Maintenance: Caring for your new bike

Properly maintaining your Xtracycle cargo bike can ensure you are out there riding and having a blast for years to come. These are our recommendations for keeping your bike in tip top shape.

The first step to maintaining your new bike is making sure you have all the tools you need to take care of your new ride. Be sure to read the  "Basic Bike Maintenance Tool Kit Check List" here. Once you have all the tools you need, you are ready to maintain your bike!

1. Helpful maintenance videos 

Even the most seasoned of riders sometimes need a refresher on how to change a bike tire. Here are a few helpful videos that might help you to properly maintain your bike through the years. 

Replacing a flat tire
How to remove a quick release wheel**
How to remove a thru axle wheel**
Patching an inner tube
How to fix a broken chain
How to clean a bike chain

**The rear wheels on all Xtracycle cargo-bikes are quick release. Newer models like the Swoop, Classic, Stoker and RFA have a thru axle front wheels. All older models have a quick release front wheel. 


2. A summary of what can you expect for maintenance on your bike

Daily safety checks All bikes
Monthly check and simple bike cleaning All bikes
3-4 month post purchase check up For the first year of a new bike only
6 month maintenance check For the first year a new bike
OR if you ride your bike daily
Annual maintenance check All bikes
Only needed maintenance after the first year of ownership if you only ride once or twice a week
How often to replace bike tires Every 1200 - 3000 miles
How often to replace brake pads Yearly
How often to replace a bike chain and cassette Yearly
How often to replace brake and derailleur cables



3. A special note for electric Xtracycle riders 

Electric Xtracycle bikes require no special maintenance schedule and can follow the same schedule listed here for all bikes. The only difference with maintaining an electric bike is if any issues arise with the electrical system, you will need to take your bike to a Certified Shimano or Bosch Dealer to have that part of your system fixed. If your electric bike is having a mechanical issue that doesn't involve the electric system (i.e. brakes, gears, headset, etc.), any bike shop should be able to help since those elements of your bike do not require an electric certified mechanic to maintain them. All electric bikes should be taken to the appropriate certified dealer for their annual maintenance so the cycling computer can be given any available system updates.

To find a certified Shimano STEPS shop in your area, you can use the dealer locator here

Safety Check

  • Check the tire pressure: Recommended PSI is shown on the inside of the tire wall. For rougher riding (gravel roads), keep the PSI toward the lower end of the range. For smooth surface road riding, keep the PSI toward the upper end. 

  • Check wheels for glass, tacks, etc.: Make sure your wheels are clean and safe to ride on.

  • Check the brakes and cables: Pump your levers to make sure your brakes are in working condition and haven't been compromised.

  • Be sure rear wheel skewers are tight: This is important for quick release skewers. On the Swoop, Classic, Stoker and RFA, only the rear wheel has a quick release. On the older Xtracycle models, both front and rear are quick release. Make sure the lever is closed and the wheel is tightly in place. 

  • Clean your bike if it's dirty: If your bike got dirty or muddy, be sure to clean it with a wet rag. If you clean any components that require lube, be sure to dry them and re-lube them.

  • Check your chain: If it looks dry, add some lubricant.

  • Be prepared for an unexpected flat tire: Make sure you have a fix kit on board before heading out. Spare tubes and a patch kit, a hand pump, tire levers, and a multi tool for any other needed adjustments.  


  • Give your bike a good cleaning and lubricate necessary parts (chain, derailleur)
  • Make sure all accessories are still firmly attached by inspecting the bolts
  • Inspect the chain for wear and replace if necessary
  • Lubricate the pivot points on the brake levers, derailleurs and pedals
  • Lubricate the brake and gear cables to prevent binding. Check the cables for fraying and rusting. Replace if necessary.
  • Inspect tires for wear 

 for new bikes

This will be your first service appointment after purchasing your new bike. After about 3-4 months of ownership, your bike will likely need some cleaning and adjusting as your new cables and chain stretch and adjust. This will give your local bike shop a chance to make any needed adjustments and tighten anything that has become loose since your bike was built. After this check, you will only need checks every 6 months or yearly. 


This maintenance check can either be conducted by a knowledgeable bike owner or taken to a local bike shop. If you are not comfortable with adjusting brake pads or derailleur cables or if you do not have the necessary tools to do more specific bike maintenance, it would be best to take your bike to a bike shop. This is also a good time to check on the tubes in your spare tire kit to make sure they are still good and if not, replace them. A 6 month maintenance check requires the following:

  • Cover all things from daily and monthly maintenance checks
  • Check the frame for cracks
  • Check brake pads for wear and replace if necessary
  • Check the condition of the hub, bottom bracket and headset, adjust if needed
  • Check all cables and housing for fraying, rust and corrosion

 - Bike shop highly recommended

  • Cover all things from daily, monthly and 6 maintenance checks 
  • Check all bearing systems: hubs, bottom bracket, headset and pedals
  • Check and likely replace all brake and gear cables
  • Check and likely replace brake pads
  • Check chain and cassette and likely replace
  • For an electric bike, have the system checked for updates at a certified dealer
  • Clean and check wheels and spokes
  • Check the hubs, bottom bracket, and headset

9. Finding specs on replacement parts for your bike

You can find detailed spec sheets for your Xtracycle model on our  Product Manuals page here, under "Bike Geometry and Component Spec"