It is also important to routinely have your shifting mechanism tuned up by professionals, or become an expert yourself by watching a few helpful YouTube videos. Being able to smoothly shift into every gear is important for the life of the cassette, chain, and derailleur! If things aren’t lined up correctly, it can cause premature wear on components.
The importance of having your brakes dialed in is not only to be able to slow/ stop the bike when needed, but also to ensure none of the braking components are rubbing, which will wear down your rotors/ pads faster and ultimately make you slower! Do not touch your brake rotors with your fingers.
Great info in intro to this video, once complete, he covers hydraulic brakes and then at 1:00 covers mechanical brakes. Do not skip the intro!
Check your front and rear tire pressure often. You should pump up your tires at least once a week, or before every ride if you don't go out that often. Some bike tires have been known to lose pressure after 4-5 days of sitting still. For confirmation of recommended tire pressure, refer to the tire pressure suggestions present on the sidewall of your tire.
Avoid broken spokes! Spoke tension is more important for electric bikes with hub motors as the immense torque from the hubs can leave you with broken spokes if your spoke tension is off.
Check the link for the affordable, compatible and multi-size Spoke Wrench
This style of spoke wrench will work, just not the gauge and match it to the number.
The diagram below shows you how to tighten as it can be counter intuitive. The one in the middle is being loosened and each on the left and right is being tightened.
Check all your spokes on a regular basis, especially when new, as some seating and mating of the connect points takes place and can make the spokes loose. This especially exacerbated with greater rider weight; 180lbs and above is going to accelerate the wearing in process and spokes are bound to loosen.
If you don’t want to take the bike to a shop or buy a tool to measure the tension, you can use the sound method to check tension. The tap-tap-tap ting-sound of spoke tuning is an easy thing to learn - you can hear the thud sound from a loose spoke. Give it a quarter turn and tap it again - all spokes should sound fairly close to the same. You also don't want to over-tighten or you'll pull the rim out of true. If you are able to measure with a tool, here are the specs:
Don’t wait until your chain/ drivetrain gets noisy to check it out! You can extend the life of your drivetrain by reducing the amount of metal on metal contact! A lubed chain will not only make your pedaling smoother, but will make the chain glide up and down the gears smoother.
When it comes to cleaning your chain, you can buy a special chain cleaning tool, some basic brushes, or make a DIY kit with an old tooth brush. Any can work, as long as you clean it periodically when it gets dirty, apply some fresh lubricant, and then wipe off the excess so it doesn't attract dirt. This covers the basics: