Not performing any maintenance can cause your cargo bike to wear earlier. Sad, because this will make the cargo bike less pleasant to cycle. In addition, if a bicycle wears faster, it often entails high(er) repair costs. Normal wear is not covered by the warranty of a cargo bike. To optimize the fun and life of your Babboe cargo bike, we have a few tips for you.
Check the tires and inflate as needed
Cargo bike wheels and tires are carrying a large load and, because of the substantial weight they bear, they really need to be checked. With well-inflated tires you prevent, above all, damage to your spokes and fenders. Furthermore, a bike with properly inflated tires is much easier to pedal.
As soon as you notice that it is harder for you to pedal, it's time to inflate the tires. Soft tires also make more noise and skid on turns. You can also do an extra check by putting your whole weight onto the cargo bike and noting whether or not the tires bulge too much. When pinching the tire, it should feel firm.
Ensure easy access to the tire valves and unscrew the valve caps. While inflating, repeatedly feel the tire to check if it has become firm enough. The tire is properly inflated when it is firm and does not feel elastic any more.
Caution! Do not inflate tires with compressed air. There is a good chance that the pressure in the tire will exceed the maximum and it may blow up.
Lubricating the chain and moving parts
Lubrication of moving parts and the chain prevents rust and wear. In addition, your cargo bike will be easier to pedal with well-lubricated parts.Lubricate monthly to prevent rust. Especially after snow or a heavy rain, it is advisable to use some extra lubricant. If the chain has already become rusty, then you are rather late. Spray Teflon spray or lubricant onto the topside of the chain, where it contacts the gears. Do not use too much, since dirt will cling to it. Squirt a drop of oil onto all of the rotating and moving parts of your bike. Don’t forget the derailleur chain and the accessible parts of the brakes and gears.
Caution! WD40 or silicone spray is not a lubricant and you cannot use it for this job. Use an old rag for lubricating the chain and moving parts. In this way you prevent lubricant from getting on your brakes or fenders.
Cleaning the cargo bike
A clean cargo bike lasts longer. The box remains neat and you prevent rust and deterioration of the frame.
Always give your bike a monthly cleaning. Also, whenever you see a lot of dust clinging to the frame or a very dirty box, it is advisable to grab a bucket of soapy water.
Fill a bucket with warm water and some all-purpose detergent and use a soft cloth. Work from top to bottom, starting with the least dirty parts, and finish by cleaning the underside. You can use a dishwashing brush or toothbrush to clean the parts that are more difficult to reach. It is advisable not to use too much water; otherwise it might end up in places where it is hard to remove.
Caution! Dry the bike with a cloth after cleaning and add some lubricant. In this way you protect the bike against rust.
Tightening the bolts on the box
Because of vibrations during cycling, the bolts in the box may shake loose. These must be re-tightened to prevent them falling off of the box. Check every month to make sure that the bolts are still tight.
For this job you will need a Phillips screwdriver that fits well onto the head of the bolt. This means that the screwdriver must seat properly into the head, snugly enough that it doesn’t move about. Place the screwdriver onto the head of the bolt and fit a number 10 wrench around the nut on the other side of the box. Now turn the bolts. Make them hand tight, which means turning the wrench so that the tool does not hurt your hand or does not require extra effort.
Caution! Keep holding the screwdriver tightly onto the head of the bolt; this prevents damage to the bolt head. Start this job near the left end of the handlebar and go round the box until there are no bolts left to tighten.