By the time summer roles around you won’t want to wait to hop on your bike whenever you like. You’ll just want to get on and ride. That’s why it’s important to check out your bike before the weather gets nice.
Here are five things any cyclist should check before hoping on their bike for the first time in months:
- Tires and wheels. Before you get started the very first thing you should always check is your tires. Are they deflated? Are there any wholes in the tire or inner-tube? Are they properly secured onto the bike frame? Do they look aligned? Give you wheels a quick spin to make sure that they pass your breaks, fenders and frame without rubbing against anything.
- Brakes. Does your bike stop when you need it to? Before riding, check your break pads to see if there is any cracks or wear and tear. Squeeze your brake levers to see how quickly your breaks respond. Is there any squeaking or delay? You’ll want to get them tuned up before you take your bike for a spin.
- Chain. Are your chains clean? Are they lubed? Chains are easy to clean, simply back pedal it through a cloth to remove any build up of grease and dirt. Then apply lubricant to your chain and wipe down again. By doing this you’ll prevent your chain from picking up any unnecessary dirt and grime.
- Gears. Gears should be silent when shifted. If you hear what sounds like an old clock you definitely need an adjustment. If you notice that the gears are not clicking into place properly chances are you’ll need to make adjustments to the cable tension, or get the cable and housing on your bike replaced.
- Helmet. Before you hop on your bike check out your helmet. Make sure there are no cracks on the inner or outer lining. Make sure that the straps are securely fastened to the helmet. If you need to make your helmet more snug, try adding foam stripes to the inside. Your helmet should hit just above your eyebrows so that it protects your forehead in the event that you fly over your handlebars.
Don’t forget the adjust your seat and handle bars to make sure they are tightly secured to your frame. If you need to make any height adjustments this is also the perfect time to get fitted. If you are unsure of anything take your bike to a bike shop and get a few opinions, especially if you plan to commute to work or increase your cycling.