by Brandon Bennett
Summer is coming which means it’s time for fun in the sun.
It is that time to put away the winter gear and get out the summer fun. What I do in my free time involves many things, but nothing is quite as fun as mountain biking the various terrains of Colorado. Before I hit the dirt road I need to make sure every item on my bike is in proper working condition. I purchased my bike at bicyclevillage.com because I am able to get a yearly tune up for free. Then, if it needs bike repairs, I get them done right away. If you don’t have that luxury, here are some easy tips before you or your kids hit the road, the hills or the trails.
- Check the bike chain for signs of wear. If it does not look in good working condition, it might be time for a change. You can clean the bike chain with a tooth brush and citrus solvent. Once you have cleaned the bike chain, add some lubricant to keep the chain in proper working condition. Each link should move freely because if there are any links that bind or pinch, replace the chain. Depending on how much you adventure out, you may need to lubricate the chain bi-weekly or monthly.
- Do the tires for proper inflation. The PSI should be labeled on the tire. If not, it’s easily available at a local bike repair shop or the internet.
- Spin the wheels to make sure they are rotating freely. Over time, all types of trails can really put a tremendous amount of abuse on the wheels. Rocks, branches, even curbs and more can cause the wheels to wobble. If it has any noticeable wobble, it might not hurt to check with a local repair shop to have them check out your hubs and spokes.
- Go over all the spokes. Make sure none are missing, bent or loose. There is a simple tool available at any bike shop to tighten them, but it needs to be done right. Over tightening can lead to as much trouble as loose spokes.
- Did you check to make sure all bolts are tightened. The seat, handlebars, lights, reflectors, mirrors… everything.
- How are the brakes. Check that the brake calipers, pads, levers or any mechanisms connected to them are not loose, bent or damaged. Simply hold the tire off the ground, spin the tire and apply the brakes while watching them. Is there any chatter or pinching that doesn’t feel or look right. If you have ANY question about brakes, always ask an expert.
And always wear your helmet and related safety gear.
One more thing… remember ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!!!
If you have any further questions or great advice we can share, let us know!
Remember, “We’re all in this together.”