1: TIRE INFLATION
Just like with a car, bike tires need to be inflated to the correct pressure. If it’s too low your bike will not ride correctly, your tire and rim can be damaged. The pressure is listed on the sidewall of your tire and you’ll need a pressure gauge. Most bike shops offer free fill-ups of you drop by. If you fill up your tire only to have it flatten quickly you have a leak in your innertube. Being able to fix a flat can be a very handy skill to have and can make you a popular and appreciated person out on the bike trail!
2: CHAIN CARE
The chain is a critical component of any bike. It is what keeps you moving unless you are coasting downhill, and if you don’t have handbrakes it’s also your brakes! A clean and lubricated chain is a HAPPY chain! If you have gears you will also want to make sure they are clean and lubricated as well. Grab a rag and wipe off any gunk that has accumulated and then apply a lubricant made for bicycles. Please Note: Regular WD-40 IS NOT a lubricant, but it is a good degreaser. If you like WD-40, they do make one for bikes.
Handbrakes are just as critical on your bike. If they are not adjusted correctly, or if the pads are old or worn you are putting yourself at risk (or anyone else who rides your bike). Brakes can have adjustments on the levers as well as by the tire. in general, you want the hand lever to pull only halfway toward the handlebar when applying the brakes. If you don’t know the last time the brake pads where replaced it would be a good idea to get new ones.
It’s easy and inexpensive to put together a small tool kit for your bikes. With the correct wrenches, it’s a quick process to check every nut and make sure it’s snug. You don’t want to apply too much pressure but make sure nothing is loose.
Having a seat that is in good condition and adjusted correctly can make a huge difference in the ride of your bike. Too low and you’ll be working too hard to pedal, too high and pedaling will be inefficient and your center of gravity may make turning quickly unsafe.
Coastal Cruisers has a full-service bike repair shop. If you need help maintaining, servicing, assembling, accessorizing or repairing your bike just bring it by and we’ll take care of you!