Q: One of the more frequent questions we get is, “What is the one tip everyone should know?”
A: For me, it would be if something doesn’t feel right or is acting differently than normal, then it needs immediate attention. A small problem that can be quickly and easily fixed can compound if ignored. Maybe if I’d taken my own advice and stopped riding when something didn’t feel “right,” I wouldn’t have crashed in October and suffered a broken collarbone
WHAT NATE SAYS
However, we figured, why not ask a real pro mechanic? Nate Newton has been in the industry for over a dozen years, with the last six years spent as SRAM’s road tech coordinator. In short, he knows a thing or two about keeping bikes running in tip-top shape.
“My first answer would be to be sure and clean your chain frequently. Too many people don’t appreciate the role that a clean chain can play in the day-to-day performance of their bike. And I don’t just mean to lube it; I mean to clean it by spraying a rag with chain cleaner and then wrap it around the chain as you pedal the bike on a stand. After the chain and pulleys are clean, I usually use a dry lube for most conditions, and I can honestly say that after all these years there’s not one chain lube that outperforms any other.
“Actually, I think my best advice would just be that everybody read their service manuals. Over the years I’ve seen too many mechanics who don’t read the service manuals and let their ego take over, which leads to them cutting corners. I am proud to say that I’m obsessive about reading the manuals, especially about the required torque settings. I always say, you’ll never wonder what went wrong if you followed all the steps.
“Ask me what the most important step to follow in a service manual is, and I would say all of them!”