If you’ve spent a lot of money on some new wheels, then you need to make sure that they last as long as they should. So here’s our top wheel maintenance tips to make your new wheels last a lifetime.
Use the right brake pads
As far as wheel maintenance tips go, with new wheels this is right up there!
CES Sport wheels will come with brake pads supplied in the box, whether you’ve bought carbon or alloy wheels, and although it might be tempting to just whack in your new wheels so you can get out on the road as quickly as possible, it’s really important that you switch the brake pads over first.
Both carbon and alloy wheels require specific brake pads, and if you don’t use the right ones then not only will the braking be rubbish but you will also damage the rims too.
Clean your brake pads
While you’re out riding (especially during winter) your brake pads are inevitably going to pick up little bits of grit and glass from the road. Over time this can build up into a very abrasive surface that can wear down the braking surface of your wheels and even damage carbon rims beyond repair.
It’s therefore a good idea to pay particular attention to the brake pads during your (hopefully regular) bike cleans, picking out bits of metal and cleaning out the grooves with a small flathead screwdriver. This will also give you a chance to keep an eye on the wear of the brake pads, investig in new ones if they’re looking overly worn.
Clean your rims
Just as important as maintaining your brake pads is keeping your CES Sport rims clean. Not only will having lots of muck on your rims make your bike look a mess, it could also mean that braking won’t be as effective, but it will also cause premature wear to both the pads and the rims.
Don't use pressure washers
Pressure washers most definitely have their place in cycling, but that place is not for washing wheels. The last thing you want to do is blast your hubs with high pressure water, getting water into the bearings.
Our advice instead is to just wash the hubs with hot, soapy water. This might be more of a task than just blasting any dirt off with a jet washer, but the task will be made much easier if you invest in a special cleaning brush that will help you get in between the spokes and allow you to give the hub a good clean.
Monitor the freehub and bearings
Over time and through extensive use, it is normal for freehubs to develop a little play, resulting in dodgy shifting, and wheel rub on the braking. You can check for it by trying to move your cassette laterally against the wheel. There should be no movement, but if there is, it likely it needs tightening.
Bearings will need to be replaced periodically, but in our experience, the bearings fitted in your CES Sport wheels will last a good length of time.
It’s a good idea to have your freehub stripped, cleaned and regreased once a year too, to keep it in optimum condition. A mechanic at your local bike shop can help, but you can of course have a stab at it yourself.
Check spoke tension
New wheels can often bed in after your initial riding, meaning that is not uncommon for the spokes to require slight tensioning. This is easily done with a spoke key, but if you are not confident it is a quick job for a trained mechanic at your local bike shop.
Caring for Carbon
Find out how to care for carbon fibre frames and components in this article.
Fitting Tubeless Tyres
Fitting tubeless tyres can be a challenge at the best of times, so take a look at this video provided by GCN.
How to fix a puncture
Being able to change an inner tube and fix a puncture is a skill every cyclist should possess.
How to replace and adjust brake pads
Checking your brake pads and replacing if necessary is a simple but essential maintenance task for all cyclists.
WHEEL MAINTENANCE TIPS ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST
- Make sure you’re using the correct brake pads for your new wheels
- Keep both the rims and the brake pads clean
- Don’t be tempted to do this with a pressure washer
- Check bearings for play, and try and strip, clean, and regrease bearings every year
- Check spoke tension after a few weeks of use