How to prepare the bike for the season? Practical advice
Both the bike that has stopped winter and the one that is used throughout the year require thorough inspection and servicing before the full season. If we have some technical skill, then basic cleaning and inspection can be done at home. If you do not feel confident with bicycle repairs, it's best to go to a proven service.
Tips for cyclists: inspection and cleaning of the bicycle
Cleaning is useful both for the equipment we were driving on snow and for the one that has been preserved for the winter. This is the basis for a thorough review, which will check if all the mechanisms and parts are operational - says Karol Popławski from the Comfortable Rower website. To clean the bike just warm water with soap or dishwashing liquid. - It is not recommended to clean the bicycle with high-pressure cleaners - water can get to specially sealed places such as bearings and hubs. - the service technician warns. After washing, the bike should be thoroughly dried with a soft cloth, egmicrofibre.
Efficient brakes in a bicycle - the basis for safer driving
Returning to the bicycle after the winter break should first of all take care of the safety of driving, starting from checking whether the brakes work correctly. How to do it?
- By clamping the brakes and moving the bicycle back and forth we can check whether it is not necessary to tighten the screws in the handles - the expert explains. If the wheel is rolling even when the screw is completely removed, it is recommended to pull the cable behind the brake arm.
How do you check the condition of the chain in your bike?
In bikes without gear or with gears hidden in the hub, we can easily check the condition of chain tension - literally with one finger. If we can lift it to more than 1 cm, pull the wheel backwards or replace the chain.
With a bicycle with an external transmission system, eg a mountain one, we should go to a service with a tool to measure the condition of chain wear and either to stretch it or replace it.
Cycling - benefits
Dangerous looseness in the bearings and chassis
A loose hub, i.e. a wheel axle, just like any unstressed part of a bicycle, can cause faster wear and tear, and even a dangerous accident - explains the specialist. - To check the condition of the hub, grip the frame with one hand and move the wheel from side to side with the other. Any discernible clearance is best reported immediately to the bicycle service, where it will be adjusted. Sometimes this may require replacement of used parts. Similarly, we check the operation of the connecting rod: grip the crank by the arm and move it from side to side (inside and outside the bicycle).
In the case of loosening, you need to tighten the arm or even replace the bottom bracket or the crank arm. Smooth operation of the steering bearings is also an important element of safe driving and proper maintenance of the equipment. - When tipping the bike slightly to the side, the front wheel should turn without resistance. We check the gaps by clamping the brake and moving the bicycle back, forward and sideways. Any looseness can be adjusted by ourselves, but if we do not feel it, we risk damaging the rudder bearings, which may lead to a serious dump - warns Karol Popławski. All other connections should also be checked.
Before the next season, remove any loose bolts on the saddle post, steering wheel, wheels and pedals.
How to check the condition of the wheels in the bike?
Efficient wheels are the basis for a successful start in the new season. At the beginning we check the condition of the tires - completely draining the wheels and squeezing the tire with your fingers, we can look at the texture of the rubber. The spokes are also important - if they are loose, it is a sign that they should be tightened with a special key for centering the wheels. The last step before setting off is to pump the wheels properly. If the tires bend under us more than a centimeter, it means that the pressure is too low. If disturbingly often we have to pump up the wheels it is a sign that it is worth replacing the inner tube.
If you decide to repair yourself, remember to not use tools with sharpened edges to undermine the tire - just an ordinary spoon. Proper bike preparation for the season is a guarantee of safe and pleasant driving. If we are not able to perform a full review by ourselves and we want to be sure that the bike will work without any problems, let's use the services of a professional service.
What is the cost of a bicycle review before the season?
The cost of basic regulation is about 50 dollars, more detailed service can cost 100-150 dollars. A one-off expense at the beginning of the season can save us a lot of trouble in using the equipment and further costs of additional repairs.