I’d actually started writing an entry about the benefits associated with a clean bike when I came across an article discussing the same thing. Keeping your bike clean does a number of things, the most important of which is allowing you to maintain your bike’s level of performance.
The article stresses that, in addition to performing regular checkups on your bike, it’s important to replace things like worn or dirty cables and cable housings on a semi-regular basis to ensure reliable shifting and (when applicable) good braking.
- Check tire pressure regularly. Instead of running the pressures recommended in the article, talk with local shops and see what they recommend; many riders in my neck of the woods rarely run pressures above 30 PSI.
- Lube your chain regularly. Use bike-specific chain lube, not WD-40 or other similar products.
- Replace your chain once per year. When you do this, make sure you check your cassette and chain rings for wear as well; quite often you’ll need to replace the entire thing to keep your bike pedalling smoothly.