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How to prepare your bike for the season? Which elements should we pay the most attention to? Certainly a thorough inspection of our equipment will be useful so that it won’t let us down on the road. Of course you can take your bike to a service centre and rely on the opinion of professionals, but you can also save some money and do the preparations at home. Let’s start!
How to start preparing a bike?
A lot depends on the condition your equipment was stored in during the winter. Certainly the basic action, which we will have to take in any case, will be cleaning the equipment from dust and other contaminants. You can use specialized agents, but usually water with a small dose of dishwashing liquid will do
Is it worth washing a bike with a hose or pressure washer?
This solution is controversial. Water stream in case of such devices can be very strong, which can contribute to washing out grease from bearings. It is safer to use a brush and then a damp cloth
Maintenance of the drive train
Irrespective of whether you have used your bike in winter or stored it in a cellar or garage, you should pay a lot of attention to the maintenance of your drivetrain. It will determine the faultlessness of our equipment on the road
Bicycle chain condition evaluation
However, it may turn out that replacing the chain is a better choice than cleaning and maintaining it. We make the assessment using a caliper – the distance between two consecutive pins in the chain should not exceed 2,54 cm. With ten links it is 25,4 cm. The chain is changed when the stretch reaches 2%. When such stretch is almost 26 cm, we should change the chain for a new one.
Cleaning the chain and other components
Of course, you cannot clean the chain with water or any random product you happen to have on hand. This important activity is best done with extraction gasoline or ecological solvents based on fruit extracts. Preparing the drivetrain for the season can consist of removing it, cleaning it in batches or without removing it. In such case it is important to clean not only the outer but also the inner parts of individual chain links from dirt and remains of old grease
It is also very important to clean rear sprockets, crankset and derailleurs with brushes. Instead of brushing, you can also use a special chain cleaning machine, which combines mechanical and chemical action to get rid of dirt
How to lubricate the bike before the season?
Washing your bike and cleaning the drivetrain from dust and the remains of old lubricants is only part of preparing your equipment for the new season. Its condition in the following months will depend on whether you properly take care of the lubrication of your equipment. The right amount of grease prevents corrosion, which is responsible for the deterioration of various parts of the bike. Lubrication includes:
- shock absorber,
Tires and brakes
Also, assessing the condition of tires and brakes is important. It primarily affects our safety. In the case of tires, it is important to check whether they have cracks and whether the tread is not completely worn out. In such cases it is recommended to change the tyres. The level of pressure in the tires must correspond to the markings.
In the case of brakes, it is necessary to check whether the brake pads are still worn out (shoe brakes). For disc brakes it is necessary to carry out disc degreasing. It is done by means of extraction gasoline on a soaked cotton swab. It is also necessary to check the condition of cables, armouring and the crank mechanism. Next, we only have to adjust the drive and make sure that all screws fixing individual elements of the bike are tightened. After that you can start cycling – of course as long as the weather in early spring allows it