Bike Maintenance: Tightening Components
One of the discussions I often have with my bike fit clients is establishing an appropriate maintenance schedule for their bike. Something often overlooked is tightening components. Part of a monthly bike maintenance plan should include a quick check of bolt torque.
Let’s break down how to make this happen.
Make sure you have the correct tools for the job:
Ratcheting torque wrench (Be sure your torque wrench reads Newton meters, Nm)
Metric hex wrenches (even better if you get a ball end set)
Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
Cleats: If you use clipless pedals, use one of the hex wrenches or sometimes a screwdriver to make sure all the bolts are snug on your cleats.
The exception would be with Speedplay cleats which if over tightened may not accept your pedals. There are plenty of very informative videos out there if you have specific Speedplay questions.
Now that your cleats are tight, move on to your bike.
Find the torque ratings on your:
Seat clamp (where your seatpost enters the frame)
Saddle clamp (top of the seatpost where the saddle rails are secured)
Stem (attachment between your frame and handlebars)
Most of the time, you can find specific torque values inscribed on the various components of your bike. They will be values like 4 Nm, 8 Nm, etc. However, sometimes you may have to do a little research to determine the appropriate torque. Once you know the torque, set your wrench and tighten the areas listed above. As you become familiar with the process, it should take no more than a few minutes.
Easy as that!
*When in doubt, refer to the manufacturer instructions or consult your local bike shop*
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