For those of us who bike to work, it’s clear that riding around is more than a hobby. Biking is something that can improve your mental and physical health. It can become a way of life, because to do it right takes commitment. You need to learn the best and fastest bike routes, have all the right gear and look out for traffic wherever you go.
But, besides all this, you are also going to want to keep your bike in tip-top condition. When you are out there getting around, you want to be covered to ensure the safest ride you can. Let’s take a look at some top maintenance tips for anyone out there biking around.
- Test the brakes
You should complete a front and back brake test on a regular basis, depending on use. You want to make sure your stopping power is fast and effective. If there is any lag or slippage, it may be time to take it into the shop.
- Check the chain
Your train should remain well-lubricated and free of any debris. The most effective way to do this is to apply some grease, wipe off any dirt, rocks, etc., and then reapply some more grease.
- Look at your tires
When you fill up your tires with air, look out for any leaks or other negative developments. This could include the thread of your tires, or the way it sits inside its rims. Putting air in the tires is easy, you just look at the side to see the proper pressure to aim for. But it is also a job that you will have to do often- to properly maintain your bike, you may have to pump it up every few days. This is one reason to invest in your own air pump. Another worthwhile investment would be a tire repair kit.
Lastly, you should also inspect your tires regularly for signs of dry rot. This is a leading cause of tire damage, and something that is easy to avoid if you know where to look.
- Replace your helmet often
Your helmet, elbow/knee pads and other safety gear actually does have a shelf life. You should check how long your particular equipment is approved for use and /or storage. Another reason to replace your helmet or other accessories is if they have suffered any damage at all. Whether you have been in a crash or you have dropped your helmet, you will want to check for signs of cracks. A good helmet is an intact helmet, and there are no guarantees for anything less.
- Check your visibility and presence
Make sure you have a good rotation of bright, reflective clothing to wear. Keep your safety lights charged and in proper working order. Do a periodic check on your bell to make sure you can be heard if you need to be.
Whatever you do, stay safe out there! Bike accidents are more common than any of us would like to believe. In the event the worst comes about, and you do find yourself in an accident, reach out to a qualified legal team. Make sure you know your rights and what help is available to you.