Finding Balance on a MTB

Adam Callender
3 min readNov 15, 2021


Photo credit: Timio Bueher

Despite the resounding evidence that working long hours can be harmful to both employees and employers. Many professionals still struggle to overcome their assumptions — and their deeply-ingrained habits — around work hours. What does it take to free yourself from these unhealthy patterns and reach a more sustainable, rewarding work-life balance? Ioana Lupu and Mayra Ruiz-Castro

For many Mountain Bike riders, it is so absorbing, there is that strong desire to get out of work and onto the trails.

There is the realisation that you can’t be a capable off-road cyclist without being a capable bicycle mechanic. Too many things happen, it’s a bit like life. We need to get our hands dirty, while getting dirty on the trails.

Over time, working all over the bike. If your family ride too, the more we could be called on. Like the first brake bleed, slow to start, surrounded by uncertainty, spending lots of time cramming on YouTube. But, I am rushing ahead.

Achieving better balance between professional and personal priorities boils down to a combination of reflexivity — or questioning assumptions to increase self-awareness — and intentional role redefinition. Importantly, our research suggests that this is not a one-time fix, but rather, a cycle that we must engage in continuously as our circumstances and priorities evolve. Ioana Lupu and Mayra Ruiz-Castro

The List

It starts out with maintaining tyre pressures, then, lubricating the chain, in addition, cleaning the gears (chain ring and cassette). While searching, figuring out what is the right stuff to buy to use.

Adjusting the suspension, often with pressurised air, requires experimentation. Buying and using a shock pump to set the right pressures, cleaning and lubricating the shocks along the way.

Degreasing and certainly lubricating and cleaning becomes an every-ride activity for the gear set to get the grease and dirt out of it to reduce friction, improve performance and longevity.

Over time, changing brake pads, carefully removing the wheel, the pads and opening the pistons. While we are there, cleaning and lubricating the axles. Replacing with the fresh set of brake pads, installing the holding pin and back on goes the wheel, checking alignment with the rotor (disc).

Using different pad compounds has been found to be critical if we ride through water, which seems to ruin resin pads, giving us the opportunity research more and try sintered metal pads.

When the levers are found to floppy for the brakes, bleeding and changing the hydraulic fluid is called for. Learning to get the air out of the lines and pressurise the hydraulic brake levers and pistons.

Cleaning and lubricating the dropper post, perhaps adjusting pressure. Adjusting the seat post, often cleaning and lubricating.

Next is routinely pulling apart the shocks, changing the lubricants, cleaning the seals, and reassembling.

Changing tyres, learning how to navigate the tubes and tyres ideally at home. As it feels near impossible on the trails. Establishing and maintaining tubeless set ups with tapes and goo. I can’t really feel the difference, but it is said that there are advantages…

As the chain fails or the gears complain too much, new cassettes and chains can be called upon with unique tools necessary to remove the gars on the rear wheel (the cassette).

It all helps us keep some balance and certainly to keep learning.

Happy to discuss!



Adam Callender

Sydney based, Adam coaches and mentors career professionals, leaders and business owners. He is fascinated by humans, motorsport, mountain bikes and technology.