Preparing Your Bicycle for Spring Riding

Dan Juster, Hoigaard's head bike mechanic and bicycle buyer goes over the important steps to get your bike into shape for spring.

The time is here to get your bike ready for a new year! Before heading out on this year's maiden voyage please make sure your bike is safe and ready for miles of riding fun and adventure.

FRAME: While cleaning (a clean bike is faster!) check for cracks, dents and paint chips. If you find any cracks or dents, take your bike to an experienced mechanic to get checked. Small and shallow paint chips can be fixed with touch-up paint or finger-nail polish. Have deep chips checked by a mechanic.

WHEELS AND TIRES: Inflate tires to proper pressure, inspect for cuts and/or cracks, then replace if needed. Check wheels for trueness (straight) and for loose spokes. Make sure hubs are smooth spinning without any side to side play.

BRAKES: Inspect pads (shoes) for wear or imbedded debris. Check and lube cables for smooth operation. Make sure pads hit rims and not tires or spokes.

DRIVE TRAIN: Clean and lube chain, front and rear derailleurs, gears and cables. Check chain and gears for excessive wear and damaged links of chain or gear teeth. Run through rears, adjust derailleurs and cable tension if needed. Make sure bottom bracket is tight and smooth.

CONTACT POINTS: Check seatpost and saddle, make sure nothing is loose. Check handlebars and stem as well as brake and shift levers - make sure everything is tight and the handlebars spin freely.

PEDALS AND SHOES: Make sure pedals spin freely. If using "clipless" pedals with shoes, make sure cleats are tight and not worn.

NUTS AND BOLTS: Check over bike and make sure nothing is loose - water bottle cage bolts, computer mounts, racks and lights.

TOOLS AND SPARES: Make sure your spare tube is good (not a punctured tube from last year), pump or CO2 device is in good working order, tire levers and wrenches ready to go.

With all this done, grab your helmet and go for a ride!