Is Your Bike Ready For The Start of The School Year?
Yes, it has accompanied you during your outings, your walks or even during your travels. Under the sun, in the wind, on the beaches or on the dusty roads, in the rain and in the mud… After all these adventures, a cleaning and some revisions are necessary.
The holidays are over (or not far from it), so you have to think about overhauling and maintaining your bike. It will be ready and flawless for the start of the school year.
Know that a well-maintained bike is a bike that will accompany you for longer. It is also the assurance of saving money, of having less worry and hassle by preventing certain parts from being damaged, especially when you least expect it.
The main enemies of your bike.
Rust (due to humidity), dust, mud and all kinds of dirt … are some of the things that can damage your bike. Confronted with these elements for too long, it may no longer function properly and cause you a lot of problems.
So to avoid unfortunate situations, a few simple steps will have to be taken. And reassure you, maintaining and cleaning your bike will not take much time. The maintenance will not require you to have specific knowledge, and the cleaning or the revision can be done in two or three movements.
So let’s move on to the essential steps.
If from an overview the condition of your bike appears to be fine, still remember to carry out a routine check before getting on it.
Check the pressure of your tires , if they are under-inflated then you risk a possible puncture. If you have a foot pump with a pressure gauge , inflate to the recommended pressure indicated on the sidewall of your tires. However, you can afford to slightly underinflate your front tire for a little more comfort.
Take the time to check the tightness of the various bolts and screws. Retighten at the level of the stand, your rear luggage rack or your front basket, not forgetting the wheels… Everything must be correctly fixed. Also test the lighting by checking that your lights, headlights and turn signals are still working properly. Check the condition of the wires connecting them to the dynamo and if necessary, remember to change the batteries.
For your brakes, it will not be difficult to quickly diagnose the condition of your skates. It will suffice to take a look at the gums and note their wear by referring to the streaks. These become less and less visible if the wear is important. In this case it will be time to change them. Stay on the lookout for suspicious noises and other anomalies while making sure to correct them before you set off.
Make sure your brake pads are always in the correct position. If you hear unusual noises while braking, make sure the wheel is not buckled. Also check the condition of your brake cables. If the cable is tight, make sure you have the correct spacing (1 or 2 mm) between the pads and the rim of the rim. At the same time, you must check that the shoe and the rim are perfectly aligned.
The ideal is that the skate is neither too low nor too high. When applying your brakes, the entire friction surface of the pad should be on the rim
The big cleaning.
If your bike needs cleaning, have these few tools ready. Don’t forget to get the right cleaning products at the same time.
You will therefore need:
- A bucket of water,
- A brush,
- A good lubricating oil for bikes,
- A bicycle degreaser
- A bicycle cleaner
So let’s go for the cleaning! You have your special bicycle cleaning products, prepare your bucket of water and pour some of your bicycle cleaner into it. Start with the frame and the wheels. With your sponge, carefully scrub and clean these elements. Run your sponge all over your frame, don’t forget the fork and all the other elements that are not afraid of water. For the rims or spokes use your cloth soaked in your cleaning solution to thoroughly clean the small tight spaces. If your saddle is made of fabric, take care to insulate it when washing. Once everything is clean, it’s time to rinse.
Remove all traces of soap with clean water. Thoroughly rinse each part of the bike until everything is spotless. Once satisfied, it will be very important to dry your. Use a dry cloth to dry. All wet parts must be cleared of all traces of water to prevent rust from attacking your bike.
So here is a very clean and very dry bike. It’s time to move on to degreasing and lubricating the chain.
You will have to pay special attention to the transmission of your bike. Thus, a degreasing of the chain, the cassette and the plates will be necessary.
Apply your degreaser to it. Put some on the chain, the cassette and on the trays. Then turn your pedals so that the solution applies to the whole set. Carry out gear changes to thoroughly degrease everything. Wipe down any remaining dirt so you can move on to the next step.
Lubrication is a simple step to perform, you just have to repeat the same procedure as for degreasing, except that this time, instead of the degreaser, you will use your bicycle lubricating oil. As in the previous step, make sure that the entire transmission is well oiled without putting too much.
However, provide a soft cloth to wipe off any excess oil. Know that a good lubrication will allow the chain to slide correctly and will guarantee you gear changes without noise and without risk of derailment.
After having carried out these few actions, here you are, you and your bike, ready for the start of the school year and for new adventures.