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How to Tune Your Bike for Mountain Bike Season

Killington mountain biking is some of the best in the world, but you have to make sure you’ve tuned your bike properly so that you can hit the trails. Killington Ski Resort has been voted the #1 mountain biking resort east of Whistler, BC, so you know you have to see for yourself while you’re in town! Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to tune your bike so it’s in peak performance mode for this mountain biking season.

man on a mountain bike

The Importance of Tuning

Tuning your mountain bike makes sure that it will last you for season after season, but each piece of your bike requires some different attention. Be sure to pay special attention to your tires, wheels, brakes, shifters, and suspension.

Tires and Wheels

Start by looking at the tread on your tires to make sure they haven’t gone bald. Also check for peeling knobs, small tears, or thorns stuck in the tire. You’ll also want to look for sidewall wear in the form of abrasions and threads coming out of the casings.

If your tires are tubeless, use a scoop or two of sealant to top them off.

As for your wheels, you can check for vertical hops or side-to-side wobbles by simply spinning them. Your wheel should spin freely, and the hubs should be not too tight or too loose. Squeeze the spokes to make sure they’re not loose, and check the area where the nipples made the rim for hairline cracks. If you find that your tension is off, you can either adjust the bike yourself or take it to a shop.

bicycle cassette


Your wheels shouldn’t make any noise while they’re spinning. If you checked your wheels and heard any scraping, this means your brake caliper needs to be repositioned. If you experience any side-to-side wobble, this might mean your brake rotors are bent. Luckily, you can easily fix this with a rotor alignment tool or an adjustable wrench.

You’ll also want to check your derailleur housing for any signs of wear, particularly where the cables stop on the frame. If you spot any worn housing or frayed cables, be sure to replace them. You can do the same check on your break and dropper seatpost. 


Look closely at your fork stanchions to make sure there are no nicks or scratches. Any dirt in the fork seals can be wiped off with a clean rag, but if you see excessive fluid buildup or cracks in the seals, your fork needs to be rebuilt. After everything’s working, you can cycle the fork and rear suspension a few times, then check your sag settings and fix your air pressure if needed.

Where to Get Professional Help

If you’re ready for some mountain biking in Killington but don’t feel comfortable fixing your bike yourself, there are a couple places that can handle the job for you. Alpine Bike Works is Killington’s premier bike shop, happy to provide your bike service and accessories. A standard tune-up will cost you $75 plus parts, but for a bit more money, you can opt for a detailed tune-up or a complete overhaul. Alpine Bike Works is open every day except Tuesday at 10 a.m., closing at 5 p.m. every day except Sunday, when they close at 4 p.m.

Book Your Vacation

Now that you have your mountain bike all tuned up and ready to go, book your vacation to Killington and get ready for trip full of adventures on the trail!

You can also stop by Basin Sports to have your bike repaired or to pick out accessories or apparel. Their service department uses the most advanced equipment and will take special care of your bike. Basin Sports also offers tuning services for your skis and snowboards if you visit in the winter! They are open daily from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Now that you know how to do mountain bike maintenance, you’ll be ready to discover the fun of Killington! If your family isn’t into mountain biking, don’t worry; there are plenty of other fun things to do in Killington to keep everyone occupied. If you’re ready to plan your getaway, contact us today to learn more about our Killington vacation rentals!