Bike Maintenance

Bicycles work better and last longer when properly maintained. By carrying out simple maintenance jobs on a regular basis you can avoid expensive repairs, and increase the pleasure of your cycling.

BIKE MAINTENANCE TRAINING:If you would like to attend a basic bike maintenance course, The Cycling Team at Kingston Council runs half day courses which are set up according to demand and cost only £20 per person to cover venue costs. Check our events calendar here to see if there are any courses coming up. If there are not, then follow this link for further information.

It is advisable to take your bike to an experienced mechanic once a year for a thorough service. However, with a little investment in tools and time, the majority of repair and maintenance jobs can be carried out at home. There are lots of free resources online to help you with repairs and maintenance. A great site is YHA's interactive guide to cycle maintenance found here.

There is a range of bicycle tools available, however all you need to start with are screwdrivers, Allen keys, spanners, a pump, tyre levers, cleaning rags, an old toothbrush, lubricants and a puncture repair kit.

Each day you use your bike, give it a quick once-over. In particular, check the condition of your tyres and their pressure and make sure both your brakes are working effectively.

Lubricate exposed moving parts of the bike, such as the chain and gear mechanisms taking care not to get any on wheel rims or brake blocks


  • Wheels
    Check tyre pressures and condition; ensure wheels are properly fastened and in line with the frame. 
  • Brakes
    Check brake blocks for wear; ensure they contact squarely with the rim, not the tyre. Replace worn or frayed brake cables and adjust brake levers so they do not contact the handlebars when braking hard.  
  • Gears
    Check gears work correctly and cables move freely. It is best to leave gear repairs to a cycle mechanic. Clean the chain with a rag soaked in degreaser then re-oil. 
  • Steering
    Check for looseness in the handlebar and stem and tighten when necessary. 
  • Pedals
    Pedals should spin freely so check the pedal axles for looseness and tighten. 
  • Frame
    Regularly inspect the frame for any damage. Ensure the seat height is correct and that the seat post bolt is tight.


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 March 2021 
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Become a cycling instructor

If you love cycling, you might consider becoming a cycling instructor. Whether you would like to make it a full-time job or you just want to pass on some skills at your local school or youth club, undertaking the National Standard Instructor training is the first step.

Kingston is the only London borough recognised as an instructor training organisation (ITO). Since 2007, we have trained more than 300 instructors for local authorities and independent providers.

You can read more about our training here, and learn more about being a Bikeability Instructor here

Get involved?

Cycling is a fantastic way to exercise, travel, and enjoy the great outdoors. Wind in the hair (under your helmet of course), sunglasses on, and a picnic in your bag. However, not everyone sees it this way.

Therefore, CycleKingston is appealing to you to share the good, the bad (and the ugly?!) We want to hear your cycling experiences, news and showcase success stories along the way too.

If you have material you think we should feature on the website, drop us an email on with the information and some images and we'll do our best to feature them.