Maintenance Tips: 1. Dusting your bike off after winter storage
Local bike mechanic and MYMK’s Dr Bike, Dave Seaman from Dave’s Bike Shed in Aberdour, has given us a few tips on how to check your bike is safe and ready to ride after a winter in the shed.
This article is the first in a series of five to go online from 10th-14th February. To get involved in any of our maintenance classes, visit our events page for more information.
“The first thing you should do is see if there’s air in the tyres, if not, get a pump and try to pump them up. That will tell you straight away if there’s a puncture in the tube, it’ll also let you see the condition of the side walls of the tyres which is very important. If your side walls are starting to split and perish through being stored in a shed, that’s the time when you need to think about getting new tyres.”
“If you’ve got air in your tyres you should take your bike out the shed and check the condition of the steering. Make sure that it’s not loose, give the bike a general dust off, and then you’d be looking do a general ‘M check’.”
See this ‘M check’ video as guide on how to check for loose steering.
3. Condition of the cables and saddle
“Carry out a quick visual inspection of all the cables to check if there’s anything corroded or gotten rusty from winter in the shed. Also just look at things like the condition of the saddle, have the mice got in and chewed your saddle?”
Brake cables are critical to safety, corroded cables will need to be replaced. This is a simple job for your local bike mechanic.
4. Chain and gears
“Look at the condition of the chain, has the chain got rusty because the shed’s damp. Look at the overall condition of the gears; are they dirty, did you put the bike away when it was filthy? Did you use the bike during the winter for a short trip? Salt on a bike from winter use speeds up corrosion and rust so always best to clean salt and salty road grime off after use in these conditions.”
See our next article for Dr Bike’s tips on how to clean a dirty chain and cassette system.
A rusty chain is best replaced. It’s a simple fix, and one that will preserve the rest of your chain system.
Click here for dates and info of up coming Basic Bike Maintenance classes and Dr Bike sessions which you can access for free.