In the last week I think I must have been asked this question around 25 times – it is the single most common question I get asked (well other than ‘how much coffee do you actually drink?’ and ‘did you really – actually- race in those Stars and Stripes shorts?’ – you may need to check out the instagram page if you are wondering about that last one).
Anyway – it seems that I should at least attempt to answer this question.
Unfortunately it is one of those ‘piece of string’ questions as there are LOTS of variables in play – my usual answer is that once the bike starts to not feel great then it is time for a tune up, this may happen 3 months, 6 months, 12 months or longer depending on how you ride, how you look after your bike and how many miles you do.
As a general rule of thumb I recommend one big service and 1 smaller service a year if you have one bike that you ride all year round (yes, even if you ride it on a trainer in the winter, maybe more so).
BUT – there are a couple of components that do have a fairly specific lifespan, so let’s have a look….
The chain is the hardest working part of any bike (unless you class the rider as part of the bike that is).
As a general rule of thumb, 2,000 miles is the lifespan of a chain, of course there is some level of variability in this…
If you are a high cadence spinner (so ride above 90rpm the majority of the time, if you have ever made the mistake of asking me about cadence you will know I LOVE this topic lol), look after your chain meticulously and only ride in dry weather then your chain may last longer.
Likewise, if you are the opposite then it will last less time.
Why does it matter?
Well, firstly, a worn chain will DESTROY your cassette, chain rings and jockey wheels faster than you can say ‘snap’.
Which brings me to point two – there is nothing that will ruin your day than breaking a chain 30 miles from home or when you are on the way to work!
Cables tend to last a bit longer – but they do need replacing – and in general you should look at replacing cables every 5,000(ish) miles.
However, cables stretch!
Some cables also stretch faster than others, the good news is that it is easy to know when they have stretched – once your brakes are not as responsive as you would like (unless you have hydraulics obviously) and/or your shifting starts to get noisy or unpredictable then its time to have a tune up.
So the general conclusion here is that you should look to get your bike serviced around the 2,000 mile mark as that is when the chain will generally need a look.
But as said – this really depends on your style of riding and how good you are at looking after your bike, so my rule of thumb is ‘if it doesn’t feel right then get it looked at’ 🙂
If you think it is time to have a tune up give the button below a click to have a look at the options we have for you….
Thanks for reading 🙂