Welcome to our Jans Expert Series. This growing compilation of videos is focused on providing advanced technical tips in a way that is clear, concise, and most importantly, viewer-friendly.
Every Expert at Jans has highly specialized and in-depth knowledge related to their field. The goal here is to harness the collective knowledge of our Experts, organize and consolidate the information, and present it to you in the most useful and efficient way possible. In other words, we don’t want research to get in the way of adventure.
All of the Jans Expert Series videos will live permanently on our YouTube channel. Moving forward we’ll cover unique and relevant topics on all of your favorite mountain activities. We hope that you’ll reference them whenever you find yourself in need of Expert advice.
Preseason Mountain Bike Checklist
Our Preseason Mountain Bike Checklist is the first in a series of tech tip videos designed to help you spend less time making repairs, and more time riding. We’ve broken our checklist into the five key steps to making sure your mountain bike is ready for the upcoming season.
Part 1: Check Your Frame
Catching Cracks and Loose Bolts
It’s pretty simple — cracked frames are bad. But what’s not so simple, amidst all the benign imperfections of your paint job, is identifying the (often subtle) cracks that can compromise your frame. And loose bolts? They’re bad too. But before you go wrenching on them, there are some important specs to track down.
Part 2: Check Your Tires
Tires, Rims, Spokes, and So Much Pressure
It takes a unique type of biker to need help identifying a flat. You’re better than that. But what about knowing when to add more sealant to your tubeless setup? Or what tire pressure you should be running? How about checking to see if your wheels are true?
Part 3: Check Your Suspension
Stanchion Damage, Oil Leaks, and Sag
Unless you’re one of those sadistic purists who rides a rigid frame, you’re well aware of how much more fun your shocks make your mountain biking experience. Catching stanchion damage and small oil leaks before they become bigger issues is key to the longevity of your suspension. And sag? Get that dialed to your weight and riding style and you’ll feel like you can do no wrong.
Part 4: Check Your Brake Pads
Small, Hidden, and Ignored At Your Own Risk
Squeezing your brake levers and feeling drag is only one part of the brake-check equation. Visual inspection of your pads is the only way to be certain your life-saving brakes are ready for the added influence of gravity.
Part 5: Check Your Drivetrain
A New Use for Your Old Toothbrush
For a sport that thrives on dirt, mud, and rocks, the drivetrain that powers your mountain bike is a sensitive mechanism. Kinked chain links, bent teeth, loose derailleur pulleys — when one part of the machine fails, the whole thing can come to a screeching halt. Cleanliness is the key to identifying compromised components early on.
If you’re like many of us here at Jans, your mountain bike disappeared suddenly at the end of last fall — stored away hurriedly at the first prospect of lasting snow. Treating your bike that way is just part of the seasonal mountain lifestyle. It only becomes an issue when you forget to perform a diligent inspection prior to your first ride of spring.
Just like your body, your bike doesn’t start each season in its prime riding condition. But if you follow the preseason checklist above and get your bike the love it needs, then you can hit the freshly thawed trails knowing that you and your bike are ready for another full season of riding.
We hope this helps you get your mountain bike on the trails for spring and summer. Be sure to subscribe to Jans Mountain Recreation Experts on YouTube to make sure you don’t miss out on any of our upcoming Jans Expert Series videos.