommended service intervals where appropriate. We also offer suggestions for DIY service that will extend the life of your bike between trips to the shop.
Mountain Bike Service Options
We strive to provide the highest quality of service while keeping our turnaround times as short as possible. We have in stock the parts necessary to complete at least 90% of service work orders. One to three business days is a typical turn-around time depending on the season of the year and whether or not we need to order additional parts. We will keep in close touch with you while your bike is in the shop, keeping you updated on any potential undiagnosed problems, parts orders, and completion time.
Klunk Diagnosis & Scheduling
We recommend that you make an appointment for bike service. Having an appointment will make your overall service experience more efficient. Is your bike making a yet-undiagnosed klunk, ping, or creak? We will schedule enough time for diagnoses when you make your appointment.
You are always welcome to bring your bike to the service department for diagnosis. Often we can locate the issue on the spot, and then schedule your bike for service at a time that doesn’t interfere with your ride plans. Typically we can fix a flat or replace a tire on the spot for you. The process usually takes 5-15 minutes depending on the tire, however in the midst of a busy day during the season, we may ask if you would like to run a quick errand. Although you’re always welcome to stay and hang out at the shop with us!
Safety Check & DIY Service
You’ve probably heard this line from your doctor before: “Good health begins at home”. The same thing is true of your mountain bike. Below are simple service-related maintenance items that you can do as a part of your daily bike ride routine.
- Inflate tires to desired/appropriate pressure. We recommend using a floor pump or handheld gauge for accuracy. Remember that tire pressure is an art, not a science and is driven by two primary factors: riding style/terrain and rider weight. Call the shop for advice if you’re not sure where to set your tire pressure. [Every ride]
- Check thru axles and quick release tension to make sure nothing has come loose or has a chance of rattling. [Every ride]
- Wipe off or clean your bike. Caked on dirt, mud, and debris absorbs and therefore dries out necessary grease and lubricants. Don’t use a high pressure, such as the car wash, because it can damage bearings. A bike-friendly soap and low pressure is preferable. [Every ride]
- Lube the chain and wipe off excess oil or lubricant [1x per 2-3 hours of ride time]
If you have wrecked your bike, but there is no “obvious” damage, we would encourage you bring it by the service department for a Safety Check. One of the mechanics will jump on your bike, which will give you peace of mind that your bike is still operating smoothly and safely:
- Check for cable stretch in the brakes and drivetrain
- Check for rotor integrity and brake surface contamination
- Check headset bolt tensions
- Check smooth shifting
Our service providers can do a 10-minute Safety Check and either have your bike back out on the trail or scheduled for any necessary service.
Our Basic Tune includes service that is recommended, on average, every 3 – 6 months based on individual ride time and conditions. Remember that a bike’s “moving parts” age even if they are sitting in a garage, so we recommend scheduling Basic Tune service a minimum of every six months. The Basic Tune is the ideal starting point for necessary routine adjustments and cleaning, and includes the following specific bike service:
- Component integrity assessment
- Safety Check (described above)
- Full bike wash
- Adjust shifting and braking systems
- Adjust all bearing assemblies where applicable
- True, tension, and dish wheels, including checking tubeless tire sealant level
- Torque and inspect component and pivot bolts
- Seat post: clean and reinstall with assembly compound
- Lubricate chain
Pro Tune service falls in line with most manufacturer’s recommendations for optimal performance and annual maintenance. In addition to all of the bike service provided with our Basic Tune, the Pro Tune service includes the following:
- Crank/bottom bracket removal with inspection of BB shell threads
- Drivetrain analysis: adjust derailleur hanger alignment
- Thorough cleaning and re-greasing of BB unit and fresh anti-seize on threads where applicable
- Includes drivetrain thorough clean
Please note that riding in wet and muddy conditions accelerates the service schedule for full suspension mountain bikes. For example, the Fox factory owner’s manual for rear air sleeve maintenance indicates service is necessary after 8 hours of ride time in wet and muddy conditions but is only necessary after 40 hours riding your bike in dry and dusty conditions.
What’s an “Overhaul”?
“Overhaul” frequently pops up in the vocabulary of the mountain bike service world. In its purest form an overhaul should be a complete re-build of your mountain bike, in order to allow the inspection of every part when fully disassembled. We are happy to do custom quotes for a true “overhaul”, which will include the service provider’s time for disassembly, inspection, and the equivalent of a new bike build.
Additional Bike Service
We recommend a few very necessary mountain bike service items that apply specifically to suspension. Although they fall outside the scope of either a Basic or Pro Tune, these services are easily scheduled according to ride time.
Fork Lowers Service fundamentally includes cleaning and dusting the dust wipers, inspecting the bushing and seals, and replacing the oil. This service should be scheduled annually or every 200 hours of ride time.
Rear Shock Service, including suspension fluid service, is recommended annually or every 200 hours of ride time. We are a drop-off location for Longmont-based Dirt Labs, and our mechanics are qualified to diagnose your rear shock service needs.
Wheel builds are one of the most fun service items on the menu…because it usually implies a wheel upgrade! Whether part of a new bike custom build, a wheel upgrade, or a repair-related service, Sports Garage has a history for master wheel building. Other important wheel-related services to keep in mind include wheel trues, spoke replacement and tensioning, and freehub body cleaning and service.
For more information about these or any other bike service issues, please contact the shop at 303-473-0033. You can also e-mail the service department directly at firstname.lastname@example.org