Tour de Finlande 2010: Bicycle maintenance

As I happened to take a few days of break from the tour, I did some maintenance to the bike. The main thing was to change the tires, as they wore out completely. Then a full wash to the bike, especially chain and derailleurs. Thanks to people I've met on my journey, and to some professionals at bike shops, I've learnt the following:

Keep always the chain clean and well oiled. Nothing new, but better remember. And the same thing goes for the derailleurs and all the moving parts.

Put high pressure in tires. Bike tires must be at their maximum pressure, especially if you take a lot of stuff with you and the bike is heavy. This will make the tires themselves last longer. However, you'd better buy an adapter for measuring the tire pressure directly at a gas station with a proper manometer. My new pair of Schwalbe Marathon for example can be pumped up to 6 bars of pressure, and you will never get there with a normal pump. Now the tires are hard as stones, just have to check how it feels after a long journey 🙂

Adjust the derailleurs and check them often. This was the hardest part, as I've never done it before. It seems I managed to work it out thanks to these (not so) simple instructions I found on the net:

Tomorrow I'll be leaving once again. New directions, new people, new sceneries, new mosquitoes. My blood is ready!

PS: … and in the hurry of getting everything washed and clean, I forgot the bike speedometer in the pocket of my t-shirt. It went in the washing machine and it got even out alive 🙂