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Do You Really Need a Bike Tune Up?

BY: Shannon Grilli | Dec 27, 2017

Most hardcore cyclists know that a scheduling a regular bike tune up is essential if they want to get the best performance from their bicycle. Like any other complex piece of machinery, a bike's moving parts can rust and wear with regular use, but regular bike tune ups can extend the life of those moving parts and help catch problems early, potentially saving you from a more costly repair down the road.

But just what happens during a bike tune up? And how much can you expect to pay for one? We put together this comprehensive bike tune-up guide to answer any questions you might have.

Why do I need a bike tune-up?

Just like your car, your bike's performance is dependent on all of its moving parts working together correctly, and, as noted above, problems that aren't caught early can escalate to become bigger issues that can be costly to fix or even threaten your safety while riding.

What's more, many casual bikers might not be able to recognize early warning signs of a problem with their ride. A rusty chain, for instance, might be easy to diagnose, but a worn brake pad might be something you never think to look for.

If you're a seasonal biker who leaves their bike untouched all winter, a regular Spring tune-up is also a good idea since your bike's parts can degrade when not in use.

What happens during a bike tune-up?

Bicycle tune-up services can vary from shop to shop, and some even offer different types of tune-ups based on the type of bike you ride (mountain, BMX, etc.). Most shops offer some version of a basic tune up that includes the same services, more or less.

Basic bike tune-up checklist:
  • Adjust brakes, headset, cranks, and hubs
  • Clean and degrease chain
  • Adjust and lubricate derailleurs
  • Lubricate chain and brakes
  • True wheels
  • Safety inspection
  • Tighten all nuts and bolts
  • Check tire pressure
  • Wipe down

Most basic tune-ups include minor adjustments, while some more comprehensive (and expensive) tune-ups could include replacement parts, if needed.

How often should I schedule a bike tune-up?

For most bikers, an annual tune-up is advised, though bikers who use their bike year-round through harsh weather may want to schedule a twice-yearly tune-up.

How much does a bike tune up cost?

Bicycle tune-up cost varies from shop to shop and also depends on the number of services included with the tune-up. For a basic tune-up, expect to pay about $65–$75. But don't forget to check our website for great bike tune up deals.

Find bike tune up deals near you