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Are You Bike Ready?

Now that the better weather is here and you’ve got more outdoor leisure activities on your to-do list, it’s time to ‘spring’ your bike out of storage. Ideally, you stored your bike away from moisture and off the ground. Do a visual inspection, then clean your bike with a sponge and mild soap in warm water. While experts recommend a professional tune-up at a local bike shop, here’s a checklist to assess your bike’s condition.

  1. Tires- Make sure they’re pumped up enough and not flat; make sure treads are okay.
  2. Wheels- Make sure they don’t have anything stuck in them such as leaves or sticks.
  3. Brakes- Check that they work by squeezing on the hand brakes and trying to move your bike forward (it shouldn’t move).
  4. Chain- Inspect the chain for rust, then make sure it’s around the crank and moves properly with the pedals.
  5. Seat- The position of the seat is most important; you should be able to place both feet firmly on the ground when you are not pedaling.
  6. Lights- Are reflectors and back and front lights working and in the proper positions? Replace batteries or charge them, if need be.
  7. Bell or horn- Your bike needs to be equipped with a noise maker of some sort.
  8. Panniers- If you do a lot of commuting, be sure your bike is equipped with panniers that you can pack full of school or work books, etc., as well as light groceries.
  9. Helmet- This is the most important piece of equipment that you wear. Be sure to have one!