Once winter is over, avid cyclists can finally get back outside and enjoy the many benefits of riding bicycles. However, after a long winter, it’s important to keep in mind that a little bit of bike maintenance will be needed before that first ride in the spring.
While some diehards ride their bikes all year long, snow or shine, the majority of riders store their bicycles in a shed or garage over the winter and don’t drag them out until spring. And much like a car or motorcycle that has sat idle for a period of time, bicycles often require a bit of tuning up before they’re ready to go. That’s why we’ve put together this checklist to help you get your bike ready for spring and ensure the safest possible ride.
Before you hit the trails or start your first commute, use this checklist as you inspect all parts of the bicycle to make sure everything is in proper working order.
Spring Bicycle Maintenance Checklist:
- Test the brakes and cables. Brake levers should snap back after letting go. Cables should not be stiff or frayed.
- Inspect the tires. Make sure the tires are inflated to the specifications on the side of the tire. Check for cuts, tears and rips. Replace if necessary.
- Spin the wheels. They should spin freely without wobbling, and no contact between them and the brake pads.
- Check the three C's. This refers to the cranks, chain and cassette. Spin the cranks, cycle through the gears and clean and lube the chain.
- Look for rust. Inspect the entire bike for rust and clean it up as best as you can. Lemon juice, vinegar, cola and steel wool are all great for removing rust.
- Lubricate. Use WD-40 to remove grime from the chain and drivetrain, but always be sure to finish by applying a little oil while moving the mechanisms and wiping away any excess.
Due to their simplistic design, most bikes don’t need a lot of attention to get going again. As long as the brakes and tires are in good shape, you should be good to go. However, if you have a bike that’s been sitting for several years, more extensive maintenance may be necessary.
Biking is a wonderful way to get exercise, help the environment and save money. Check out our article, The Benefits of Biking to Work to learn all the great reasons so many people have chosen to bike to work. But, once you’re ready to hit the road, please be conscious of your safety, aware of your surroundings and make yourself visible to other motorists.In the event you or a loved one are injured on a bicycle due to the dangerous or negligent actions of someone else, contact Hupy and Abraham right away. To do so, call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at Hupy.com.