The winter is the perfect time to putz around your garage and work on all of those small projects that you don’t want to do during the fun months! Easy bike maintenance is one of those little jobs that you can quickly accomplish right now. We like to refer to them as the ABC’s of bike maintenance.
A: Air your tires – low tire pressure can make your bike feel slow on the straights and sketchy in the turns. Not to mention, running too low of pressure can lead to rim, tube (if you run them), and tire damage from a rock strike or over time. If you look at your tire, it should tell you what pressure to run, but you’re unable to find it, bicycling.com has this handy guide about all things related to airing up your tires.
B: Brakes – you do not want to get excited to take your first bike ride since winter only to realize that you’re brakes are soft (or non-existent). Check your brakes at home to make sure they are still sharp! If you notice some lag or squishy feeling when you pull the levers on your hydraulic brakes, they probably need a bleed. If you have cable pull brakes and notice they don’t feel firm and decisive, you might need to adjust the cable tension or replace the brake pads.
C: Chain – this is the easiest of all the ABC’s! Is your bike chain dry? Lube it. That’s it! This very quick item to check will keep your chain and gears from rubbing abrasively, causing damage over the long-term.
While it is good to check these before spring riding, these three things are so quick and easy that you really should do a fast check of them before every ride. It could save you many headaches when you’re on the trails. As always, if you don’t want to do the maintenance yourself, you can bring your bike to us! Our mechanics are top notch and can get your bike in working order. In addition to the ABC’s of bike maintenance, winter is a great time to have your entire bike safety checked and fully serviced. Stop in to see the guys in the back to refresh your bike.