8 Tips to get your Mountain Bike ready to hit the trails
- Clean & Lube
- General Inspection
- Flat Tire Kit
- Your Riding Gear
Spring rides are just around the corner. Is your bike ready for your first ride of the season? Proper bike maintenance service can keep you and your bike on the trails for years to come. Often bikes that sit over the winter have flat tires, but sometimes they are put away with more maintenance issues than we care to admit.
Here are 8 tips to get your mountain bike ready to hit the trails this season.
The chain should be inspected, cleaned, and lubed regularly to ensure it functions properly. As you inspect the chain, look for rust and dirt and check the stretch. Depending on what you find, simply cleaning and lubing the chain might be all you need. If your chain has stretched, it might be time to replace it.
Having properly functioning breaks is essential for your safety. Make sure your brakes are clean and check your brake pads for wear. When you unweight the tire, make sure it spins freely and then stops when the brake is engaged. Check the alignment and make sure the rotors are not warped.
Check your cassette for wear and tear. If your chain is in good condition and you’re noticing issues with gears changing, it might be time to replace your cassette. The teeth can become worn down and no longer function properly.
Like all other parts of your bike, clean and inspect your tires. You will also want to check the air pressure either with a pressure gauge or by feel.
- Clean & Lube
Pretty much any moving part on your bike should be cleaned and lubricated. Pay special attention to the derailleurs. As you move through the cleaning process inspect each part for proper function.
- General inspection
Once you’ve cleaned and inspected the key components of your bike, you’ll want to give the entire bike a once-over. Check for rust, damage, and dirt. Inspect the wheel axles and tighten them if necessary.
- Flat Tire Kit
It’s a good idea to make sure your flat tire kit is ready for your first ride and stocked with a tube, pump, and tire levers. If your last ride was six months ago, you might have forgotten that you used your extra tube and didn’t replace it. Better to find it missing in your garage than halfway through your ride!
Letting a bike sit over the winter usually lets the tubeless tire sealant dry out. Pouring a new bottle of that into each tire will ensure that the tire sealant is ready when you need it most. Making sure to check the supply of tire plugs/ bacon strips is ready to go is important too.
- Your riding gear
This is also a good time to give your riding gear a once-over. Make sure it still fits well and is comfortable. Helmets have an expiration date and should be replaced every 3-5 years even if they appear to be in good condition. If you use clipless pedals, double-check that they clip in and release properly.
This process should be repeated regularly to keep your bike functioning properly. You can choose to tune up your bike yourself or have it taken care of by an expert. Keeping everything clean and in good working condition will make for safer, more enjoyable rides and allow you to focus on having fun!
Make sure to keep your bicycle well maintained and use these 8 tips to get your mountain bike ready to hit the trails near Salt Lake City this spring.
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