Spring clean your bike!
Rise and shine
If your pride and joy goes into hibernation at the end of the season, hopefully you are a diligent cyclist and make sure to give it a clean before putting it away, but it will have been living with the spiders for six months, so you'll need clean it again. This shouldn’t be too arduous, and will make completing the other checks more pleasant. You’ll feel better when you ride it too.
Once you have a lovely, clean machine it’s time to check that everything is still in working order. A workstand will help. Give the pedals, chainset, chain, derailleurs and cassette the once over. Either pop your bike in a stand or just lift the back wheel and turn the pedals to check everything is running sweetly. Inspect the chain, chainrings and cassette for signs of wear, then run up and down through your gears to ensure shifting is smooth.
Even more important than checking for smooth functioning is making sure your bike is safe to ride after all this time. Check that the brakes function, that the pads have plenty of life, that the pads have plenty of life left in them and are wearing evenly. After that, check the rims of your wheels for damage and ensure they spin freely and don’t wobble. Finally, check the wear of your tyres. If the bike has been standing all winter, look for flat spots where the rubber has been in contact with the ground. If anything needs changing, change it.
If you don’t feel confident giving your bike the once over, take it to your local bike shop where they’ll be happy to help.
Once your bike’s had some TLC, get out there and ride! After months of hiding indoors, the first ride of spring is one of the cycling year’s greatest pleasures. Post a picture on Facebook.com/RideLondon or Tweet us @RideLondon.
|Discover more great features on every aspect of cycling and get ahead of the pack with a subscription to Cycling Plus magazine. Prudential RideLondon participants can click here for an exclusive offer.