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Bike maintenance tips

Central Florida has a myriad of nature trails to enjoy throughout the year. As the fall approaches the temperature and humidity begin to drop, making it an ideal time to spend time outside, walking, jogging, or riding bikes. If you are taking out bikes for family rides, be sure to perform regular maintenance on all the bikes to keep them running smoothly. The guide below provides maintenance tips for each outing and periodical touch ups:

  • Before each ride, check the air density of the tires. Each time you ride, and over time, the tires lose air. All tires have numbers on the side with a range that indicates the suggested pressure. If you’re planning to ride on a paved road, fill your tires to the higher number. If you’ll be riding a dirt path or trail, stay towards the lower number of the two.
  • If you’re bike is dirty after a ride, do a surface cleaning with a rag and glass cleaner. Be sure to avoid the mechanical parts, such as the chain and bearings, as you don’t want to remove the oil and dry out the components.
  • Regularly test the brakes of the bike, by pulling the brake levers and ensuring that the pads firmly grip both sides of the tires. This is something you should also be cognizant of while you’re riding, if you notice that it’s more difficult to brake or have to press too tightly on the levers, you should visit a local bike repair shop.
  • Oil the chain anytime it feels dry to the touch. Lay the bike on newspaper to catch splatters. First, wipe down the chain to remove any debris or dirt. Then, use an all-purpose cleaner and brush to thoroughly clean the components, followed by another wipe down with a clean rag. Slowly apply a drop of lubricant on each link, pedal the bike manually as you go along to distribute the oil. Finally, blot away any excess oil.