By Eric Whittington
Spring is here, and you know what that means–riding that bicycle outdoors. But before that first ride, there are a few things you should do to your bicycle to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
First, check your tires. They should be inflated to the proper air pressure which is notated in p.s.i’s on the sidewall of your tire. The pressure will vary with different styles of tires. Underinflated tires could cause damage to the wheels. Be sure to check over the whole tire itself. With a lot of use and different weather conditions, tires should be checked for threads showing through the rubber, cracking caused by dry rot, etc. These could lead to a blowout if not addressed.
Check to make sure that your brakes are working properly. Are the brake pads lined up evenly on the braking surface? Are the pads themselves evenly worn and still in good working condition? Make sure the brake pads and braking surfaces are cleaned.
Clean and lubricate the chain. Having a clean and properly-lubed chain helps to ensure not only smooth shifting, but it will add longer life to your chain as well. There are several different types of chain lube available ranging from wet weather lube to dry weather lube, longer lasting ceramic lubes and extreme weather lubrication.
Check those nuts, bolts and quick releases. Go over your entire bicycle making sure all nuts, screws and bolts are tightened and if you have quick releases on your wheels and seat post clamp, check that they are tight. Lights and reflectors should be cleaned and properly positioned on your bicycle.
Every bike should have a white front reflector and/or headlight, reflectors on both wheels for side visibility to vehicles, and a red reflector/tail light on the back of your bicycle. Not only is it important to have good visibility during darker hours, it is just as important to be seen. Light reflective clothing is recommended for cycling in the later hours.
Last, but certainly not least, wear a helmet. PLEASE!!
Biking In Ohio