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What Does a Bicycle Tune-up Consist of? Not Everybody Knows!

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

what does a bicycle tune-up consist of

Bike check up and tune-ups are essential for taking good care of our bikes and keeping ourselves safe while riding. However, tune-ups can be confusing due to the differences in pricing and included items. What does a bicycle tune-up consist of in the first place?

A basic tune-up includes cleaning, degreasing, and parts maintenance. However, complete tune-ups have more. Let’s look at what is included in a bike tune-up and learn more about the most important items.

What Does a Bike Tune-Up Include


A bicycle tune-up takes time to complete because of how many things need to be given proper attention. Here are some of the most important items to have on your checklist and their details.

1. Cleaning and degreasing


A thorough tune-up begins with cleaning, whether it’s at a service center or at home. However, you can’t just wipe down on the frame and be done with it. It is necessary to meticulously remove dirt and grime from the entire body.

It may be necessary to disassemble the bicycle to clean everything, which also means taking more time to finish.

2. Chain and drivetrain maintenance


A neglected chain will cause several problems, from falling off or disconnecting to outright breaking or getting stuck. Be sure to have it cleaned regularly to avoid issues that may even result in injury.

Always be on the lookout for signs of wear by inspecting the entire length of the chain. For accuracy’s sake, use a chain checker, such as CC-3.2, CC-2, or CC-4, depending o what kind of chain you’re using.

The same can be said of the drivetrain—inspect the component for signs of wear or damage on regular damage. Pay extra attention to the drivetrain’s teeth, which shouldn’t feel worn or dull by any means.

3. Parts lubrication


A bicycle has many moving parts, and lubricating them will ensure that they will keep working at an optimum level. The chain and drivetrain need proper lubrication after every cleaning to keep them working well.

Aside from those that we can see on the outside, the insides of a bicycle also need some love. Remember to have your bearings cleaned and lubed as well.

4. Braking and shifting tuning


An unresponsive brake is a problem for any vehicle, so there shouldn’t be a need to discuss the importance of brake maintenance at length. Your shifters are also important since they allow you to be more efficient when they work properly.

Look out for signs of concern by observing how well the brakes and shifter respond. Worn brake pads and fray cables will need replacing.

Meanwhile, shifting gears should be precise and smooth. To see how well these gears perform, try shifting the gear as you turn the pedals. If the chains have troubles jumping to the adjacent cog or jump more than two cogs at a time, you might want to have a professional look at the bike.

A good tune-up will get you back in the action and perform even better.

5. Wheel check


Inspecting the wheels is an important part of a bicycle tune-up checklist. This involves looking for materials embedded into the tires and checking that the wheels are still aligned.

The spokes need to be inspected as well to ensure that they are still intact and secure. To see if there are any loose spokes, hold the wheel’s rim with one hand and try gently shaking the rods.

Everything needs to be checked properly; there should be no loose sections or wobbling, including the hubs. The level of wear also needs to be assessed, and replacement tires should be used when necessary.

6. Cables, connections, and suspension


Various wires and cables connect the different systems to the bike. Even when the brakes are in good condition, problems with the wires may cause them to fail, so it is also important to keep these in good condition. Lights may also use wires, so check these as well.

Suspension systems are covered by tune-ups, and their settings need to be properly set. The different bolts and screws on a bicycle also need to be checked and properly tightened; otherwise, they may come loose in the middle of the ride.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the importance of tuning up a bike?

Bicycles become worn as they are used, and their performance will be impacted after some time. Getting a tune-up will restore our bikes and get them working like they are new. However, this is more effective when done regularly, as opposed to doing it only when we are forced to.

We can also save money in the long run by going through regular tune-ups and maintenance. Repairs and replacement will cost more compared to taking care of the bicycle and keeping it from breaking.

How much does it cost to tune up a bicycle?

Bike tune-ups cost varies, depending on where you are getting it and what is included in the service. A basic tune-up that only includes inspection along with a drivetrain and wheel maintenance costs around $35 to $70.

A complete tune-up would include a full disassembly, deep cleaning, as well as maintenance for all the entire bicycle and its parts; this can cost up to over $200. You could save a lot of money by doing the job yourself, but this requires knowledge about bicycles and a bike tune-up kit.

Related: Average costs to replace bike tires

How often should you get a bike tune-up?


Bike tune-ups become necessary at different intervals, depending on how often you ride and what kind of activities you have. In any case, at the minimum, you should get one for every 2000 miles of travel or after every six months.

However, some signs may manifest, such as noise from the drivetrain or chain when cycling. Observing any one of these means there is a need for a tune-up.

It is also important to basic tune-up new bike. A tune-up should also be considered after the bicycle gets caught in a crash or collision.

How does a mountain bike tune-up differ from that of a road bike?

Tune-ups work the same way whether you tune up a road bike or MTB. However, mountain bikes that are used in rough terrain would require more effort to clean, considering how much more dirt would accumulate.

There would probably be a more frequent need as well, compared to a road bicycle tune-up. Riding through dirt trails and mountain passes takes its toll on the drivetrain and wheels, making them more likely to sustain damage.

How long does bike tune-up take?

Basic tune-ups can take around 30 to 60 minutes to complete, while full tune-ups can take up to 2 hours. However, the time needed will vary, and this estimate does not include the wait time if there is a queue.


What does a bicycle tune-up consist of? Now you know what should be included in your bike tune-up checklist, whether it’s a basic or complete service. Remember to take good care of your bike, and it is sure to be a reliable partner on the road.

How often do you find yourself needing a tune-up? Do you prefer to get a professional service, or would you rather do it yourself? Tell us your thoughts about these in the comments section below.

Always ride safely.

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