Now that the cold weather has subsided, many of us begin to get the “itch”. That “itch”, quite simply, is to get outside and get some much needed fresh air and exercise. Bike riding is something everyone can enjoy when the weather is warm, but once there is a chill in the air, it seems less than interesting to a non racer or die hard enthusiast. Usually, the average bicycle owner believes that once the weather gets warmer it’s time to grab their bicycle and immediately go for a spin. Well, hold your hobby horse for a second, and first, think about the bike!
Not everyone owns a modern or newer model bike, and that’s okay. Having an older bike means you’ve found a steed that can stand the test of time, and could never be replaced. But, before she sails again for another season of memorable riding, take a moment to inspect your machine. There are a few things you can do at home as a “pre-ride” check to insure your ride is safe and enjoyable. Start by looking from the front of the bicycle and work your way to the back. Ask yourself if your bike has any of the following symptoms:
1) Do the tire tubes hold air, are there cuts or holes in the tires?
2) Do the brake pads look worn, are the brakes tight?
3) Do the wheels spin without wobbling, are the brake and shift cables frayed
4) Do the handlebars and stem seem tight, are the wheel skewers or bolts tight?
5) Do you need to replace your grips or bar tape?
6) Do your pedals spin freely, is your chain dry or rusty?
Don’t have a panic attack if any of these symptoms are present on your bike. You should, however, take your bike to The Caffeinated Cyclist, to get it properly working again. The right tune-up, along with the recommended replacement parts can get you back out on the road or the trail quickly. If you want to get a hands on experience of some preventative maintenance you can do at home; join us at the shop Friday March 18th from 6:30-8pm. We will also be showing you how to properly change a flat tire, something everyone should know how to do! So remember, before you begin to roll down the driveway for your next ride this spring, stop and think about the bike!