How to Tune Up a Mountain Bike – Expert Guide

How to Tune Up a Mountain Bike in few Steps

Tuning up your mountain bike is one of the simplest processes ever. You don’t have to go to the bike shop every time, Just do it yourself from the comfort of your home.

You expect your bike to continue providing you with excellent services as you ride it. For smooth rides, then you will need to keep it in a very good condition by learning how to do a simple tune-up.

How to Tune Up a Mountain Bike

Bikes, just like any other machines with movable parts, experience wear, and tear. When you know how to tune up a mountain bike, then you can help keep it in top condition despite the wear and tear.

Process in short on How to Tune Up Your Mountain Bike

  1. Cleaning Your Mountain Bike
  2. Lubing Your Bicycle
  3. Inspecting Your Bike

Here is the list of the items you will need for this:

  • A Degreasing solvent
  • A Bike Cleaning Brush
  • Dishwashing Liquid
  • A Chain Scrubber
  • A Buckets
  • A Rag
  • Water and a Chain Lubricant

So, what does a mountain bike tune up include? Read the details below.

Part 1: Cleaning Your Mountain Bike

  • The first step to tuning up your bicycle is by making it sparkle. A clean bike provides more efficient and smoother riding.
  • Place your bike on a bike stand, or you can put it upside down. To keep your seat from getting dirt, cover it with a waterproof material.
  • Use the tools to clean thoroughly through every part of the bicycle. Scrub its chains, remove all the mud that may have stuck on it, clean the derailleur and any other part two. Do not scrub the frame with an abrasive material or you could scratch off the paint.
  • Keep water from getting to the headset as this could cause internal rusting.
  • Once you through leave it under the sun to dry completely.

Part 2: Lubing Your Bicycle

  • It is essential that you constantly lube the moving parts of your bike. This will help reduce friction and thus limit the rate of the wear and tear.
  • Once you are done with cleaning it and it has dried, apply some lube to all the necessary parts and wipe off the excess using a rag.
  • Some of the parts of lube include the chain; the peddle joints, the front and rear derailleur pivots among other bike cables.
  • It is also important that you lube it whenever you have been out biking in the rain or through wet environments such as pools. This is because water washes the lube down. Below are some more tips about lubing your bike.
  • Always use a bike-specific lube. Use one of the right viscosity. One that isn’t too thin or too thick. A lube that’s too thin will easily wash off while one that is too thick will cause grime to stick onto the bike.
  • At every chain link, add some drops of lube, and slowly spin the chain backward using the peddles.
  • Apply a thin coating on the chain. Wipe off any excess using a rag.


Part 3: Inspecting Your Bike

  • Inspecting your bicycle is a very crucial process of tuning it up. An inspection gives you the chance to notice any problems that may be emerging on your bike and fixing them before they get any worse.
  • One of the first parts that you should inspect is the derailleur. When inspecting the derailleur, keenly look at its rear and front pivots, watch out for any rusty chain links and broken or bent teeth.
  • Make any necessary replacements such as chainrings that worn out or loose.
  • The brakes should be next. If you notice that your brake levers rise to the point of reaching the handlebars, then your pads could be worn out, or you may have to check your brake cables.
  • Ensure that your shifting is fine too.
  • Go through the bolts and any nuts making sure they are well tightened.
  • Finally, inspect your points of contact with the bike. This includes the saddle, handlebars and peddles. Check for any wear and tear and make replacements where need be.

All this said you will completely tune up your mountain bike by following these simple instructions. You can always create a mountain bike tune up checklist to help you go through the process every time you do it.


  • Always replace any parts of the bicycle that are worn out with new ones. Trying to fix the old ones may make the bicycle rides less efficient.
  • Whenever you are making any changes on your bike, use the recommended models or types of products that you are changing.
  • For an easier cleaning time, attend to your bike after going on muddy rides before the mud hardens and cakes on parts of your bicycle.


  • Replace any worn out brakes and fix loose brake cables to avoid accidents.
  • Never let your bike stay in humid places or fail to let it dry thoroughly after cleaning. This causes its parts to start rusting.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Qsn: How often should I inspect my bike?
Ans: This will depend on how much you use it. If let’s say you ride it every day, try checking and cleaning it every two weeks. Remember also to lube it often.

Qsn: How will I know how much lube to apply on my bike?
Ans: 2-3 drops for every chain link should be okay. After application runs your fingers through the chain. If they leave a thin stain on your fingers, then it should be just the right amount.

At the end, if you follow all the steps on how to tune up your mountain bike then you can easily maintain your loving bike for a long time. You don’t need to go the mechanic shop & spend lots of money.


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