If your bike has been sitting in hibernation for a while, then chances are, it’s going to need a bit of attention to make sure it’s all running smoothly and is going to keep you safe out on the roads.
Be it your first time cycling to work or returning to the weekly club run, we sat down with Elle Linton to share some tips from the team at fettle, London’s fastest growing bike repair service, to keep that first ride back trouble free:
1. Brake Check
Arguably the most important thing to check are your brakes; if you find yourself out riding and you can’t stop, then well, you’re going to be in serious trouble.
All it takes is a quick spin of the front and rear wheel, making sure brake levers are operating and actually stop you in good time. If you’re finding your brakes feel rather “squidgy” it’s often a case of misalignment, and a quick re-adjustment. If you’re finding yourself needing to grab a handful of brake to stop however, then it might be time to replace your brake pads.
2. Tyre Check
Almost all tyres have a recommended pressure written on them, as a general
guide try to ensure they are pumped up within this pressure - you’ll be faster, comfier and
less likely to pick up a puncture.
It’s also worth inspecting them for wear/weathering; check for cuts, cracks, and flat-spots (imagine your tyre is going bald ) to avoid an unwanted puncture when you’re out on the road!
3. Chain Check
Taking care of your drivetrain will not only give you a smoother ride, but will make your whole drivetrain last longer, saving what can be a costly replacement.
Simply applying lube to your chain regularly, and making sure there’s no rust to be seen is one of the best habits a cyclist can get into!
To check you chain wear you can either buy a fancy chain wear gauge or rather simply try pulling your chain away from the chainring - if it comes away and you can see the teeth - then sorry, but it’s time for a new chain.
4. Gear Check
The bane of many a cyclist's life is a soundtrack of squeaky, clicky gears.
If this is the case, then it can sometimes be solved by simply indexing your gears which can
be done either by yourself if you’re feeling confident, or by a good bike mechanic.
Believe us, your riding partners will be thankful of this.
You also want to check your derailleurs change safely, so when you’re at the traffic lights things don’t jam up. Fun fact; some SRAM derailleurs lock out to make getting your wheel in and out a tad easier - something that never ceases to surprise some of our customers...
5. Final Safety Check
If you’ve ever watched a pro bike race you may have seen a few superstitions before the start; check your QR skewers are done up and wheels are on securely - the last thing you want when riding along is the wheels to fall-off, quite literally.
Another super-important check is that your steering is nice and secure. Make sure to
check the bolts on the handlebars are tight. Then, rock the bike back and forth while
applying the front brake, if you can feel any movement it might be that your headset is
6. Ride away happy!
You can find the original post as seen on keepitsimpelle.com here.