Most bike users have had their bikes locked away in the shed or the garage over these cold winter months. Now that the first signs of spring are showing and the blue skies are starting to peak out, you may feel like it’s a good time to finally fish it out. However, when bikes are out of use for a while, certain parts can become loose or worn out, and this can cause discomfort to you as a rider and in the worst-case scenario, can result in an accident. Read our new blog on how to get your bike ready for spring to make sure your bike is in perfect shape before you begin your new season riding.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
One of the most important things to check this spring is your tyre pressure. Tyres loose air pressure over time so naturally will have with time in storage. Your bike’s manufacture guide should recommend what the correct tyre pressure is for your bike, and Cycle Guard recommend that you use either a floor pump or an electric bike pump to get it back to the right level.
Adjust the Derailleurs and Shifters
Your derailleurs are in charge of ensuring that your gears shift smoothly. If it has been a long time since you last rode your bike, your derailleur may need adjusting. This is pretty easy to check, simply hang your bike upside down using a bike stand and spin the bike pedals to run through the gears to check that they shift right. Any potential adjustments can be made using a Philips-head screwdriver.
Check Your Brake Levers
Your bike’s breaks not working properly is probably one of the quickest ways to get into an accident, so it is important that your breaks are working properly. Check your brake levers to see if they engage with the brake pads correctly, your brakes shouldn’t get stuck and should bring the wheel to a full stop when riding. Any adjustments that need to be made can be done so by unscrewing the barrel adjuster slightly.
Check Your Brake Pads
It is just as important to check your brake pads as it is to check your brake levers, they should not look worn or be loose at all. Replace your brake pads if they are worn before starting your spring ventures and similarly, you can adjust the brake cables with a screwdriver if the brake pads are not close enough to the rim.
Check the Spokes
Your spokes are supposed to ensure that your wheel stay straight. If your wheels don’t appear straight you need to tighten your spokes using a spoke wrench, but make sure that you do not overtighten as this can create too much tension resulting in cracks or deformities in the rim.
Check Your Bike Chain
Over time a bike chain can become loose and there is a risk that it could fall off your bike whilst you are riding, potentially causing serious injury. To check if your bike chain has become loose over time, check the chain tension by pressing your fingers against the top of the chain, it should not be more than a couple of centimetres. If it is, then you should get your bike chain replaced.
Check Safety Gear
Your safety gear includes your bikes light and reflectors, it is extremely important to check that these still work as they can reduce the chances of you being involved in an accident whilst riding. Additionally, in the UK, after sunset it is illegal to ride your bike on a public road without bike lights.
Apply Dry Lubricant
If your bike has been in storage for a while, the moving parts of your crankset may not be working in the right way. These parts include your bike’s chainring, chain and cog. Popular Mechanics advise that this can easily be fixed by applying some dry lubricant if they do not move properly
Adjust the Bike Seat
If your bike hasn’t been in use for a long period of time, your bike seat may become loose this will likely cause you great discomfort. Be sure to tighten your seat before you set off riding again. Similarly, if your bike seat has become worn it is a good idea to replace it to avoid the same issues.
Secure the Child Seat
This does not apply to all bike riders but if you have a child seat attached to your bike it is just as important to check it as it is to check your bike seat before you set off this spring. Similarly, if the seat seems damaged or worn it would be a good idea to get it replaced before riding.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a bike accident, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors today.