Summer is around the corner, pull out your bike and take a few moments to inspect things that will help you have a hassle free summer riding fun.
1 Grab a pump and put some air in your tires, generally around 50/60psi or up to 100psi on a skinny tire road bike. Check the sidewall of your tires for inflation limits. If your tires don’t hold air or look like they have glass and cuts now might be a good time to get some new tires to last you over the summer. A good high milage commuter brand to check out is the Schwalbe Marathon or a more road bike performance tire like the Continental 4 Seasons
2 Dig out your chain oil and a rag, clean your chain and apply a little oil. Clean the chain well with the rag, rotating the chain, then add a small amount of chain lube, you only need a small amount, let it settle and spin the chain around and firmly wipe off the excess. Good chain oil brands tend to be Triflow, Dumonde, and RockandRoll . DON’T use WD40 on your chain, it’s not an oil and will do more damage than good.
Try your brakes at standstill, Ensure they are working and a look at your brake pads. Are they worn down or crumbling? Now might be the time to replace them. Since there are so many styles from disc to caliper, a trip to the bike shop might be in order.
4 Check your saddle bag, does it have all the emergency supplies you need? If your spare tube has been around a couple of years it is worth inspecting or buying a fresh one – worst having a failing emergency item. Stock up on a patch kit, spare tube and a small pump or inflator. Companies like Park tools make great self adhesive patches and Pedros make great tire levers to help you fix the flat. If you need a refresher course on flat fixing, your local bike shop will more than be glad to help.
5 Get a fresh water bottle, or even better, find your one from last summer and clean it up. A little pro tip, 1/2 a handful of rice added to you bottle with a little warm water and one drop of dish soap, close the cap and shake away. The rice acts as a scrubber to get in the nooks and crannies. Rinse well and reuse your bottle. If all is lost and you do need a new one, I like this brand by Camelbak, many teams and shops also have them in customized colors.
Maybe you start riding your bike and its amazing, maybe you hear a few clicking noises of the gears, It can get technical fast, so iff there is anything not quite right, make sure you have a mechanic take a good luck at it.