Low-maintenance mentality

When I first started cycling I would spend lots of time futsing-around doing all sorts of sensible things, like washing my bike after muddy rides, checking the tyre pressure regularly and replacing parts before they had completely worn out. But over time I’ve started to develop a more blasé attitude towards bicycle maintenance which can be evidenced by the current appearance of my faithful commuter bike.

The clean patch on the chain stay is probably due to heel-rub 

This low-maintenance mentality has allowed me to use (and abuse) the bike as a useful form of transport without too much worrying. I’ve started to realise that a bike is a hardy piece of equipment that doesn’t really need to be pampered.Today I needed to travel 50 miles (25 each way) to do a job so I just loaded up the panniers with tools and clothes and headed off. Admittedly it would have been slightly quicker to have driven, but I enjoyed the ride and still made it in good time.

However on the way home one of my feet popped out of the clipless pedal a couple of times. On getting home I took a look at the cleat and noticed that the front part had almost worn away to nothing. One side effect of a low maintenance mentality would seem to be component failure! Fortunately, in a former and more sensible life I had replaced a pair of cleats before they had worn out. So I dug around in the man-cave and found them. They looked good as new – what was I thinking?!

Evidently 1mm is the minimum cleat thickness

Brand new old cleat

This replaced cleat probably has a good six months life left in it

In hindsight I probably should have bought mountain bike shoes rather than shoes with racing cleats as most of my cycling is commuting. But replacing cleats every year is now cheaper than buying a completely new set of shoes and pedals so I’ll stick with what I’ve got. Maybe one day soon I’ll even give the bike a wash – just to make sure it’s actually my bike underneath all that mud!

7 thoughts on “Low-maintenance mentality

  1. AllAboutTheTriple says:

    Eek! I nearly brained myself before at a roundabout because my cleats were so damaged both feet got locked in and I couldn’t unclip. Luckily the lad I fell on had unclippled and he took the brunt of it!

  2. AndrewGills says:

    LOL!!! We have a similar theory on bicycle maintenance. While I’m currently doing a heap of bicycle component replacement, it’s only because most of the bike hasn’t had maintenance in 15 years and the drive train I put on the bike is 7 years old and also hasn’t had any maintenance.

    I have some good intentions at the moment to wash my bikes every week but so far I’ve only done it once (one night this week when my partner was working night shift and I didn’t want to sit inside alone again). I bet it’s months before everything gets its next hose down. Though I am loving how great the bike feels now it’s clean 😉

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