Fold-it with Samo
Maintenance for your folding bike
In this issue, we discuss about periodical maintenance for your folding bike.
Now, there are steps to take just to ensure that you have a smooth ride. For starters, folding bikes comes with many moving parts and the crucial areas where its joined and locked should be looked at from time to time.
These critical areas include the folding frame hinge and handlepost. Bikes that are joined with a locked hinge should be inspected every six months. The handlebar stem is also an area that needs to be checked for loosening and wear.
THE CREAKING SOUND
When two halves are joined together on the bicycle frame, lateral force during your ride would create a ‘creaking’ noise that is very unpleasant. This is caused by loose bolts in the hinge.
All you need to do, is to grease the joint and tighten the bolt. But, that said, this should be left to an experienced mechanic.
For bikes with a telescopic handlebar, do make it a point to check the clasp tension at the bottom of the stem’s neck. A well-maintained folding bike produces no creaking sound. In the case of bikes with monocoque frames (Birdy and Ori), this is not an issue.
BRAKES, HUBS, WHEELS AND DRIVETRAIN
Make it a point to check you brakes after 200km. Wear on the brake shoes would lessen the braking effect on your bike.
Brake cables too need to be lubricated with grease so that they would work properly.
Each time you cycle through dirt, mud and a puddle of water, be sure to clean your bicycle chain and give it a lube job. Dry teflon lubricants that can be easily purchased from bicycle shops would do the job.
When you take your bicycle down a bumpy course, the spokes may be loosened. If you break a spoke, the entire bicycle’s rim may be compromised. So, be sure to check your spoke nipples from time to time.
I send my Dahon Speed P8 for its basic service once every 2,000km and this covers a brake shoe change, the cleaning of the gear cassette, removal of the wheel hub’s ball-bearing and greasing. It’s a laborious chore and very few shops can do this because its also time-consuming.
Just the cost alone is above RM150 a pop. A major service (5,000km and above) would cost even more.
All good things said and done, there aren’t many shops that can provide a good service package. There are lazy mechanics out there who charge a minimal fee of RM30 where you end up with just a ‘barely touching the surface’ kind of result.
But that said, there is still hope. Based on experience, I found a couple of good bikestores who are able to cater to folding bikes.
SAMO’S TOP THREE PICKS
1. My Bicycle Shop in BU 4, Bandar Utama.
This shop is owned and managed by Johnny Ng, an experienced folding bike cyclist credited for his long-distance rides. Ng’s knowledge in folding bikes and how to properly service them made him an asset to the foldie community. He is also the sponsor for Shawal Shafee, the fastest man on a folding bike.
My Bicycle Shop is listed on Facebook, so, you can source for details on how to get there.
Address: Lot G3, BU 4, Oasis Complex, No.1, Jalan Changkit Bandar Utama, 47800 Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor., Petaling Jaya.
Telephone: 016-632 2599
2. Godzilla Cycles, Kota Damansara.
Collin Lee is no stranger to folding bikes. He does a decent job in servicing them, but you must make an appointment before you send in your bike as shop is managed by only one man. Quality of work by this dude is pretty good.
Contact info: No.12-G, Jalan PJU 5/20C, The Strand Damansara, Kota Damansara,, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Telephone: 03-6142 31811
3. Rodalink, Putrajaya.
Ask for Ben Thiew and Fadhli Khairon. These are by far, two of the best Rodalink mechanics around.
There is a minimal fee of RM15 for bike servicing at the store and they do a good job in getting your foldie fit for the road.
Check out Le Run Malaysia’s website on contact details.
Address: 22 Jln Diplomatik , Presint 15 , 62050 Putrajaya.