The chief master of bicycle service talks about how to prepare a bike for the beginning of the season and what to check first. He even drew a bicycle device – for those who are preparing to leave the road for the first time. Give him the word.
Finally, the heat comes, and most of us get our bicycle from winter storage to enjoy speed and freedom again. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks that their iron horse needs care as much as living. Yes, he is ready to patiently stand the whole winter, filled up with things, but before the season, in order to please the owner with flawless work, he needs some love.
How to prepare for cycling
It is necessary to sensibly assess the consequences of what can happen if the bike needs to be adjusted and repaired. So check the following points:
- If your bike is equipped with hydraulic brakes, inspect them to see if the fluid has leaked from them. Even if the leak is insignificant, and the brakes continue to work, fluid can get onto the pads and the disc, braking can become completely ineffective and cause serious injuries to both the rider and bystanders.
- Check the tires if there are cracks on the sides: when inflating and, accordingly, the pressure rises, the tire may disperse, and the chamber may explode. Nothing bad will happen, but fear is provided 🙂
- Shirts of brakes (if you have mechanical brakes) and gear changes, in most cases, are not protected from water in any way, and gradually moisture and oxygen do their job – everything oxidizes, the cables can no longer walk freely in shirts, braking loses its smoothness, and speeds switch badly or stop switching altogether. In such cases, it is necessary to replace the cables and, what many do not even guess, to make the shirts of brakes and gearshifts (all the oxide remains inside and the new cable will become unusable very quickly). Many come to us with a request to replace bad brakes, and then they leave happy, just after replacing cables and shirts. Remember, the more often you take care of a bicycle, the longer it will take before you have to buy some parts.
- Brake pads are gradually erased; they need to be periodically adjusted for more uniform wear and improved braking.
- Gear shifting also needs to be adjusted, even if your bike was standing in a dry and warm place, and the cables were replaced after the autumn mud – during the winter they most likely stretched, and now they need to be tightened again.
- Hold both brakes tightly and swing the bike back and forth. No backlash should be felt and noises are heard. If sounds are audible, especially if it is the sound of a metal, it is necessary to find out their reason – riding may be unsafe.
- Lift your bike behind the wheel or the saddle and shake the wheels to the right or left one by one, if you feel any play or any clicks are heard, the wheels need cleaning, lubrication, and adjustment of the sleeves. Check the spokes – they must be well stretched, and if the bike is equipped with rim brakes, eights must be removed so that the rim does not rub on the brake pads when the brake is not clamped.
- Rock the pedals – they also have bearings, and they occasionally, but need adjustment, cleaning, and lubrication.
- Scroll the bicycle crank to the 3 o’clock position (if you approached the bike on the left side) or 9 o’clock (if from the right), shake the crank relative to the rear lower frame feather – there should not be the slightest backlash. This is a crucial point – if the backlash is strong, it would be more sensible to stop further operation without diagnostics.
- Everyone knows that you need to lubricate the chain, but many believe that there is no need to clean it. This misconception leads to the accumulation on the chain, sprockets, and switches of a huge amount of dirt, their failure, and even dirty clothes with engine oil are unpleasant. Also, once a season, it is necessary to measure the chain with a special caliber in order to determine the degree of its stretching and catch the moment when it must be replaced before it starts to spoil the asterisks.
- And finally, you need to take the hexagons and check whether the bolts for removing the steering wheel, steering column, gears, and brakes, clamping the seat and seat post are tightened.
Best road cycling tips – Who wish to continue cycling in winter? Maybe this is your best resource-
We hope that the tips contained in this article will help you prepare your bike for the season, and it will give you only joy and health!