Spring is finally here! I’ll never get tired of saying that when the temperature finally reaches fifty degrees every year. I am always itching to get out on my bike without spending twenty minutes getting dressed. Now it takes 5 minutes and I do some extra laundry due to spring’s sloppy conditions. It is a wonderful and welcome change for me and my bike, despite the mess.
With the change of seasons comes a change in care for bikes, too. The winter bike needs to be cleaned of all the mud and salt before it begins to corrode all the nooks and crannies of the bike. It is so exciting to get on the spring or summer bike that most people forget to tend to their winter bikes in this way. Let me tell you: from personal experience, you do not want to wait to do this! Get your winter bike in for a complete overhaul. Your bike will be stripped down to the frame, cleaned thoroughly, and rebuilt with new grease, lubricant, and much needed worn out parts will be replaced. It will be like a new bike again. By doing this in the spring, rather than autumn when you are ready to use it again, you give your bike several more years of life and reliability, and you won’t miss a day of riding when you are ready to switch bikes again. If this is your only bike, you will lose a couple days of riding while the shop is doing the work, but I can not stress enough how much more important this overhaul becomes to you and your bike. The other benefit to having a professional mechanic overhaul your bike is that she has her eyes and hands on your bike from front to back and top to bottom. If there is a crack or hole in your bike that shouldn’t be there, chances are very high that she will find it. Finding these hazards early will help prevent future catastrophic events.
When it comes to getting out on the spring or summer bike, the same recommendations apply. If you took the time to give your bike the cleaning and tuning it may need in the autumn, then all you really need to do is inflate your tires to your desired pressure and lubricate your chain after it has been sitting all winter. It might have accumulated dust and cobwebs. Wiping these off is a good idea and your bike will shine in the sunlight. If you did not tune your bike before you put it away for the winter, get your bike in to a shop for a spring tune up and maybe a cleaning, too. Again, your mechanic will be able to identify any issues with your bike at that time.
As always, keeping your bikes clean and well tuned will extend the life of your bike. By doing preventative maintenance, it will remain a reliable vehicle to you and you need not miss out on any early spring adventures!