Tech: Spring mechanical check-up of your bike

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Those of you who left your bikes to “sleep” over winter should better start preparing them for the new season because the weather is getting nicer by the day. So, we made up a short list of things you should check about your bike before hopping on and riding.

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Tires

The air pressure in every tire should be according to the recommandations written on the sides of them, but it’s also something you adjust based on your preferences. However, if you notice the air is leaking, you’ll have to replace the tube, and a thorough check-up of the tire itself in order to detect cuts, cracks or other damage will help.

Headset play

Typically, if you haven’t used your bike then such a thing shouldn’t occur. Still, it does, so just actuate your front brake, and move the bike from back to front. If there is a play present, you can see if it gets solved by tightening the stem. You can do that by first loosening the two side screws that sit parallel to the axis of the steerer and then tightening the one that’s connected to the actual steerer. You must pay attention to the amount of torque put in this operation because too little tightening will leave the play unsolved, while too much will make steering impossible, as it will lock together the moving parts of the mechanism. So, the best way to hit the right amount of screw turning is by tightening it bit by bit, checking during this if it needs some more or some less.

Is the handlebar tight?

While you’re checking out the headset for play, you might as well look closer to the part of the stem that holds the handlebar in place, too.

Brake levers and shifters

Again, the screws should be checked on a “just in case” basis. Also, the shifters and brake levers should not be fully tightened to the handlebar, because this way they will have the chance to have their position altered in case of a crash, and suffer less damage this way.

Hydraulic brakes

You should check your brake pads, and if they have left about 1mm of their profile, it’s time for new ones. Also, if when pressing the brake lever, it touches the handlebar, it will require bleeding.

Mechanical V-Brakes

This is pretty straight forward. Applying lubricants to the cable will solve most problems, but some times replacing it will prove the best choice.

Adjusting the derailleurs

Checking the derailleurs if they still work properly is an absolute must, so lubricating their cables and springs should do the trick, along with proper adjustement, although, like in the case of the brakes, replacing the cables might turn out to be the right answer.

Lubricating the chain

Of course lubricating the chain doesn’t stick to simply putting grease on it. You’ll also have to clean it, along with the cassette and crankset in order to make the most out of your rides.

Fork and shock

Whipe the stanchions of the fork with a wet cloth, and do so for the shock as well. After they dry up, apply the special lubricant since others may cause damage to them. In the case you’re using an air cartridge fork, you’ll have to set the SAG, which may vary significantly according to disciplines. Always regard the informations provided by the fork manufacturer, otherwise you’ll be in for unpleasent surprises.

All of these operations involve basic servicing know-how, which you can find on our bicycle Service category.

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