Who uses bicycles

Tips for a little bike inspection

As of May 14, 2021 11:07 a.m.

If you haven't used your bike for a long time, you should first check whether it is still fully functional and roadworthy.

Bicycle workshops offer a basic check at a price of around 50 euros, but waiting times are often long in spring and summer. With these tips, even laypeople can check their bike and get it back on the road. If a major repair is necessary, the workshop should first prepare a cost estimate.

Little spring cleaning

A clean bike not only looks better, it also drives better and does not wear out as quickly. First, remove dust and dirt from the bike: this is best done with a simple cloth and water with a little washing-up liquid. High-pressure cleaners are not suitable because the pressure can flush the necessary grease out of the bearings or force dirt into them. The clean wheel should be examined for fine cracks and deformations, which should be checked by a specialist if in doubt.

Clean or change the chain

The bicycle chain should be oiled regularly - not just for the spring check.

The bike rides better with a well-lubricated chain. Use a dry cloth to remove most of the grease and dirt from the chain and sprockets and then oil them well. Special bicycle oil is suitable for this, but inexpensive motor oil for the car also does its job. Make sure that no oil drips onto the floor. Wipe excess oil off the chain with a rag. If it has started to rust a lot, it must be replaced. If the chain is slack, loosen the rear wheel and retighten the chain.

Tighten any loose screws on the bike

Now check whether all screws and nuts are tight and retighten if necessary. This is especially true for the connections on the saddle and handlebars. Pay attention to the correct saddle height: When the pedals are at their lowest point, the heel should reach the pedals with a slightly stretched leg.

Fresh air for the tires

Well-inflated tires not only roll better, they also wear out more slowly.

If the tires are flat, a hole doesn't always have to be to blame. After several weeks, the hoses always lose a little air. So first inflate the tires. The optimal air pressure for normal road bikes is 3.5 to 4 bar, the maximum value is usually on the side of the tire. With a well-inflated tire, the bike rolls noticeably easier. If the profile is clearly worn or if the tire has porous areas, it should be replaced.

Check brakes

Well adjusted brakes are an important contribution to road safety. First, check whether the pads on the so-called brake shoes are still thick enough. Replace when no more transverse grooves can be seen. The brakes must be easy to operate and then open again without dragging the rim. Carefully oil the brake handles and cables. Attention: There must be no oil on pads or rims. Brakes can be readjusted a little with adjusting screws on the handle.

All right with the lighting?

If you drive without lights, you will be less visible in the dark and risk a fine.

A permanently installed lighting system with a dynamo is no longer required. However, all wheels must have a white reflector at the front and a red reflector at the rear. The tires need side light strips or, as an alternative, reflectors between the spokes. When driving in the dark, a lighting system with front and rear lights is required, which can also be plugged in. Are the batteries or rechargeable batteries in the clip-on lights still full? If there are problems with the permanently installed lighting system, check the cabling between the dynamo and the lamps as well as all plug contacts. In addition to the lighting, the bicycle also has a bell. It should be mounted on the handlebar in such a way that you can easily reach it with your thumb without taking your hand off the handle.

Readjust the circuit

After this work, it's time for a test drive. This shows whether the gearshift is still working well and whether the gears can be engaged precisely. If there is a problem with a gear hub, even laypeople can usually remedy the situation with adjusting screws on the gear lever. Setting a derailleur system with many gears correctly, on the other hand, requires some practice. Numerous instructions can be found on the Internet.

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North Tour | 05/17/2021 | 8:15 pm