One of the most important aspects of bike maintenance is chain care. A clean chain is crucial as dirt and grit can cause expensive wear and tear, poor shifting, rough pedalling, and wasted rider efficiency. You can tell if your chain needs a clean if it sounds gritty, is excessively difficult to pedal, or if you need it to run as efficiently as possible before an event.
Cleaning your bike's chain is a quick and effective way to remove built-up grit. Wrap a cloth around the chain, and pedal it through to wipe off the muck. Repeat the process until the cloth stays mostly clean, and use it to wipe away any grit from the derailleur pulley wheels and chain rings. Once the chain is clean, reapply lube as required.
It's a good habit to clean your bike's chain after every ride, particularly if you rode in wet and muddy conditions. For more complicated maintenance, find a bike mechanic near you through bikebook to provide the appropriate knowledge, tools, and parts for the task. Don't neglect your bike's chain maintenance - a little work goes a long way towards improving your bike's performance and lifespan.
While some aspects of bike servicing can be done by amateur riders, it's essential to leave more complex tasks to the professionals. However, there are some simple guides that all cyclists can use to maintain their bikes.