Specialised off-road bikes are a respected brand and have riders who compete at the top level of all disciplines of mountain biking. Specialised's top end bikes, unlike cheap models are made from the best components that the industry has to offer. Fox often makes the forks, Shimano makes the gear train and Avid make the brakes. In this guide, we'll show you how to choose the right spares and how to fit them.
Caring for your bike
The harsh conditions that mountain biking subjects cycling gear to means that proper maintenance is essential. Parts should only be purchased as an upgrade or to replace components that cannot be used any more. UK mountain bike rides typically mean lots of mud water and grit. This perfect storm of factors mean that parts will wear very quickly without regular care. The most important part of your maintenance routine should be cleaning. After every ride, key components such as shocks, rear suspension pivot points and the drive train need to be clean with a soft brush and a low-pressure water hose. Do not make the mistake of using a pressure washer as this actually drives the grit into moving parts and causes more damage. If you do a lot of winter riding, it may be worth buying a chain cleaner and some "Muc-Off" cleaning solution. The final part of your regular maintenance schedule should be to lubricate all moving components. It is important to use a proper cycle lube rather than three-in-one oil. Top cyclists generally lubricate chains and shocks before riding and after cleaning.
Specialised-made bike parts can generally be divided into consumables and stock components. The basic consumable parts are inner tubes, brake pads and chains which should be changed as needed. However, there are other parts which should be changed regularly that most cyclists do not consider. It is worth investing in a chain measuring device as this will show you chain stretch. The chain guide will show whether the chain and the cassette need to be replaced. If you do not have the tools to do this, then your local Specialised dealer will be able to do this for you. Yearly maintenance tasks will include changing hydraulic oil, servicing shocks and inspecting or replacing pivot point bushes. If you intend to buy and fit your own bike parts, then it is worth buying a bike maintenance stand. The best products can be purchased from Park Tools. A final word When buying upgrades for your bike, be sure to check your owner manual to make sure that you buy compatible sizes, threads and lengths of components.