When it comes to your new bike, it should be treated just as you would treat a new car. Basic maintenance is an essential part of being a new bike owner and doesn’t have to be long and complicated to be effective. We’ve rounded up our 5 basic tips for new bike maintenance in this short video, including our essential picks for any beginner’s bike tool kit. 

The importance of bike maintenance

Keeping your bike in good working condition will not only extend the lifespan of your bike and its components but will also make sure you get regular use of it too! Maintaining a “little and often” routine when it comes to cleaning and maintenance will ultimately mean more time riding your bike rather than putting it off and your bike sitting in the garage caked in mud and gathering dust (which we can all be guilty of…).

Here are our 5 tips for a basic bike maintenance routine:

  1. Carry out pre-ride checks. Before you set off on your ride, you should take a couple of minutes to make sure all critical parts of your bike are tight and secure, such as the handlebars, pedals and wheel axles. This will prevent accelerated wear or issues from occurring.
  2. Maintain tyre pressure. Maintaining a pressure that is appropriate for your tyres will help prevent punctures.
  3. Treat your bike to a regular clean. Bikes are made to be outdoors! Nevertheless, excessive dirt and buildup on your bike will not only affect the lifespan of your bike but also your ride performance.
  4. Don’t be overzealous. Aggressively cleaning componentry on your bike with tools such as pressure washers can do more harm than good. Pushing dirt and debris into smaller areas of the bike’s mechanics and removing protective oils and minerals. Less time cleaning, more time riding! 
  5. Don’t do it all yourself. Regular professional servicing will keep your bike tip top.

When to clean your bike

The best way to keep up with a cleaning routine is to make it quick and painless! You don’t need to do a lengthy cleaning routine every time you ride. The regularity of your cleaning will depend on how often you ride your bike and in which conditions. For a daily rider, we’d suggest that a weekly clean should do the trick! If you’re riding in particularly muddy terrain or through winter, you might want to give your bike a brush down with a stiff, dry brush when you get home. This will help prevent any build-up and help you get away with fewer deep cleans!

It’s way easier to clean a muddy bike, particularly within smaller areas if you wait for it to dry out first. Otherwise, you may end up pushing mud further into areas where you don’t want it!

Every now and again, it’s important to clean your bike properly. Some warm water and a cloth or gentle sponge will do the trick, although we’d recommend using bike-appropriate products for any harder to remove dirt and grime. Degreasing your drivetrain will help maintain smooth running and delay inevitable wear, however, you’ll also need to replace this lubrication with appropriate oils so your components don’t get too dry.

Frame protecting sprays and such products can also help keep your frame and paintwork in good nick.

Which tools do you need for proper bike maintenance?

When starting out, you don’t need a huge kit to keep you going. A few essentials will be all you need to give your bike the love it needs. We recommend that a beginners bike kit includes:

  • Multitool allen key to fit a range of hex sizes
  • Hand Pump for inflating tyres and fixing punctures.
  • Tyre Levers to assist with removing your tyre
  • Spare inner tube in the event of punctures
  • Degreaser for cleaning
  • Chain oil to maintain lubrication
  • Track pump for checking and maintaining tyre pressure 

When to call a bike maintenance professional

You don’t always have to do it yourself. When it comes to bike care, unless you are particularly savvy with bike mechanics, it’s always best to have your bike professionally serviced. A bike service should be seen as an MOT and will include thorough checks and maintenance on all your components such as gears, drivetrain and brakes. We recommend annual servicing however, for higher specification bikes and bikes that are ridden daily you may want to consider 6 monthly servicing to maintain good working condition.

Visit our Workshop page to learn about our in-store services.


Adam Cross is the Customer Care Manager at Pauls Cycles and specialises in all things related to cycling lifestyle, gravel/off-road riding & road cycling. In his role, he leads advice and support for cyclists of all levels, being well versed in the sport of cycling. Riding and racing bicycles for 15 years, Adam has competed in everything from short distance time trials to ultra distance gravel and 24 hour mountain bike races. When not at work, Adam will most likely be found on the sandy tracks and trails of Thetford Forest - Follow Adam on Instagram @ay_sea_