Spring (Bicycle) Cleaning

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Tim Kelley Tweet Us @BikeArlington@BikeArlington March 18, 2013

Tim Kelley is the former BikeArlington Operations Manager.

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Spring cleaning isn't just for the home! See what you need to do to make sure your bike is ready for the road this spring.

Getting ready for your first ride of the spring and haven’t ridden since the spring? If your bike was in good working condition when you put it away then chances are there isn’t that much that needs to be done to get it rolling again.

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We have a few maintenance tips before you roll out to see the cherry blossoms. These are the basics–depending on how your bike was stored over the winter (I hope you didn’t leave it out in the rain and snow!) and how much riding you do each year–your bicycle may need slightly more attention, but be sure to check these areas:

  • Tubes/Tires: Flat tires are probably the biggest issue. But don’t worry, there probably isn’t anything wrong–keep in mind that rubber is porous so flat tires after a period of inactivity is normal–nothing a floor pump can’t remedy. Good as new! Be sure to check your tires for cracks (rubber dries and deteriorates over time, so a preseason inspection is always a good idea). If your tires are healthy, inflate your tubes to the recommended pressure, which is printed on the sidewall of your tire. Stay within the recommended range; if you’re too low, you risk pinch flats. If you’re too high, the ride may be harsh and the tire could pop.
  • Chain/Drivetrain: don’t start the year with a dirty or dry drivetrain. Lubricate your chain with a bicycle-specific lube and use a rag to clear the excess lube and accumulated debris. The lube will help to free any dust or dirt that has collected on the drivetrain over the winter, and removing the excess lube will help you to avoid picking up unnecessary road debris as you ride.
  • Everything else: check your brakes and cables to make sure that everything. Make sure that your crankset and quick release hubs are tight, and that there are no mysterious rubbing or vibrating noises emanating from your bicycles as you take a test ride.

If you’re experiencing any usual issues or have questions about bicycle maintenance, stop by one of Arlington’s many local bike shops. See you out on the bike trails and in the bike lanes!

Photo Credit:

Sam Kittner/Kittner.com

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