Trail Talk

Kick Off Bike Month with Spring Maintenance

May 5, 2015   |  Categorized in ,

by Jordan Kingdon, Operations Manager, ICT, Inc.

The weather has finally broken just in time for May and National Bike Month! It’s time to ride! But first, let me share some cycling tips for the spring. It’s important to evaluate your bike and wardrobe before swinging a leg over and pedaling into the sunset.

First let’s start with your bike. The last thing you want is a bike issue on your first ride of the season. Here are some simple tasks you can do on your own to ensure a good experience.

Air Up Your Tires

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I recommend using a hand pump to inflate the tires. Using the hand pump will slowly inflate the tire and allow you to monitor the air pressure. All tires have a recommended range of pressure (PSI) stamped on the sidewall.

Clean and Lubricate Your Chain

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A quick wipe with a rag and some fresh lubricant will help keep the chain rolling smoothly. Do this outside or over an old towel, as it can get a little messy. You will need chain degreaser and lubricant. Visit your local bicycle shop to make sure you are getting the right products.

Check Your Brakes

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Checking your brakes is as easy as squeezing the brake lever extra hard. The brake should engage before the brake lever contacts the handlebar. If they are too loose, the cables need adjusted. Take the bike to your local bike shop if you don’t feel comfortable making brake adjustments on your own.

Gear Up

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Now your bike is ready to roll, but what about you? Spring weather can be tough to predict. It’s cold in the morning, warmer in the afternoon, maybe it will rain, or maybe not. It’s best to be prepared for all weather. The key to this is layering clothing to combat the cold and removing layers as temperatures rise. One of your layers should absolutely be a rain jacket.

Let’s Be Safe Out There

The days are getting longer but it’s possible that a short ride ends up being longer than expected. Be prepared with working head and tail lights. Also, you haven’t been on the road all winter. This means drivers aren’t expecting you. Remember to be predictable, wear highly visible clothing and a helmet, and obey all traffic laws. Follow these tips for a great kick off to cycling season.

Not interested in bike maintenance? Don’t forget Pacers Bikeshare which allows for unlimited 30-minute rides with an $8 day pass or $80 annual membership.

This is what I do each season, what do you do? Please leave your suggestions in the comments section. These recommendations aren’t just for serious cyclists they benefit everyone. Now is time to throw that leg over and get pedaling!