13 Ways You’re Destroying Your Mountain Bike

Mountain Bike

Maintaining mountain bikes is no easy feat. Apart from dirt and grimes from the trails, some of your actions unconsciously may also be destroying your bike. Worried about unintentionally destroying your mountain bike? This article can help.

Unclean drivetrain, riding, and inappropriate cleaning can reduce the durability of your mountain bikes. Even expensive bikes that are resistant to damage can get ruined due to unintended errors. Even some of the damages caused to the bikes through your silly mistakes are irrevocable. This article lists the inadvertent mistakes that you may be making to destroy your bike.

1. Keeping Your Drivetrain Dirty

Irrespective of whether you own one of the Specialized bikes or something far more premium, keeping your drivetrain dirty will slowly corrode the metal and ultimately put it out of use. A Dirty drivetrain results in jammed pedals and a bad smell too. Also, this will attract rust on metal surfaces, for which your bike’s speed will gradually decrease.

A dirty drivetrain also creates more friction and makes pedaling tough.

Cleaning the drivetrain is easy. First, take off the chain and check its condition, wash the rest of the drivetrain in the usual way, use a flat-head screwdriver to remove grimes, And then rub it down with a rag to completely remove black stains.

Second, lube the chain properly. Then set it on the cassette and backpedal. Let the entire thing dry properly before taking out your bike.

2. Ignoring a Problem

Ignoring squeaking sounds or noises of your bike can cause major long-term problems.

Bikes should not be making weird sounds during rides. You should try to pinpoint the source of the problem and solve it. Take it to the mechanic if you can’t figure out the source of the sound yourself.

3. Smashing Your Pedals

Don’t smash your pedals. Smashing the pedals may be unavoidable in mountain biking. But try to do it as little as possible.

Smashing the pedals will gradually damage your bike and can even cause accidents. It is advised to regularly swap the worn-out pads.

4. Cleaning Your Bike Incorrectly

Properly cleaning your bike is a must for the betterment of your bike’s performance. Keeping edges unclean and bearings full of rust will eventually damage your bike and its appearance as well.

Use dishwashing soap and a non-corrosive brush to wash the chain and cassette of your bike. Hose it down properly and lubricate the bearings, chains, and joints.

Consult a professional when it comes to cleaning the brake pads. Rim and disc brake pads catch dirt and gravel and should be cleaned carefully.

5. Not Cleaning Your Bike

Cleaning is a necessity for everything, especially mountain bikes. Mountains have mud and rock all over the place, and riding your bike in those areas will make it dirty soon after. It’s important to clean your bike at least once a week if you ride regularly.

Using non-abrasive solutions for washing, such as dishwashing soap, is important. Cleaning rust off bikes should be done carefully.

6. Riding recklessly

Mountains have very rocky roads. Riding your bike on these roads recklessly may result in various accidents and damage your bike.

Brake pads should be taken care of. You shouldn’t ride them until they are completely worn off.

Rear brakes should not be pushed hard as they can ruin the rear mech.

Even if your bike is made to handle rough terrains, it is better to ride carefully to avoid damage.

7. Not Checking Your Bike Before Riding

Checking things like pedals, bike lights, drivetrain, bearings, suspension, and rear mech should be done regularly before each ride. Loose bearings are often the culprit behind folded tires.

Loose rear axles should be fixed unless it’ll heavily damage your bikes.

8. Not Greasing the Bearings

It’s very important to grease your bike bearings once in a while. Greasing bearings should be done once a month. Not greasing them will result in rust formation and that will eventually lead the parts of your bike to get jammed and erode.

Headset and hub bearings should be greased and lubricated regularly once  a month. If you have a full suspension bike then, you need to keep the joints properly lubricated.

9. Not Setting Up Your Suspension

This won’t destroy your bike but it will stop you from fully enjoying your bikepacking trips. You can have a really nice mountain bike, but a faulty suspension will make it rattle during the rides.

You can set up your suspension yourself by checking out the website for your bike’s model.

10. Wearing Down the Brakes

Wearing down the brakes to the metal shoes can damage the rotors. Damaged brakes cause many other issues, such as ruining the wheels.

The disc and rim brake pads should be replaced promptly if they are worn out.

11. Keeping Loose Bearings

Keeping loose bearings will leave your bike unfit for riding the mountains. It’ll let dirt gather in those places and create clogs which will later cause your bike’s death.

12. Improper Storage of Your Bike

Improper storage can cause corrosion to the metals in your bike. For example, if you live somewhere with snow, then the salt and de-icing solutions on the roads can cause serious damage to your bike’s metals and tires.

Even bikes made of carbon fiber have bearings and chains made of steel. The water and acid combo in the environment can corrode the steel over time. So, it is important to properly dry and store your bike during the wet seasons.

13. Water Damage of Electric Mountain Bikes

When kept in a damp place, electric bikes are most prone to get damaged. It’ll create circuit problems and damage the electric wires of your bike. Most importantly, it might give you electric shocks or cause a fire breakout that may leave you in the hospital.


Mountain bikes are expensive and you’d want to keep them well maintained so as not to lose your investment. A well-kept mountain bike can help you experience many joyful rides. Similarly, a problematic one may cause accidents. It is important to know what may be damaging your bike to prevent it. Hopefully, this article has helped you with some valuable insights.