Get your bike ready for spring – in just 6 steps!
Winter is finally coming to a close and it’s probably safe to say spring has sprung. Time to free those neglected bikes from their cobwebs and show them the light of day! However, before taking to the saddle, make sure to run a thorough check before riding into the sunset.
We’ve put together a checklist of 6 steps to whip your bike into shape. And don’t worry – these fixes are easy, even if you’re a bit on the mechanically challenged side.
Step 1: Clean
Roughly clean the bicycle frame with a brush before wiping it down with a sponge and lukewarm water and then drying it off. If your bike is caked with dirt, try using a high-pressure cleaner at a distance of at least 30cm. Dirt caught in the chain is best removed with a designated chain cleaner.
Step 2: Grease
Particularly the suspension fork, shock absorbers, break and shift cables as well as the chain and driving parts need to be greased. As regards the last two, less is more. So use the chain oil sparingly. Your best bet is to run the chain through a dry cloth after you’ve oiled it. To refresh those colours and make your trusted bike shine, apply a protective spray – it preserves bicycle parts and acts as a water-repellent.
Step 3: Screws
Check the screws on the handlebars, stem, cranks and chain rings and tighten them if required. If you have a carbon bike, you should pay particular attention to the torque. Make sure to check all other moveable parts, too.
Step 4: Pump
Check your tire pressure – the ideal pressure is usually indicated on the tire in Bar/PSI. Pump the tires if required. Also make sure to check the suspension fork and shock absorber pressure.
Step 5: Brakes
Check the brake power and sensitivity of the brakes. If the brake power is unsatisfactory, the brake pads may have to be replaced. Weak disc brakes means the brakes may have to be vented.
Step 6: Lights
Is the front and backlight still working? You may have to replace the batteries or the light itself. If your bike has a good old-fashioned dynamo system, check the light cables if one of the lights is not working.
Equipped for small emergency repairs
No matter how well prepared your bike is for the start of the season, you may still have to carry out the odd emergency repair at a later stage. For this reason, it is best to have a repair kit with all basic tools in your saddle bag. More advanced hobby mechanics should also consider equipping their bike with a hand pump and a replacement inner tube.
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