Give your bike a little love this spring. Once the sun appears again, the gears in our brains start spinning and we begin thinking about springtime biking. But before you hit the trail or the pavement, it's important to make sure that your bike is in good health. Check out the following tips to learn how to get your bike ready for a springtime ride.
Find an open space where you can get down and dirty, and go to town. Whether your bike is muddy from a previous ride or from sitting in the garage all winter, it's important to clean it up before you take it out for a spin. If you're cleaning your bike at home, make sure to lay down a drop cloth or work on it outside. Grab your favorite bike or biodegradable cleaner, a rag and a toothbrush and have at it. Try to prevent rust by not to using too much water--a little goes a long way. Use the rag for the big areas and the toothbrush for those hard to get, tight spots.
Once your bike is squeaky clean, take a few minutes to make sure your brakes are in good shape. It should go without saying that brakes are an important system on your bike. Squeeze each brake lever and take into account what you see, hear and feel. Take a look at your brake pads and make sure they aren't totally shot or worn unevenly. Also, check to see if your brakes are aligned correctly. All the brake components should move independently, and each bolt should be tight. If you're uncomfortable working on your own brakes or they don't look up to code, bring your bike into our shop for a professional tune-up.
The sidewall of your tire should let you know what the recommended pressure is for your tires. If the psi range is wide, figure out where your happy place is by riding your bike a few times with different tire pressures. Where you ride, whether it's on pavement or trails, and your weight, can each affect what psi is right for you.
Make sure that your chain is lubricated well. Keeping your bike well-oiled helps protect and maintain it. A lubricated chain shifts better and it can prolong your drive train's lifespan. Proper lubrication can help your bike last longer by preventing unwanted friction and rust. But there is a happy medium when it comes to oiling your bike, as dirt and mud can get stuck to your bike easily if you've over lubricated it. If you've got extra bike lube after oiling it, make sure to clean it off before you ride it.
Giving your bike attention at home is a great way to get the ball rolling when it comes to springtime rides, but a comprehensive tune-up by a pro bike mechanic can go a long way toward extending the life of your bike. Our service manager has over 16 years of experience working on bikes and our shop has a quick turnaround time for tune-ups of all kinds. Give us a call today at 720-437-0638 to learn more about spring bike tune-ups!