You know that dark place in the garage where you never go? You know, the area where all the spiders hang out and no human dares approach for months on end. Well, we are aware that some of you store your bike there over the winter months. But now that spring is here and the roads are clear, you’re going to have to find some courage and release your bike from its dungeon; It’s ready to be ridden.
Before you mount your neglected steed, however, you should conduct a bike maintenance and safety check. Here are some steps that you can follow to make sure your bike are in tip-top shape for the spring cycling season:
- Clean Your Bike: Chances are that if your bike has been sitting in the garage for a while, it has accumulated some dust. Dust somehow finds its way into all of the secret nooks and crannies that often don’t see the light of day, so being thorough and methodical in the way that you clean your bike is to your advantage. Grab a rag, a brush, and a biodegradable cleaner and clean everything — the frame, chain, chain rings, cassette, derailleurs, pedals, brakes, and seat.
- Paying Attention to Your Chain: When you are cleaning your bike, you are going to eventually get to your chain and cassette. You will want to pay extra attention to these as they are essential for making your bike go. For an easy clean, scrub your chain and cassette with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelz, turn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you.
- Check your Wheels and Tires: Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety and efficiency and are important to inspect before jumping on the saddle. Clean the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble.
- Inspect Your Brakes: When your shredding down a long, winding road or a steep trail grade, what’s going to stop you? Your brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turing. Brake pads wear down over time so you should examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted.
Some basic bike tools that you’ll want to have include:
- Floor Pump with a Pressure Gauge
- Tire Levers
- Bike Lube
- Spare Tube
- Patch Kit
- Allen wrench (both 5 mm 6 mm)
If you are interested in learning more about how you can maintain your bike, we’d be happy to share information with you. And all the bikes, bike parts , cycling accessories, and cycling apparel you’ll need can be found on our website – bikeparts.com. We also highly recommend that you get a tune-up by a professional before taking it out on serious rides. Call or stop in to Peak Cycles in Golden, CO to schedule your bike for a full tune-up. We encourage you to think ahead because we get a large influx of bike tune-up requests in the spring.