Checking your wheels
Checking your wheels
A FEW ESSENTIAL PROCEDURES
When we love something, or someone, we look after them. The same goes for your wheels!
To preserve their performance and guarantee their longevity, but also to ensure your safety, here are a few steps that should not be overlooked.
BEFORE EACH RIDE:
Check the pressure.
This may seem obvious, but it is an essential factor to check before hitting the road, as they tend to deflate during storage, especially the tubeless type.
You should therefore check the pressure with your pump or a pressure gauge.
It’s important not to exceed the maximum value marked on the rim and tyre. If these are different, follow the lowest value.
Finally, the weather conditions, tyre width and weight of the rider all influence the correct pressure.
As a general rule, less tyre inflation provides more comfort at the expense of rolling resistance and therefore performance.
So it's up to you to figure out the balance of performance, comfort and grip that best fits your needs!
Check that the axle is tight enough.
Another basic but essential aspect is the tightening of the wheel axle. For safety reasons, remember to check it before each ride.
This is especially true if someone other than you has put the wheels on your bike: better to be safe than sorry!
Remember to also ensure that your axle is always greased, to avoid premature wear of the thread and to make sure it slides properly.
Finally, when tightening, remember to use the appropriate torque wrench recommended by the manufacturer of your frame, generally indicated on the axle. A suitable torque wrench will be precise enough and is often supplied by the manufacturer. If you have a Mavic Speed Release axle, the maximum torque is exactly calibrated and you just have to tighten it until you hear the "click".
Check that there is no slack in the wheels once they are tightened on the bike.
It is important to check that there is not too much slack once your wheels are tightened. While stationary, move the wheel sideways, holding the frame or fork firmly.
If there is too much slack, you will hear a small "click".
If this happens, it’s best to contact your retailer to take a closer look at the problem and consider a precise adjustment or repair (e.g. replacing the bearings).
Check the braking system: tight discs and/or well-adjusted brake pads
Get into the habit of braking once gently at low speed at the start of your ride, on a flat surface. This will help you to detect any malfunction (hydraulic leak, broken cable, missing brake disc/pad etc.). This little routine will save you from unpleasant surprises on your first slope of the day or when you attempt to stop...
YOUR BIKE IS NOW READY TO GO!
Now, let’s look at what you need to do before storing your bike in the garage.
AFTER EACH RIDE:
Clean the wheels with soapy water.
It is important to clean your wheels after each ride, especially if you ride in wet conditions or on rough roads. This will give you the opportunity to inspect their condition.
Make sure not to use aggressive cleaning products. We recommend products specifically designed for bicycles or regular soapy water, applied with a cloth or sponge rather than a brush to avoid damaging your wheels.
For those who live by the sea, this cleaning is all the more essential as the salty air can damage the metal elements.
Rinse each wheel with a low-pressure hose
Rinsing with clean water will preserve the bearings (do not use a high-pressure device such as a Kärcher at short distance!).
Dry the wheel thoroughly
Finally, carefully dry each part of the wheel (rims, hubs, spokes) with a clean, dry cloth. This will prevent white marks and potential rust.
Checking the braking system for wear
The last essential step after each ride is to check the wear and tear of your brake system.
- If you use breakpads: Check for dirt to avoid scratching and digging into the braking surface. Also, check the overall condition of the pads and their level of wear using the wear indicators. If the indicators point to needing a replacement, then the pads should be changed even if you feel you are braking well.
Also, take a look at the brake band: if it appears to be worn, see your Mavic retailer to check the wear level. If this is too much (too deep), then you must get the rim changed (considered here to be a wear indicator).
- If your wheels have discs: check that the callipers are properly centred, as well as the level of wear of the pads and replace them if necessary. Don’t forget to check that the discs are tightened to the hubs with the torque wrench recommended by the manufacturer.
CHECK ONCE A MONTH
In addition to the checks that we have advised you to make before each ride, we also recommend carrying out a more thorough maintenance once a month.
Opening your freewheel system to check its condition
This may seem complicated at first, but think again! Checking the condition of your freewheel system is a piece of cake with Mavic wheels.
All our current wheels are equipped with the ID360 system, designed to be both efficient and easy to maintain. We've even prepared a tutorial to make your life easier!
If your wheels are old and not equipped with the ID360 freehub system, ask your retailer or Mavic directly as the process is relatively straightforward and we will do everything we can to find a repair solution.
Checking the tension of your wheels
The spoke tension of your wheels is an essential element to keep them performing at their best. To check tension, take the spokes in pairs and try to move them towards each other.
If you find that one spoke is "looser" than the others, you will need to adjust its tension.
Again, for this process, an authorised Mavic retailer will be your best port of call to comply with the recommended tension, guaranteeing the wheels’ lifespan and their safe and reliable performance.
Checking for wheel buckling
There is a simple technique to check for wheel buckling. Lift the bike and spin the wheel. While it is spinning, hold your finger (or another object that can be used as a reference) towards the frame or fork so that you have a fixed reference point on the side of the rim.
By bringing the tip of your finger (or object) towards the rim, the rotation of the wheel will show you any variations in the gap between the two (the marker object and the wheel).
This way, you can easily identify if this deviation exceeds 0.3mm, meaning that the wheel needs truing.
Please note that a small amount of buckling won’t affect the ride, so there’s no need to worry about very slight variations.
Do a complete check of the wheels for impact or damage
After a fall or an impact, but also when the bike is in regular use, check that there is no major damage that could affect the performance, integrity or strength of your wheel (cracks, deformation, etc.) and your safety as a result.
If this is unfortunately the case, please contact Mavic via our customer service department.
Checking the bearings for wear
Bearings are one of the most important parts of your wheels, but also a part that wears down and needs to be replaced from time to time.
To check that they are in good condition, spin the wheel in your hands and pay attention to the sound and any vibrations/notches.
If you notice unpleasant friction, you need to change your bearings.
In this case, you should also contact a Mavic retailer, as specific tools and expertise are required to properly replace the bearings.
Tyres: the only thing between your vehicle and the ground!
As essential elements working with your wheels, we recommend that you regularly check the condition of your tyres for small cracks in the sidewalls or a flat spot along the centre, especially after a long period of storage or wheel lock-up under braking!
The general wear of the tread should also be checked: it’s responsible for grip and therefore your safety.
Most of today's tyres are equipped with wear indicators, so make sure to change them as soon as you spot signs of damage!
Finally, in the case of tubeless tyres, remember to top up the puncture prevention fluid at least once a year, as it dries out over time inside the tyre and no longer serves its purpose. When replacing the tyre, remember to top it up completely for maximum efficiency.
The correct amount will vary depending on your usage and the volume of the tyre. Refer to the indications on the bottle of prevention fluid (usually about 40 ml).
By respecting the few points mentioned above at the recommended frequency, you will ensure a long life for your wheels by keeping their performance intact.
Be assiduous and methodical, these small gestures will have great positive repercussions on the condition of your equipment and therefore, on the pleasure you will have to ride it!