Springtime Bicycle Tune Up
Get your bike ready to 'handle' the season
Nicer weather is on the horizon, and it’s time to take your bicycle out of winter storage! Before you hit the trails, you’ll want to make sure everything is tuned up and your bike is safe to use. We’ll walk you through all the components you should inspect, tighten, and lubricate to ensure you have an enjoyable cycling season.
Give the front and rear brake levers a squeeze and check to ensure that the brakes are engaging properly. You should inspect your brakes before every ride, not just at the start of the season.
One of the most critical components of your bicycle is the chains, so it’s important that they are properly maintained. You will want to use a good lubricant, ideally one that has an adhesive quality so that it doesn’t drip, along with one that resists moisture.
Next, you’ll want to check the cone bearings for your crank, to make sure that they aren’t too loose. To do this, you just take a hold of the pedals and give them a wiggle back and forth. If you feel that there is too much give in the crank bearing, they’ll need to be tightened up. There are special tools to do this, but if you don’t own them, you’ll need to take your bike to your local bike shop.
The steering head has a bearing at the top and bottom, and you’ll want to check to see if there’s any wiggling. Just like the crank bearings, if you don’t have the specialized tools to tighten this up, your local bike shop can take of this for you.
Parts of your bike like the pivot points and cables will need lubrication, but you want to be mindful of the pieces that you don’t want to grease up. Make sure you cover up the brake pads and edge of the rims so that you don’t wind up lubricating the brake pads by mistake.
Don’t forget to inspect the seat post! This part is supporting you, so it’s important to ensure the post is tight and the seat is straight. You can use a wrench to tighten everything up to ensure it won’t slip on you.
Tires and Wheels
This is where the rubber meets the road! Check the side of your tire to find out what the recommended pressure is, then you’ll want to check that your tires are fully inflated. Don't forget to put the valve cap back on once you’re done filling your tires.
You don’t want to have a wheel flying off your bike mid-ride, so give your axle bolt a look over. Give the front and back bolt a check and tighten them if necessary.
The last area we want to talk about is the safety gear for your bike, which is just as important as the other components. You want to make sure that reflectors are attached, especially the back reflectors for those coming up behind you. If you have a bell or horn, check to make sure it is secured to your handle and works properly. Don’t forget your helmet before hitting the road!
There you have it, from head to tires, you and your bike are safe and ready to ride! A bit of preventive maintenance can help ensure you enjoy many years of cycling adventures. Stay up to date with our DIY and how-to videos by subscribing to our YouTube channel.