Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance: A Beginners Guide

Are you a proud owner of a stupendous mountain bike that is all love to you?

Then maintaining it well for a much longer time becomes your utmost priority.

This guide is all about the basic mountain bike maintenance tips and rules you must follow to maintain your bike for a better performance each time you hit the trail.


Mountain biking is an intense sport that is full of adventure across challenging terrains.

The mountain bikes are specifically designed and manufactured to perform reliably while resisting the harshness experienced while riding over the rough and rooty surfaces.

Once the bike is all set for off-road biking, it encounters an excess of dirt, mud, and grime that get stuck in the chain and other components and eventually damages them.

That also affects the bike’s frame and its overall performance.

Hence, the bike is needed to be maintained well in order to regulate its efficiency and performance rate while riding.

The basic mountain bike maintenance tips eminently include a regular maintenance check along with cleaning and servicing.

The maintenance of the mountain bike also depends upon its usage over the various types of terrain.

If you take the bike on an off-road expedition over the rough, rooty, wet, or any other challenging terrain, it becomes mandatory to keep maintenance check of the bike often or after one or two rides.

While using the mountain bike as a commuter between home and workplaces, you may clean and service the bike at a decent time interval.

The reason being the surface of the city roads or streets are usually flat, having lesser obstacles.

Whereas, in casual cruising or leisure, it becomes essential to maintain and clean the bike often.

Therefore, the mountain bike must be maintained regularly, or a maintenance check must be done within a suitable duration based on its usage and the level of harshness the bike faces over the various types of terrains. 

Why Is The Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance Important?

The maintenance of the bike is essential because the regular cleaning and lubrication of the drivetrain would give the rider a much smoother and comfortable ride every other time he hits the terrain.

Moreover, it becomes very important to regularly clean and maintains your mountain bike to enhance its life and efficiency.

That also makes the bike less noisy and much efficient as it would require a lesser pedal power while riding.

Just think that you have the best MTB, but it is not working effectively that it should be. Now what? Here the basic mountain bike maintenance comes into the picture.

Regular maintenance of the bike lets you look out to the damaging parts in prior and hence you may replace them before any discomfort being experienced during the expeditions.

This article is created to help you understand the importance of basic mountain bike maintenance, especially for entry-level riders who are new to the journey of mountain biking.

This guide would let them know about the basic maintenance routines, including inflammation of the tires, lubricating the chain and cogs, cleaning and preventing the frame from corrosion, maintaining the efficiency of the brakes and brake pads, and much more.

Hence, let’s begin.

Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance Tips

Let me come directly to the core of the article, which is related to the tips for basic mountain bike maintenance. Read below to know much.

1. Inspect Your Bike Well Before And After The Ride

A regular inspection of the bike before and after the ride would help you to clearly understand the position of your drivetrain and other bike components.

This helps in resolving the potential problems even before they are experienced while riding.

Besides, after getting back from a ride, always inspect the drivetrain, brakes, and chain nicely to know the damages caused during the expedition.

In case you have had a crash or fall during biking over rough terrain, a thorough inspection would enable you to observe even the minute cracks on the frame, handlebars, and other bike parts.

As the smaller cracks may become safety hazards and affect your ride the next time you hit the trails, it is always better to do their servicing prior.

Thus the pre-ride and post-ride inspection of the bike would help you in maintaining your safety as well as the bike’s overall performance.

2. Maintain The Seatpost And The Saddle

The bike’s Seatpost and its saddle are usually the least noticed ones when it comes to basic mountain bike maintenance.

But these are the components that are responsible for an overall comfortable biking experience for the bikers.

Moreover, they are also responsible for the better state of the bike’s frame. Thus, the seat posts must be greased well in the case of alloy frames.

In the case of a frame made up of carbon fiber, greasing is not that much required.

The seat post should move upwards and downwards smoothly and must never be overtightened. It is very important that the saddle is cushioned and neatly stitched.

Hence, it should be replaced frequently if it is not comfortable over longer rides.

3. Maintain The Drivetrain

The drivetrain is the most affected while riding the mountain bike over the toughest and most challenging trails and terrains.

The chain, cogs, cassettes, chainring, and derailleurs are the areas where the road grime and mud are deposited the most. They easily face wear and tear due to such reasons.

Hence, their scrubbing, washing, cleaning, and lubrication often are extremely important.

The chain, especially, must be regularly cleaned and lubricated often to prevent the wearing and rusting of the drivetrain. The chain is the most affected one while riding on muddy or slumpy grounds.

Hence, in the case of wear and tear of the chain, it is better to replace it to keep the drivetrain safe.

The gear system must also be checked and maintained in case they are not smooth and precise. This also includes the alignment of the derailleur with the chain line.

4. Maintenance Of The Bike Wheels And Brakes

Before every ride, it is very important to check the state of the bike wheels and their air pressure. In case they lose air, make sure to inflate them at the appropriate level.

Also, the wearing or other damage to the tire must be checked before you get the bike on trails, as that may cause a flat tire during the ride.

The Brakes must be checked and cleaned often as any residue of dirt or mud remaining over them may reduce their life span.

The alignment of both the brake pads must also be checked before every ride to ensure the utmost safety of the rider.

5. Replace The Cheap Plastic Pedals For A Better Go On The Trails

Most mountain bikes come with standard-quality plastic pedals. But such pedals are not suitable for off-road biking over the rough and patchy terrains.

While looking out for basic mountain bike maintenance, it becomes mandatory to replace these plastic pedals with the much superior metal or clipless pedals available in suitable sizes.

In order to maintain the clipless style pedals efficiently, they are needed to be lightly scrubbed and greased.

General flat pedals may also be cleaned and gently greased from the part where they spin around the crankset, but they do not require external greasing.

6. A Proper Check On The Suspension

The suspension fork attached with the bike’s frame and the rear suspension fork must always be checked and serviced by a bike professional at a quality service center.

These are amongst the complex parts of the bike that require a professional level maintenance check.

That eventually lets the biker experience the most comfortable and as new as before riding experience.

Usually, the suspensions are affected by the weather effects of winters, hence before the weather changes, it is better to get them serviced.

7. Replace The Grip For A Comfortable Ride

The grips on the handlebars always stay in place with end clamps. They keep the biking comfortable and controlled for the biker, hence ensuring the overall safety while riding.

Moreover, they reduce the strain over the hands and wrist and allows less hand fatigue.

Usually, the mountain bikes are equipped with basic quality grips at the time of their purchase. These grips are often durable but do not provide maximum comfort to the biker.

Hence you must replace the ordinary grips with superior quality MTB grips that are available tapered, thick, or thin according to the biker’s choice and preference.

8. Install Chainstay Protector To Maintain The Bike’s Durability

A chainstay protector acts as a shield to the bike’s frame, derailleur, and other areas from scratches and dents.

The derailleur that the mountain bike comes with are generally of inferior quality and thus result in the chain slap against the bike’s frame.

Hence a chainstay protector will guard the frame as well as make the ride less noisy.

So while keeping regular maintenance of the mountain bike, the bikers must install a chainstay protector on their bikes to protect them from the stains or other damage caused while riding over the bumpy trails at maximum speed.

9. The Basic Mountain Bike Maintenance Check List

The rims of the wheels must always be checked before and after the ride, as they are prone to damage and easy bends.

Also, they quickly get coated with mud and dirt while riding over wet surfaces or in the rains.

Hence, they are always needed to be kept clean. The bike’s frame, handlebars, stem, and kickstand must also be checked and maintained well.

The wheel spokes must not be loose as it may result in serious safety hazards on the trails.

The fitting of wheels, bolts, and other components must also be checked before the biking expedition to ensure safety while riding.

10. Visit A Bike Professional For A Deep Maintenance Check

The basic mountain bike maintenance could also be done by a bike professional once in a while or as per the purpose of the ride.

In the case of frequent mountain biking over the rough trails and terrains of the hills or mountains, it is necessary to get the bike to a professional for a deep check once every six months.

These professionals are excellent in cleaning and maintaining even the complex bike components like derailleurs, spokes, bearings, cables, and much more.

Moreover, they are great at initially segregating them, servicing them, and then fixing them back neatly.

Maintenance this way is hard to be done at your homes or local garages. Hence it becomes extremely important to get your bike a professional servicing or maintenance frequently.


Mountain biking is all about keeping safe and sound along with living up to your passion. Hence, the overall basic mountain bike maintenance holds utmost importance anyway.

The bike cleaning and maintenance are usually conducted at home by the riders themselves.

But sometimes, some issues observed related to the bike’s complex parts and components may not be resolved easily at home.

Thus, you are strongly advised to visit a bike professional to fix the complications and service the drivetrain.

The primary purpose behind basic mountain bike maintenance is to enhance the durability and lifespan of the bike’s parts, components, and drivetrain.

This can initially be achieved by keeping the mountain bike clean, dry, and well lubricated.

In case of excess lube resting over the chain or gears, remove it immediately as that would attract and deposit the dirt, mud, and road grime while biking over the rocky or muddy terrain.

This guide intends to help the bikers with a piece of adequate knowledge regarding the basic mountain bike maintenance fundamental tips.

Whether you are just a beginner in the field of mountain biking or an advanced-level biker, you must follow all the tips mentioned in this article.

This would eventually help you to enhance the durability of your bike along with ensuring your maximum safety and comfort over the most challenging trails and terrains.

Thus all that it states is that love your bike to the core, never cut back on its maintenance, and enjoy the journey of mountain biking to make the best out of it.

You can check the discussion at Quora about the same topic that I discussed today.

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