Saturday, February 11, 2012

spring riding starts soon, so it's tune up time now!

Fresh snow outside today. This will not prevent spring from arriving shortly.

This means you should tune up your bike now. Beat the spring rush when the first dry warm spring day arrives and every fred in the world wants her bike tuned up down at the local bike shop.

Why are tuneups important? Your bike will give you lots and lots of loyal service and love and fun, for many many years, but in return you have to give it a bit of love.

Like any good relationship, you must have a dialog or communication with your loved one (here we your bike) which at at the minimum is knowing how your loved one is feeling and if he/she/it is in need of any special care.

Dialog with your bike involves submitting your bike to an inspection. (We do not recommend this approach to any of your human loved ones) You should become familiar with the subject of the bike-inspection.

The simplest form of bike inspection is the pre-ride bike inspection.

Why is that important? Because that little bolt on the floor might belong to the brakes!

What's a pre-ride bike inspection?

Before each ride, perform a safety check of your bicycle. It just takes a minute, will help prevent some accidents, prevent pissing off your riding partners, and remove another of the possible causes of epic adventures. There's nothing wrong with epic adventures, they just shouldn't be caused by needing to walk home because you didn't have a patch kit to fix a flat because your tire was showing obvious signs of end-of life (cracks, cuts, and the rubber worn down to the inner fabric.)

Pre-Ride Safety Inspection

  • Check the tires for proper inflation (marked on the side of the tire). Check the tire treads for excessive wear or other damage, such as embedded glass or other objects.

  • Check the brakes. Spin the wheels to check for rubbing and then apply the brakes to ensure they stop the bike smoothly and evenly. Check the brake pads for excessive wear.

  • Check the cables and housing to make sure there is no fraying or splitting.

  • Check the wheel quick release levers to ensure they are secure.

  • Check for any loose parts or other mechanical problems.

  • Do a slow-speed ride and inspect bicycle, brakes, and shifting before you leave your driveway.

Click here for the full google search of"pre-ride bike inspection."

We had a scenic rest stop a this farm.

Because a tiny wire gave us a flat.

The bike had just come out of the bike repair shop, where lots of tiny pieces of tire-puncturing wire exist, and one hitched a ride home on the tire. This is not the first time bad news happens after we leave the bike shop. We clearly should have spotted it it in our pre-ride inspection.


small wire, big annoyance

Post ride inspection: if you fix your bike after you ride it, it will be ready to go the next time you want to ride. This avoids delays in getting outside on your bike when the weather and your inner voice tell you "let's ride!" But, it takes discipline and will power. Good luck!


If you aren't motivated to do a bike inspection then how about a Fish Story? we recommend this Fish Story movie. The full Fish Story song is here.


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