Al Vines, Pro mechanicIf your bike sounds like a bag of spanners every time you hit the rough stuff or your cables are starting to eat away at your pride and joy, read on for some quick, simple and cheaptips. With a plethora of gears and sometimes cable adjustable posts, forks and shocks, modern MTB’s can have a serious amount of wiring. Combine all this together with moving parts and it’s a recipe for noise and often, some serious paint removal. Ideally these tips should be implemented on a new bike before any damage is done, but it’s better late than never. Chains, cables and hoses damage the finish of your bike and if left unchecked over time the damage can go deeper and actually eat into the raw material. Scuffs and scratches can lower the re-sale value of your bike, but deep grooves, gouges and wear marks could potentially affect its structural integrity. This is especially true of carbon frames and components.

I’ve used a couple of specialist products designed to prevent wear – Copter Tape from www.justridingalong.com (£4.75 – £28.75 depending on length) and Bike Shield from www.extrauk.co.uk (£4.50 – £23.99 depending on pack size). I also bought some Scotch Rubber Mastic Tape 2228 (£20.06) from www.3mselect.co.uk, which not only protects the frame, but due to its rubbery nature cuts noise dramatically. This durable self adhesive tape has loads of uses, but is especially good at combating chain slap and protecting against rock dings under the down tube.