The days are getting warmer and the bikes are coming out of hibernation. That means it’s time to dust off your bicycle, get some air in your tires, and hit the road. Spring is the perfect time for a bike ride, but cyclists should make sure they’re ready before they hit their first pedal. If you haven’t been on the bike since last season, here are seven things you should do before you take to the streets!
Getting the Bike Ready for Your First Ride
The first thing you should do before gearing up for a bike ride is getting your bike out of storage and back into the sun. That means giving it a thorough inspection, checking for any loose bolts or screws and making sure everything is in working order. You should also check the air pressure in your tires and make sure you have portable pump and spare tubes with you when you hit the road.
Check the Tires and Brakes
The most important part of any bike ride is safety. Make sure that your tires are inflated and that you have functioning brakes on your bike. If your tires are low, fill them up with air from a pump or take them to the nearest gas station to fill them up with air. And make sure your brake cables aren’t snapped or frayed before you head out for a ride!
Lubricate the Chains
Every cyclist should do an oil change before they start cycling again. Whether you’ve been on the bike all winter or not, your bike’s oil lubricates the chain and keeps it running smoothly. Oil breaks down over a period of time and needs to be changed out to keep your bike in tiptop shape.
Check the Bicycle Chain
Your bicycle chain is the heart of your bike, so it’s important to keep in good shape. A rusty chain will not shift well, and can also cause damage to other parts of your bike. Before you go for a ride, use a chain lubricant to smooth out any kinks in your chain. You should also replace any worn-out links or pins before you get on the road. It’s also important to make sure your derailleur adjustment is right for the gear you want to be in (for example, if you want to be in a low gear). If the shifting isn’t working well, adjust the cable tension until it does.
With longer days and warmer weather, it’s easy to see why so many people are opting for bikes over cars as a mode of transportation. It is worth taking the time to check your bike before you go for your first ride of the year.