Spring is so close I can almost smell the flowers! This is a great time of year for transitions. Most of us clean out our closets, deep clean the house, and throw out old junk that we don’t need. When you make your spring cleaning plans, don’t forget to get your bike ready for a new season on the trail.
If you live in a warm climate and get out on the trail year-round, this post can just be a reminder to set aside some time to give your bike a little TLC this spring.
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Wash down the frame and tires with a good quality bike wash. This is a great activity to get the kids involved in caring for their own gear. Make a family day of it. Get out the hose, some buckets, sponges, and your wash solution. This will get you on your way to being ready for your first spring ride and teach the kids some responsibility as well.
Next, clean the chain with degreaser. We have a kit from Park Tool, the Cyclone Chain Cleaner, that makes cleaning the chain easy and relatively mess free. We still recommend that you wear clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined. Whenever you work with grease, expect to get greasy. But the kit fits over the chain, you fill it with a solution, and use the pedal to run the chain through the kit. We like this system because it scrubs the chain better than just a cloth and degreaser. Our chains get particularly dirty because our trail is mostly a crushed stone surface. The better you care for your drive train, the longer your bike will last.
We live up a steep hill in our small town. If we ride down to the trailhead instead of driving, we put lots of stress on our brakes. If you are mountain biking or downhill biking, you will also put lots of wear on your bike’s brake system. A vital part of getting ready for a new season is to inspect and change brake pads and lines as necessary. Even if you don’t have lots of hills that wear on your brakes, you want to inspect this system at the beginning of the season. Safety first! Here is a video to help you through that process.
Tire repair/change kit
Make sure your tires are pumped up and will hold air. If you notice a leak then change the tire tube. Here is a handy video to walk you through this process. After that be sure that you have a kit with an extra tube and tire change tool in a saddle bag on your bike.
Bells and Whistles
This part is totally cosmetic, but lots of fun! Our girls love their bike bells and streamers. This part lets you show some personality with your bike. This year I look forward to getting a phone mount and cup holder for my bike. Deck out your bike with whatever features you want. It’s YOUR bike, so enjoy it!
If any of the more technical aspects of getting your bike ready for spring are intimidating to you, or you don’t have time to tackle these tasks, you can bring it to the local shop for a tune up. You will have a road and trail ready bike and support a small local business at the same time. We call that a WIN-WIN.
We hope that this list and links are helpful to you as you get ready for Spring. Trail Family wishes everyone a safe and happy bike season!
BONUS! Here is a video from our very own YouTube channel trailfamilylife featuring Tim walking you through how to change the pedals on your bike. Enjoy!