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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

7 Steps to Tune Up Your Bike for Spring



Basic Bicycle Maintenance and Safety Checks

It's no secret that the modern bicycle is a versatile machine, offering options for transportation, recreation, fitness, competition and employment. Cycling provides a host of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular functioning, leg strength, balance and coordination, plus improvements in mood. Biking can also help with weight management. For those living in seasonal climates, our bicycles typically lie dormant during the cold winter months and resurface in spring. But before you head outside for your first ride of the season, spend some time getting your bike ready for the road. These basic bike maintenance tips will help ensure a safe, efficient ride all season.

7 Steps for a Spring Tune Up
Before you think about taking your bike for a spin, make sure you give it a thorough tune-up. Don’t worry; most of these checks are easy to administer. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, have a bike shop tune your bike (cost is approximately $30-65).

Tune-up task #1: Clean your bike. 
A clean bike extends the life of all its components, just as a clean car lasts longer.

What to do: Use a basic biodegradable cleaner such as Simple Green, a towel and an old toothbrush to clean everything: the frame, chain, chain rings, cassette, derailleurs, pedals, brakes, and seat. Make an effort to use as little water as possible. Also, remove the seat post (the tube connected to your seat that slides into the frame) and after cleaning it, and add a small amount of bicycle grease before reattaching it. This grease will last longer than oil, which dries out faster, and will also act as a barrier against rust in the seat tube...

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