Spring is outside the window, which means one of the best times for unicycle rides. If you haven’t done a basic bike service before the season, you’d better not put off doing it. Ignoring a minor defect risks a more serious breakdown that could spoil a long-planned trip. Wondering if it’s possible to perform basic bike maintenance yourself? What such a home inspection includes and what tools are needed for it, you will learn in our article today.

What will you learn from this post?

  • Is it possible to perform basic bicycle service yourself at home?
  • Which parts of a bicycle should be serviced regularly?
  • What tools are useful for basic bike repairs?

At a glance

Self-service of a bicycle includes a thorough washing and visual inspection of the frame to find any cracks. At home, you can also clean and lubricate the drive, check the condition of tires and brakes, and tighten bolts. Basic tools and a good bicycle stand will come in handy during servicing operations.

Basic bicycle service at home: frame

Home service of a bicycle is best started with an inspection of the frame. First, it should be thoroughly washed and degreased, using special products for bicycles – car ones may prove too aggressive. We then proceed to visual inspection, paying particular attention to welds and joints. Any damage, cracking or deformation is a sign that you should go with your bike to a professional service.


The next step is to check the condition of the chain, which is among the parts that wear out the fastest. It should be cleaned several times a year, using extraction gasoline or a special degreaser, and then lubricated. Strange crackling and squeaking while driving is a sign that the issue has already been severely neglected, so it’s best not to let this situation happen. When washing and lubricating, it is a good idea to check the drive components for excessive wear. Replace the chain when it pulls out by 0.75%, and the sprockets when their teeth become sharp and begin to resemble shark fins.

Servicing your bicycle yourself at home

Brake pads

The ability to stop quickly is the cornerstone of safe driving. Self-service of the bike should therefore include inspection of the brakes, but this activity will look different depending on their type. For disc brakes, we check the wear level of the pads and discs, and for rim brakes we check the pads and rims. Hydraulic brakes, on the other hand, require regular fluid changes and bleeding.


When servicing your bike yourself, it’s also a good idea to check the condition of your tires. Worn tread means extended braking distances, poorer traction and a greater likelihood of tube punctures. So in case of wear and tear, it’s not worth delaying to replace the tires, especially since it can be easily done at home. Basic maintenance also includes checking the pressure – if it’s too low, it’s easy to puncture the inner tube and damage the rim, and too high means poorer traction and braking problems.


A basic bike service should also include checking all bolted connections. Both weak tightening and using too much force are inadvisable, so it’s a good idea to get a torque wrench. Information on how tight the bolts should be tightened can be found in the owner’s manual or on the bike manufacturer’s website.

How to check your bike

What will be useful? Tools and service stand

Before doing your own bike service, it is a good idea to get some tools. The home box should include flat and Phillips screwdrivers in two sizes, tire spoons, pliers, an allen set and a set of wrenches and ring wrenches. It is also worth buying a chain reducer and gauge, a torque wrench and a pump with a pressure gauge. In addition to this, a good bicycle rack will also come in handy, which will allow you to stably position your unicycle during washing and any maintenance. You can find a wide selection of bike racks and hangers at rtrbikes.com.

Safety is the key

Finally, a reminder: poor bicycle maintenance can have dire consequences! The above activities extend the life of components and detect minor faults before they develop into a major failure, so it is worth performing them regularly at home. In case of more serious problems or any disturbing signals, go to the service center. A professional inspection is best performed at least once a year.

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