No matter your favorite type of ride, your bicycle will benefit from a good once-over prior to any use. It should have a thorough maintenance check and tune up once a year, with a standard maintenance check prior to any ride throughout its use. Checking tires for rot or leakage, oiling the chain and cleaning the frame are all important basic preparations for your first ride of the season. Tools for a more thorough bike check would include metric allen wrenches, metric open-end wrenches, cone and headset wrenches; a spoke wrench for ensuring the spokes are secure, and a bike stand or brace to stabilize your bike during its tune-up. Ask Greg at Bicycle Barn about a well-equipped tool set for your bike’s maintenance.
Begin your bike’s tune up by turning it over, seat down, on a protected surface. It’s best to remove the brakes and wheels first as this provides for easier access for frame cleaning and wheel checks. Clean sprockets using a dry rag. A damp rag with a mild soap can be used but should be avoided if possible. Use a dry tooth brush for in between areas where dirt and grime can collect. With a truing stand, check your spoke tension and wheel alignment. This will ensure a smooth ride on safe and steady wheels. If you don’t have a truing stand at home, check with Greg at Bicycle Barn for help in getting your wheels ready for spring.
Clean your frame with a soft, damp cloth dipped in a mild cleanser. Then check the entire frame for small dents or cracks that could lead to further breakage and accidental flips while riding. Inspect your shift cables and brakes for wear and tear. If worn, these must be replaced to avoid accidents. Lubricate the cable housings and wipe away any excess to avoid gumming up of the parts. Inspect your bike’s headset and bottom bracket to ensure they are not loose and can move easily. Loose bolts should be checked for stripped threads and replaced if needed. Tighten as needed but make sure to not over-tighten as this could lead to fractures or breaks in the bolts or their stems.
Ask Greg at Bicycle Barn about repairs, parts and getting your bicycle ready for those great spring rides.
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