With the proper maintenance and care of your ride, you can minimize your downtime on the road or trail. However, flat tires and broken parts are almost unavoidable and knowing how to handle them properly can save your ride or race! Begin your ride by being preparing with the basics of what to carry with you at all times when out riding.
What I also recommend for the road: (maybe a bit overkill but…)
Golden Rule Bike Maintenance Facts
Proper chain lubrication is one of the most beneficial and often overlooked pre-ride rituals. Ideally you should spray or drip lube on the chain every other ride. The best practice is to apply a thin coating to the chain only and then wipe off the excess with a dry rag. When the chain is properly lubed it will shift and run quietly, wear longer, and keep other drive train components lasting longer. Creaking and popping sounds coming from your steed are not normal and are usually a sign that something is loose, worn, or cracked. It’s not a bad idea to occasionally check the important bolts on your stem, crank arms, and headset etc… Be careful not to over torque them however, only tighten them if they are loose. Bicycle cables and housing will last approximately 2 years and will stretch, wear, and corrode over time. A good quality bicycle helmet has a lifespan of approximately 3 years, after that the polystyrene of which it is constructed will be deteriorated and will not function properly in a crash.