Do It Yourself Spring Bike Inspections

Does your bike have cobwebs on it from non-use during the winter months?  Or maybe you’ve been riding and it’s time to wash off the snow, salt, grime, and mud.  Either way, spring is nearly here. The warmer temperatures and the longer daylight hours invite you to get your bike in tip-top shape and hit the roads. Follow our simple steps to get your bike and bike parts in working order so you can enjoy those early season rides.  

Frame inspection
No doubt, bike maintenance can feel like a chore, but it is a necessity.  As you ride more through the early spring season, some things that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses.  Regular maintenance is essential.  There are several things you want to do to keep it in good working order for the early season cycling months.  For starters, wipe down and inspect the frame.  Rain, snow, mud, and road elements pose different cleaning challenges to your frame and bicycle parts, so clean them well.  Look for any dents, rust, corrosion or any possible areas of damage and make notes as to the severity of the issue. If in doubt, bring your bike into Peak Cycles and our mechanics can help assess your situation and offer recommendations for remedies.

Chain inspection
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 Peelzturn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you.

Bike parts inspection
Look at the side of the seat, handlebars, pedals, and derailleurs. If you see scratches or gouges in these places, make note of any bike parts that need to be replaced.  Keep in mind that while your saddle may look and feel fine, looks can be deceiving.  Materials and composition deteriorate beyond what is visible.  Also, neck, shoulder, and bike pain can result in an improper fitting bike.  Handlebars stems and bike position all contribute to a rider’s stability, endurance, and safety. So if any of these cycling components aren’t in proper working order, it’s imperative to replace or upgrade your bike parts. Also, remember to inspect your brake pads. You’ll want to make sure the brake pads are not worn. 

Wheel Inspection
After the frameset, the wheels are the most expensive part of most road bikes. To check them, start by feeling for bearing play. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know about bearings to do this check. All you do is hold the wheel at 12 o’clock and push and pull sideways. thIf the wheels pass the bearing check, the next thing to do is to inspect them to make sure they’re straight (not wobbly). The obvious inspection includes tires, rims, and spokes. Check that there is adequate air pressure in the tires. Check that there aren’t any cuts or nicks in the sidewall or tread of the tires.

Finally, if you find yourself questioning the integrity of your bike frame or bike parts, don’t take the risk of injury or mishap. Bring your bike into Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop for a free service estimate. When you bring in your bike for service, we give you a free estimate of the work that’s needed. One of our service technicians will discuss in detail what we recommend for your repair according to your needs and budget. Whether you do your spring bike inspections yourself or you bring your bike to the shop, now is the time to give your bike some TLC for a great cycling season ahead! 

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