A beginners guide to getting your ride back on the road.
So you’ve spotted your bike hidden in the back room. You’ve remembered how much time you spent on that thing. The good times with friends, the near misses and lost skin. Why don’t you get back on it? Why don’t we help you find your cycling love again? Let’s start with a few of the basics.
Cleanse your bike and your soul.
A well-maintained bike is a happy bike! Not only does a clean bike look better, but parts will also perform at their peak performance when fresh and clean. They will also wear slower and save you money on replacements. Some soap water, a couple of rags and an old toothbrush will do the job. Giving your bike a freshen up will also work wonders for your motivation.
Pump up the volume.
Inflate your tires till they feel hard to the touch, or to the recommended pressure your tire suggests. For a safe ride, the wheels should spin freely and run true. You’ll need some professional advice if the wheel is missing a spoke or the tire is visibly damaged, cracked or showing signs of wear. When in doubt, we are always available to lend you our bicycle knowledge.
Stop! It’s braking time.
Brakes are the single most important part of safety on a bike. They should not rub the rim when released and make full and even contact with the rim when pulled. If the rubber on your brakes is worn down, it’s time for new brake pads. If you can easily squeeze your brake levers down to your handlebar and they don’t snap back with force, they need to be tightened. You may even be due for a bike service if this is the case.
Don’t grind your gears.
Turn your bike upside down or lift the rear wheel to manually shift through your gears while turning the pedal with your other hand. Watch for any signs of wear or damage on the chainrings and rear wheel cassette. Chain links can become tight when left unattended for long periods of time. Smooth running gears can mean the difference between enjoying your first ride back and throwing your bike in a paddock and calling an uber for a ride home.
Lube makes everything better.
If your chain is loose or rusty, head to the bike shop for a replacement. A worn chain will prevent effective, and you won’t be doing your chainrings any favours. If the chain is just dirty or dry, clean off the muck with a rag and some degreaser and lightly lubricate the chain with some chain oil. We can recommend several of our top brands to help you with that. Once you’ve applied the lube, let it sit for a moment before wiping the excess off.
Well almost. You’ve completed your bicycle repair. There’s only one thing left for you to do. You’ve spent months, maybe even years making every excuse to not ride your bike. Maybe it’s the weather, The kids or the ever popular “I just don’t have time.” Push them all to the side because it is time to ride your damn bike! Forget the excuses and go feel the wind in your hair. Go chase the rush of adrenaline when push past what you thought was possible. Most importantly, go enjoy yourself! That’s all we want for our customers and it’s the reason we keep showing up for work each day at The Angry Butcher.