Anyone who has ever been in Fort Collins can see that bike riding here is a very common thing. There are plenty of beautiful bike paths designed to give riders a glimpse of what this town has to offer and there are plenty of places to keep a bike when going out. As the weather warms up and the bikes start coming out, follow these tips to keep your bike in great shape.
Keep an eye on the important parts
In order to keep your bike around for years, you should maintain everything about the bike. Things like the breaks, tires, chain and wheels can have a huge impact on how smoothly your bike will operate. Furthermore, these key features will determine your safety and the safety of others while you are out on the road.
“Keep brake pads clean and dry when possible,” said Andrew Samper, a bike technician at Recycled-Cycles. “Keep tires properly inflated or just under pressure. Keep lube on the chain to ensure a smooth ride. Lock up the wheels so they don’t get stolen.”
Learn the warning signs
One of the best ways to protect your bike and your wallet is by learning the signs that something might be wrong with your bike. Pay attention to the sounds your bike makes. Are they normal? You should also pay attention to how it feels when you ride. It is almost like driving a car: you can feel, hear and smell if certain things are wrong.
“Some signs are when the bike is making rattling, metal on metal sounds,” Samper said. “Also, if you are unable to shift properly or stuck in gear. If you see cables are cracked and splitting. If anything feels loose while your ride.”
Have you ever noticed that by keeping your bike outside all year long it starts to make some unpleasant noises? That is because the cold, wet weather can cause the bike to rust. There are ways to combat this problem.
“Cover whenever possible, lube chain well to keep rust down and inflate tires,” Samper said. “Lock your bike up so it doesn’t get stolen.”
When looking at a bike, it can seem pretty intimidating to try and work on things yourself. But if the problem is small it can be worth it to do it yourself instead of paying someone else. If you do not know how, there are certain shops like the bike co-op that can teach you for a small fee. If the problem is a little bigger, make sure you take your bike into a local shop and have a professional take a look.
Collegian reporter Alaysha Powell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @alaysha_powell.