Most of you cyclists have already hit the road, taking advantage of this amazing spring we have been enjoying, but just in case you have not yet conducted your annual bike maintenance, it is not too late. You will enjoy more miles uninterrupted on the road and your bike will thank you for taking the time now to tend to these tasks.
There are always some basic checks you should do before each ride, preferably the night before so that you can take care of any issues that arise and still get on the road for that fabulous ride you have planned.
- Be sure to have spare tubes, tools, air cartridge and pump in case of flats
- Test brakes for proper “grab” and that your brake pads are in proper alignment to make contact with the rims and not the tires. Brake pads should also be in good condition.
- Check tire pressure and adjust, if needed
- Inspect tire tread for thin spots and any objects that could lead to a puncture
- Check wheel releases to be sure they are tight
- Be sure wheels are true by spinning and looking for wobbles
- Check and lube chain
If you are just pulling your bike out for the first time this season, in addition to the above, make sure to conduct these seasonal checks:
- Wipe and degrease chain and cassette cogs with a clean rag and degreaser
- Check (and replace if necessary) all cables for binding, fraying, or rust
- Check pedals and cleats to be sure there are no loose screws or bolts
- With a wrench, test and tighten crank arms, seat and post bolts, handlebar bolts, pedals and chain ring bolts.
- Maintain and lube suspension components
- Wipe clean the frame and wax to protect against rust
- Clean the drivetrain using biodegradable solvent.
- Replace brake pads and rubber brake hoods, as needed.
- Check wheels for cracks or worn tread and sidewalls.
If you are unsure how to address any of the above, check out REI’s Bike Maintenance Basics class for tips on routine care. YouTube also has endless videos to learn basic care for your ride. In no time, you will be up to speed on basic bike maintenance and taking to the road with confidence that your bike is well cared for and reliable.
If you have some helpful resources for bike care, we would love to hear them!
Featured photo source: Pixabay.com