It is finally warmer outside, and I am so excited to get my bike out of the dark basement and onto the big road. But wait, I might be ready to go, but my best friend-bicycle doesn’t seem up to the part. The tires are flat, the seat doesn’t seem right, and don’t let me get started on the dust. That is not the way to open the season, so let’s discuss what do we need to get our bikes ready for another great season of riding.
STEP 1: Clean
Clean bike lives longer, and so do its parts. Set some time aside for a detail clean – it might take a while: use an old toothbrush, a towel, and a basic cleaner. Go over all the metal parts, pedals, brakes, and seat with as little water as possible. Remove the seat post, clean it, and put a small amount of bicycle grease before you attach it back
STEP 2: Check Your Brakes
Like with all other moving things, the breaks are crucial and just like the car brakes, they wear out from time to time. Look at the brake pads with a flashlight and replace them if they show signs of excessive wear. Also, squeeze the brake lever on your handlebars and make sure that the brake pads hit the rim. You might need to adjust the brakes if they don’t.
STEP 3: Check Your Wheels
The Wheels keep you stable – give them some love! Clean the wheels with rubbing alcohol and a clean, dry cloth and check them for any damage. Spin the wheel in the air and see if it goes smoothly without wobbling. Damaged wheels will shorten the lifespan of other bike parts. If the damage is excessive – replace the tires and if the rim is wobbly, take it to a bike shop to fix it.
STEP 4: Check The Tires
Check your tires for splits, cracks or tears and pay close attention to the parts that touch the ground and excessive wear. Riding with damage can be dangerous.
STEP 5: Cables
Check the cables that connect the shifters and brakes on the handlebars to the derailleur and brake pads. If you see the damage, rust or cracks, have them replaced at the shop.
STEP 6: Lubricant
Proper lubrication helps efficiency and extends the lifespan of your parts. Apply lubricant evenly to the chain while slowly rotating the pedals in a counterclockwise direction. Also, apply it to any moving parts and any exposed cable wire. Wipe off excess oil with a clean towel.