Let’s entertain for a few moments that summer begins to fade in North Texas and we ease into a nice, pleasant fall. Is that even a thing in North Texas? As the temps become more bearable, let’s consider dusting off our bicycles and getting outside. Here are a few basic maintenance tips before you and your family head out.
If it’s been a few months since the bicycle has been ridden, you’ll want to completely remove the chain to clean it. Begin by brushing out the links with a firm brush (an old toothbrush works well). Using a cleaning solvent that is specifically designed for bicycle chains, completely immerse the chain, and allow it to soak until the dirt is freed from the links and bushings. Use a clean rag to dry the cleaned chain, re-install and relubricate. In our household, we use the Muc-Off brand for bicycle and motorcycle solvents and lubricants. They offer environmentally friendly products, and they work exceptionally well.
Give each tire a thorough inspection. Worn down tread, cracked rubber or a flat spot along the center of the tire are all indicators that it is time to replace the tire. Next check that your good tires are properly inflated. The suggested pressure can usually be found on the side of the tire. A quality floor pump with a pressure gauge will make easy work of this.
Visually inspect both the front and the rear calipers. Make sure the rotors are centered between the brake pads and each pad makes full contact with the rotor when engaged. If the pads appear glazed, remove them, and use sandpaper to lightly scuff them. Pads that are less than 3mm thick including the metal holder need to be replaced.
I love to see families out in a group riding their bicycles together. It gets everyone outside and away from their electronics. My family still reminisces about our rides together through the neighborhoods of Flower Mound. Steve would set the pace up front; the girls were in the middle and I would bring up the rear to make sure no one fell. So now that you’ve dusted off your bikes and given them a good once over, get out there and make some treasured memories. And don’t forget to wear your helmet!
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