So this week has been a little crazy and really beautiful. Spring is here and we are getting more and more bike freindly days as a result. As we all go to grab our bikes some that have sat all winter, and some that have been ridden through the winter there are a few tips in making sure that the first fare weather ride goes awesome.
If you are getting your bike out for the first time in months make sure to check the psi in the tires before you do anything. You would be amazed at what a diffrence this little thing will make in your riding. You can find the rating for the psi on the side wall of the tire it will give you a max and a min. I like to run my skinny tired bikes (road bike, track bike, touring bike), at almost full psi and my fat tired bikes (mountain bike, beach cruiser), 5-7 psi below the recommended max.
Once you have the tires pumped up grab a rag and make that bike shine like it was new. There is something really satisying about cleaning a dirty bike, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment which makes you want to ride more. Every time you look at the bike you remeber the work you put in to getting it looking so spiffy which makes you wnat to take it for a cruise and show it off. Anyone can wipe something off, you need to get in the nooks and cranys this should be a labor of love. When you are cleaning up the bike Windex and a rag work best for cleaning muck and dirt off. For the grease and the grime WD-40 works great but comes with one warning.
DO NOT USE WD-40 AS A CHAIN LUBE, it will dry your chain out and attract a lot of stuff off the road basically ruining your drive train. To lube the chain go to a bike shop and buy actual chain lube, I prefer White Lightning, or Demonds. Now that you have chain lube you need to suspend the bike some how so you can pedal without it going anywhere. You can flip it over or come up with some ingenious way to hang the rear end up. Take a rag and run your chain through the rag. You only have to cycle threw a few times unless the chain is really bad, in which case it may take more than one rag to clean it well. Once you have all the initial gunk off of the chain take your chain lube and place the tip of it on the chain. Now pedal slowly with the tip of the bottle on the chain this will make the lube drop on to each link individualy saving lube ,and putting it in the only place it really matters. Once you have pedaled through a few times with the lube on the chain grab a clean rag, or use a clean spot on your old rag, and run the chain through the rag again. Now your chain is lubed and will not be collecting a bunch of garbage from the road.
Now that you have your tires pumped up, biked cleaned, and chain lubed get out and ride your bike. If your bike needs a little more love to get going this season follow the shop links on the side bar, or for you DIY’ers you can go to sheldonbrown.com and follow some of his in depth tutorials. Make it a good day.