Before doing any multi-day backcountry mission on your beloved bicycle, you need to make sure that it’s running smoothly. That way you can reduce the risk of having any mechanical issues, which let’s face it, most of us don’t enjoy dealing with when we are out on the trail. You’re going to spend a fair amount of time on your bike, and it will be a much more enjoyable experience on a bike that is working as it should. So our advice is, be prepared and take your bike through a pre ride WOF check.
Now is the Time! – Your Bike Deserves a Full Service
If you have limited mechanical knowledge, you may wish to leave your bike in the safe hands of a professional bike mechanic. Not your mate down the road who has fixed a few bikes in his time, but a trained professional in a bike shop. The Paparoa Track is a rough, technical trail, and your bike is going to get a good hammering, so it might pay to treat your bike to a full/complete service – not just a quick check.
If it’s been a while since you’ve given your bike any love, and you’ve been smashing out the kms, it might pay to invest in a new drivetrain and gear cables. A bike mechanic will be able to assess the current state of your drivetrain and provide you with the best advice. This would need to be done at least a few weeks in advance of your planned ride, to allow time for new cables to stretch and to ensure everything is working as it should.
Don’t Ignore Your Suspension
An area that is often neglected when it comes to mountain bike maintenance is suspension servicing. As a general rule of thumb, at a bare minimum, you should have your suspension serviced once a year. However, if you are someone who does A LOT of hours or kms on your bike, then you may require suspension service more frequently. It’s not a good idea to head off on the Paparoa Track with suspension that is not performing as it should. So if you’ve been holding off on getting your suspension serviced, the time is now!
Final WOF Check
If you are one of those riders who has your bike regularly serviced, and you believe it’s in tip top condition + you have a decent level of mechanical knowledge. Make sure you give your bike a final once over before riding the Paparoa Track…
If you do all of the above – your chances of having a great ride without any issues will be much greater. However, shit does happen from time to time, so make sure you have all the essential gear, including the tools – AND more importantly, make sure you know how to use them!