Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect opportunity to go on a bike ride! Before you start riding again, it is important to learn how to take care of your bike. Safety is always a top priority and these five simple tips might help you avoid any bike maintenance issues.
Keep your bike clean
Always make sure to keep your bike clean to extend the life of your ride. Cleaning your bike helps prevent rust and grease from building up. You can use a towel, an old toothbrush, and some biodegradable soap to scrub the frame, chain, seat, and pedals.
Lubricate the drivetrain
After each ride, you should wipe off the chain of your bike. This will let the lube sink into the chain and prevent dirt buildup. You can find lube at the Campus Bike Center or at any bike shop or you can purchase some online. Feel free to check out how to properly clean and lubricate your bike chain from our friends over at BikeRide.com.
Inspect your tires
Always make sure your bike tires are properly inflated. There should be an indicator on the tire stating how much air to put into your tires. Usually, mountain bikes take 65psi, hybrids take 75 psi, and road bikes take 100 psi. If your bicycle has a puncture, you can take your bicycle to the Campus Bike Center, where they will not only fix the flat, but also teach you how to do it. While at the CBC, you can even purchase a puncture patching kit.
Make sure all screws, bolts, and nuts are tightened
This quick step can help keep your bike in great shape. If you notice some loose screws or bolts, be sure to screw them tight. It doesn’t hurt to purchase some extras in case you lose one.
Check your brakes
Brakes are very essential to ensure a safe ride. Brake pads can wear down over time and it is important to check them regularly. You can get them checked at your regular service visits or you can simply check them yourself. When riding pump the brakes, if they are soft you may need to replace them.
Now that you have some essential tips to keep your bike in good shape, you can safely enjoy your bike ride. Just in case, if you would like to check in with the professionals, please visit the Campus Bike Center at 51 E. Gregory Dr., Champaign. The Campus Bike Center is a great resource for bicyclists on campus, where they provide frequent bike maintenance classes, group rides, etc. We recently published a blog post regarding the Campus Bike Center listing all the cool stuff happening right now, which you can read here.
We have also posted some great videos about bicycle maintenance on Facebook and Twitter this week. Finally, be sure to register your bike, wear a helmet, and pay attention to traffic. If you have any questions, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
- Written by Natalie Barkowski