How to get your bike fit for spring
A guide to bike maintenance
Every cyclist knows it well: when winter comes,theirbike is stowed awayin the cellar–well-covered withold cloths–toburst into bloom in spring like asunflowergrowing out of the earth.Doesn’tthatsound like aromanticseriesof events? If only there wasn’t atime-consumingund often alsostressfulcatch: the spring check.
There is a veritable multitude of advice explaining what you should bear in mind at the beginning of the new season. We spoke to our bike professional Mario and can hereby clarify which measures really need to be taken in spring.
The good news first: Whether an e-bike or a traditional bicycle, the actions required to prepare your own bike for the upcoming rides are the same. After the bike has been stood around for a long time, particularly in winter, it is important to check it thoroughly from top to the bottom, or from the brakes to the tyres.The most important points to check are: Brakes, Gears, Lights, Tyre.
First things first
Before you examine your bike closely, cleaning it is the top priority. Imagine if you were to spend the winter months in the cellar –the first thing you’d want would be a proper shower. The practical side effects of this are that the bike immediately looks much better and you can only recognise what really needs to be repaired on a bike when it’s clean. There are special bike cleaners for the frame. You spray these onto the frame of your bike, let them briefly take effect and then even tough dirt can be wiped off with a cloth or rag. Bike expert Mario advises that you clean the parts that are difficult to reach with an old toothbrush and voila: the bike is shining like the sun over Mount Fuji.
Do the brakes, chain and gears work?
In traffic, the brakes are vitally importantIf your bicycle has abackpedal brake, you don’t have to worry at all. This type of brake is virtuallymaintenance-free, but handbrakes are not. So you should check whether yourfront brakeworks properly.The best thing to do is to remove the dirt from thebrake cables andoil them well.If newbrake pads needto befitted, it is advisableto take your bike to a professional.
Regular maintenance is key.
Normally the chain can also do with some oiling after the cold months, so that the bike’s gears change perfectly smoothly again. “Fundamentally, cold temperatures do not damage the chain”, Mario, from the Bründl team, explains. His advice: regular maintenance and cleaning, whatever the weather outside. “If and when the chain has to be replaced is decided by a specialist. There are so-called chain testing machines for this purpose.
Finally relight the darkness
Ensure you check in which direction the lights are pointing. They should shine on to the road rather than lighting up the treetops or blinding the oncoming traffic. You should also check whether all the lights and reflectors are undamaged and working flawlessly. If the front or back lights do not light up, this is often because of a disconnected wire. This insider tip, Mario promises, will prevent your nerves from fraying: “You can be looking for the cause of the problem for a long time and often it’s just a single wire or connect or that’s become loose during winter storage.”
The approaching summer is the best opportunity to experiment with tyre pressure
And finally, there’s the tyres. If the bike has been standing around for a long time, it is normal for the tyres to be slightly flatter than you remember them being. Grab an ordinary bicycle pump and inflate both tyres with air. “The approaching summer is the best opportunity to experiment with tyre pressure”, Mario explains. The bar value in the tyres should always be adjusted to the terrain. As a passionate mountainbiker, he knows that the right tyre pressure gives you better grip on the surfaces you ride on. As a rule of thumb: The heavier the rider and the thinner the tyres, the higher the pressure needed. At the start of the season, get your bearings with a value of 2.0 bar.
All screws tightened, bike polished? Then spring can come to the roads, too!
* Clean the bike
* Check the brakes
* Oil the chain & brakes
* Check the lights (don't forget the wires and connectors)
* Check the tyre pressure and pump up the tyres