How To Tune Up A Bike | 6 Steps To Tune Up Your Bike

The bicycle is itself not only a versatile machine but also it makes your life versatile offering various options for fitness, recreation, transportation as well as competition.

Whether you’re a daily rider or a recreational rider, you want your bike will perform as expectations. You expect your bike to go faster, ride easier and shift smoother.

But, how is it possible if your bike typically lies dormant for a long time? Hence, before head outside with your bike, you need to tune up it.

To keep your bike in tip-top shape, you should know how to tune up a bike. Getting the job done by yourself will save your time and money.

Tuning up a bike is pretty easy. If you’re confused where to start, just go through our article on how to tune up a bike.

Let’s Go!

Tuning Up A Bike

A bike tune up primarily involves cleaning each part possible, lubricating the moving parts and some adjustments.

Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Find a Clean Space

First, you need to take your bike in a clean, open space. Tuning your bike may be a messy job. If you’re using a driveway, sweep the required space first.

Flip your bike upside down. It’s better to use a prop or bike stand for your bike. Otherwise, you can hang it from a tree. If your bike doesn’t balance on the seat or handlebars, take the wheel off and lay them down.

Step 2: Cleaning The Chain and The Cassette

For tuning up your bike, cleaning the bike chain is the most important as well as simple.

Supplies you may need:

  • Cleaning brush/ hard type tooth brush
  • Towel
  • Bucket
  • Chain scrubber
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Degreasing solvent
  • Water

Clean The Chain

Cleaning the bike chain isn’t a daily or weekly task. Clean your chain after every thousand of miles and so on, if you travel in a dirty or dusty condition.

  • Check the dirt around the Drivetrain and chain first.
  • Try to remove the dirt with the towel.
  • Apply a small amount of degreaser on the chain.
  • You can also use a lightweight oil specially made for bikes.
  • Brush the chain links thoroughly.
  • Wipe off the excess de-greaser and let it dry.
  • Using dishwashing soap lather, rinse thoroughly the frame and wash.
  • Remove the excess water with the towel and let it dry completely.

Clean The Cassette

  • Apply lube on the cassette.
  • Remove the black grease by flossing between the cogs with a towel.

Step 3: Lubricating The Moving Parts

The moving parts of your bike are vulnerable to attract the moisture and dirt. If you don’t lubricate your bike routinely, it will cause your bike running smoothly.

Lubricating The Chain

Follow the steps to lubricate the chain:

  • Take the lubricant specifically made for the bike.
  • Apply a few drops of it on the top and bottom of each chain link.
  • With one hand, gently spin the pedals backward.
  • With the other hand, hold the lube for the easy and quick application.
  • Remove the excess lubricant with a rag.

 Lubricating Other Moving Parts

Observe the other moving points of your bike like brake cable, front and rear derailleur, pedals. These points deserve some lubrication to tuning up your bike.

  • Apply a few drops of lube at the point where the brake cable enters the housing.
  • Apply a few drops of lube anywhere on the front and rear derailleur where you see their movement.
  • Remove the pedal and apply a few drops of lube on the threads that connect into the crank arms.

Step 4: Check the Brake Pads

A quick inspection of brake pads helps you to find out the potential problems that you can easily fix.

Check the proper alignment of the brake pads. You know, brake pads are the small rubber things that clamp down on the rims to slow down the speed of the bike when you press the brake levers. Check that they are properly hitting the rims without rubbing it.

Check the surface of the brake pad whether there are any bits of sand or metal embedded in the pad. Wiping out these culprits will prevent the pads from scratching the rims and eventually gives a more even and consistent stopping power.

Step 5: Check The Tire Pressure

Checking the tire pressure regularly may keep you away from facing some potential problems like flat tires. But surprisingly, people most often overlook to check the tire pressure.

Why do you need to regularly inspect the tire pressure? Because-

  • It prevents the wheel rim being damaged.
  • Proper tire pressure makes pedaling easier.
  • It enhances the durability of the tire.
  • It prevents accidental flat on your way.

Hence, before hitting the trail, you must check the tire pressure of your bike.

Step 6: Inspect Thoroughly

Inspect thoroughly your bike. Pay attention to the rear derailleur cable tension, bolts, hub, etc.

  • Adjust the rear derailleur cable tension by turning the barrel adjuster clockwise or anti-clockwise as necessary.
  • Check the bolts, chain ring and crank arm. Tighten them if you find any loosen.
  • Check the hub of your bike whether it spins freely.


You’re now at the end of our discussion on how to tune up a bike.

Have you found all the necessary information to tune up your bike from our article?

Definitely, you’ve found the way.

Hopefully, our easy and simple step by step instructions will help you to tune up your bike for getting it ready for the road.

To ensure an efficient and safe ride all the time, just follow our instructions described on how to tune up a bike.


A well-maintained, clean and tune up bike not only performs excellent but also extends the life of all its components.

Now, it’s your turn to tune up your bike.

Give your bike a thorough tune up and keep your travel companion running longer and better!

Joe Carrow

Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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