Now that the weather has turned nice, people are getting outside more. Time to get the bicycles out of storage and do a quick check to make sure they are ready to ride. So grab your channel lock pliers and a wrench or 2 and do some maintenence.
- Check out the brakes and make sure that the brake pads are worn evenly, if there are ridges, they probably need replaced. If they are ok, reconnect the cables and squeeze the brakes. Do they strike the rim at the same time? Make appropriate adjustments to make sure they are even.
- Make sure to clean your bike. Use a mild detergent such as Simple Green and a toothbrush to clean everything. Use as little water as possible. As you are cleaning, look for cracks or signs of wear.
- Lubricate the chain with a non-petroleum lubricant, petroleum products pick up a lot of dirt. Do not use WD-40, it is more of a solvent, than a lubricant. Apply lubricant so there is an even coat on the inside and outside of each link and between the pins and rollers. Leave the lubricant on for a few minutes and then wipe off any excess. All the pivot points on the front and rear derailleur should be oiled. Apply a few drops to the brake lever pivots and to the exposed brake cable.
- Clean the rims with rubbing alcohol, and check the rims for pits or grooves. Make minor adjustments as needed if the rims wobble, when spun around.
- Elevate the rear wheel and spin the pedals, shift through all gears, making sure that each gear change is smooth. Some adjustments to the rear derailleur may be necessary if a gear skips.
- Check the tread of the tires for worn knobs, uneven tread wear, or excessive wear. Replace tires if needed. There is nothing worse than having a blow out.
- Is everything tight? Check all nuts and bolts on the bike. Do not over-tighten any of the quick releases or bolts.
Now go out and enjoy the beautiful weather.