It may not seem like it right now, but spring isn’t far off. It won’t be long before the pleasant weather and longer days prompt you to dig out your bike from the basement or garage for the first warm ride of the year. Before you head out, though, it’s important to inspect your bike for damage and wear. Even if you plan on taking your bike to a repair shop for a tune-up, you should give it a once over and a good scrub down so you can let them know what needs to be fixed.
Here’s the short list of things you should check before your first spring bike ride.
Clean Your Bike. Clean bikes ride faster, last longer and, of course, look better. Take the time to thoroughly clean your bike and inspect all parts for damage and extreme wear. If you find cracks, major dents or a part that needs to be replaced bring your bike into a shop.
Inspect the Brakes. There is an indicator line on brake pads that will show you when they get too low for effective use. If your brakes are wearing down pick up new ones from the shop. Be sure to check for debris in the brake pads too and test the whole brake system before taking off on your first ride.
From the Drive Train to the Handlebars, Ensure Everything is on Tight but Moves Freely. Check your chain and gears, add lube. Make sure everything from the handlebars down to the pedals moves freely but stays in place. Remove the seat post, clean in there and add grease, when left for long periods of time the seat post can rust to the frame.
Check Tires. Inflate tires to the right pressure and check for cracks or gashes and replace if damaged. Make sure wheels sit straight and that none of the spokes are broken.
Double Check Your Gear. Make sure the spare parts and repair kit you keep on-hand are in working order. If anything is missing or damaged buy it now rather than when you really need it.