Bike sales have surged by as much as 300% across the country as suppliers struggle to keep up with newfound demand. With more Americans than ever before looking to keep fit and travel by bicycle, the situation presents a number of incredible opportunities and a couple of risks. Many of the millions of new cyclists across America may be unfamiliar with proper maintenance of their bike and bike parts,making it more important than ever that awareness is raised for the sake of safety.
When to insure your bike
The value proposition of bicycle insurance relies heavily on your circumstances. Bike insurance typically covers a wide range of eventualities, including theft, crash or accidental damage, and even damage in transit. For competing athletes, those who routinely put their bike through its paces or travel regularly insurance may make a lot of sense. In these cases, you are at a much higher risk of damaging your bicycle, bike parts, and cycling accessories and have likely invested a lot of money in it.
Perhaps the most common use case for a bicycle is the daily commute. Cities are notorious for bike theft and their busy roads are often dangerous to cyclists. This is probably the riskiest environment for any bicycle and insurance might mitigate what would otherwise be a difficult situation should the unfortunate occur. Homeowners may find that their bicycle is already covered by their home insurance plan. Many plans allow you to cover additional items so if your bike isn’t explicitly covered already, you may be able to add it to your plan.
Maintaining your bicycle
Understanding bicycle maintenance is crucial to the long-term viability of your cycling career. While millions of Americans are buying bikes, without proper maintenance those bikes will quickly fall into disrepair and turn to scrap. The most important place to start is likely the drivetrain. Keeping your drivetrain clean and lubricated will ensure the smooth, quiet running of your bike. It’s expensive to replace, but takes very little effort to maintain meaning there’s no excuse for letting it rust.
Tire pressure is something you should check every couple of days and top up when necessary. Punctures and flats are inevitable so make an effort to learn how to replace or repair tires. This way you won’t be stumped when it finally happens. Finally and perhaps most importantly for safety, check your brakes before each journey and adjust them as necessary. Keeping the pads clean will reduce wear and tear while ensuring they perform optimally.
Bicycling is undergoing a renaissance in the US as millions seek a new form of exercise. While it’s an exciting time for the community, we must ensure new cyclists understand the importance of maintaining and protecting their investment. The industry’s growth won’t last if new cyclists let them rust and lose motivation when the repair bill grows too high.