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Merchant House’s brilliant bike tips


We always welcome wheelers at our door, and because we’re those sorts of people, we like to know you’re safe on the roads too– so behold, our very special Merchant House maintenance manual!

Nervous brake-down

As simple as it sounds, checking your brakes is something you should do no matter how experienced a cyclist you are. Wet weather can take some serious material out of your ‘need-to-stoppers’, so be sure to check for excessive abrasion.

Most brake blocks have wear indicators on the side of them, so this check only takes seconds; so no excuses!

Avoid chain pains

Not only does a clean chain and cassette (the cogs on the back wheel) look the business, it also helps your kit last a lot, lot longer.

All good bike shops sell chain cleaner/lubricant, and if you can find a 2in1 option, all you need is a rag and away you go!

Simply bead cleaner onto your chain whilst pushing the pedals backwards and follow with a quick rubdown; we’ve found an old t-shirt is great for this. (Ancient Reading Festival t-shirts may be held sacred, but they work just as well!)

Be tiresome with tyres

It may sound obvious, but checking your tyres for wear and tear does the world of good when unwanted blowouts are concerned.

Many major tyre brands have wear indicators (Continental’s ‘double dot’ design for example), and if you’re unsure as to whether your rubber’s had it, any bike shop will be more than happy to take a quick look for you!