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Bike Maintenance

To ensure you have the safest and smoothest ride, perform regular maintenance on your bike. The ABC Quick Checklist developed by the League of American Bicyclists is a great guide to follow.

Air: Tires should feel hard. Written on the side of the tire will be the recommended pressure. Tires should be replaced if they have large cuts, bald spots or cracked areas.

Brakes: Make sure that when spun forward rims don’t rub on brake pads. Squeeze each brake lever; there should be more than an inch of space between the brake and the handlebar when squeezed. Brake pads should make full contact with the rim and not touch the tire or spokes. Both sides of the break should return equally when levers are released. Brake pads should have more than a quarter inch of rubber, if less-pads need to be replaced.

Chain, cassette, and cranks: On single-speed bikes chains should be tight. Chains should be lubricated every 5-10 bike rides. Make sure your crank and chain ring bolts are tight. Rotate the crank to make sure the chainrings are straight. You should measure your chain once a year. 12 links should measure no more than 12 1/8 inches pin-to-pin. If you need to replace the chain, replace the worn chain and cassette at the same time; new shins will not work with old cassettes.

Quick release: The quick release should be in the closed position. To adjust, release it and tighten or loosen the nut to give resistance. It will not tighten like a nut and bolt.

Check: Twist the stem, brake and shift levers, handlebar, and seat to make sure they are tightly secured. Shake the wheels and crank sideways to check for loose hubs and bottom bracket bearings. Lift the bike an inch and drop it to locate any rattling parts. Go for a quick cycle to make sure everything is working properly.