Preseason Check & Tune

Holy buckets, it’s March already! Weather depending, most of us are going to go for our first several rides this year. After having sat all Winter, or out trampling the snow and ice, our bikes need a little TLC to maintain their reliability. As you spring clean your home, I encourage you to give your bicycle(s) a little extra love. Here are some cleaning habits I have and hope you do too!

After sitting all Winter:

  • Wipe down the frame of the bicycle and clear any dust or dirt and grease from last season with a damp rag. If there is some beverage residue on your frame, it’s good to clean that up as well. Don’t be afraid to use a degreaser if you need to. Follow this up with some frame polish or wax to protect that pretty paint job! I love Pedro’s Bike Lust or Giant’s Liquid Silk.

  • Clean your transmission bits. Use Pedro’s Chain Pig and their Citrus Degreaser to clean your chain, cassette, derailleurs, and chainrings. Park Tool makes a set of brushes to make this an easy process. Remember to properly re-lubricate your chain after cleaning!

  • Tires: make sure they are free of any debris and pump them up to the appropriate pressure as indicated on the sidewall of the tire. If you are running a tubeless set up, make sure your tires are sealed. It’s good to remove the tires from the rim once a year to clean and reseal them. When your tires sit for a period of time, sealant can dry in a clump at the bottom of your wheel. After cleaning, reseat your tires, add sealant, and inflate the tires according to your tire’s recommendation and ride performance preference.

  • Check your brakes. Make sure they are performing their duty to your safety. Make sure your braking surfaces are clean and be sure your brake pads are adjusted properly. Check to be sure they actually stop the wheel from turning. That’s kinda the whole point, right?

  • Double check any bolts for tightness. Make sure they are torqued correctly. Check accessories, too! Make sure your wheels are clear of fenders, racks, bags, straps, lights, and anything else you include on your bike.

  • Consider a tune-up at County Cycles!

Doing these will help you to look over your bike and inspect for any damage or other issue. Sometimes bringing your bike to a professional is the way to go for that. When we do any maintenance or repairs on your bike, we are checking for these as well, and can let you know if something is dangerous to drive.

After riding all Winter:

  • Please overhaul your bike! Winter temperatures along with the salty chemicals from the roads are severely damaging to even the tiniest pocket of space on and inside your bike. In an overhaul, your bike stripped down to just the frame and EVERYTHING is touched, cleaned, reinstalled with new grease (for protection as well as lubrication), and readjusted for perfection. Bearings, cones, and other damaged parts are identified and replaced at this time as well. It is truly the best thing you can do for your bike to help it last decades.

Yes, County Cycles is here to help! Please give us a call or bring your bike in for a visit if you have any questions. For any ladies who are interested in learning more, I am teaching a Women’s Maintenance Clinic on March 30 beginning at 5:00. Join us!