After several months of storage, maintenance and bicycle care is very important before hitting the streets and could help avoid a bicycle accident. It might have been that something was broken or not functioning at its best just before storing it for winter. Or it could be that bike care adjustments are necessary after allowing the bike to sit all winter. Whatever the issue, it’s critical to ensure bicycle safety before riding.
Maintenance of Your Bicycle: Parts to Check When Taking It Out of Storage
Parts can become loose over time, so proper maintenance of the bicycle includes thoroughly checking not only the larger parts, but even nuts or bolts that might have loosened.
Make sure the brakes are working properly. The pads shouldn’t rub against the spokes or tires, but rather should make contact with the rims. Look to see if the pads are worn or there is any type of debris imbedded. If a bike has hydraulic brakes, check if any fluid is leaking.
The tires will likely need air. But it’s not a good idea to do this right before riding. If there is a hole, it may not be discovered until later. This could be a problem if the bicyclist isn’t near a repair shop. So instead, put air in the tires a few days or hours before riding to ensure there is enough time to replace the tube if necessary.
Proper maintenance of the bicycle also includes looking at the spokes to make sure none are loose. The wheels should be secure, straight, and the hubs shouldn’t move from side to side.
Good bike care means the bike’s chain should be snug. Lubricate the chain before riding and make sure it isn’t rusted. Also check the entire frame of the bike and look for chipped paint, rust, dents or cracks. It may be necessary to have a bike shop repair anything significant, especially if it can compromise bicycle safety.
Cables may need replacing if they are worn or rusted. The handlebars, stem, saddle and seat post should be tight. Keep in mind that it may be time to invest in a new bike if a child or teenager has outgrown it.
Other Bicycle Safety Preparations before Taking a Bike Out of Storage
In addition to maintenance for the bicycle, bike care may also include investing in a new helmet or at least examine the one previously worn to ensure it’s in good condition. If at any time the bicyclist had been in an accident, the helmet should always be replaced.
When looking for a bicycle helmet, it should fit properly. This means it shouldn’t tilt back. Keep the width between the front of the helmet and the eyebrows at about two fingers. The strap should be snug and should go under the ears at the jawbone.
And if there would ever be an occasion in which an accident would happen, know who to call for legal help. D.J. Banovitz is not only an attorney who handles these types of cases, but he is an avid bicyclist himself and may be able to assist those filing an injury claim in Arvada. The maintenance of the bicycle and other bike care tips may help avoid accidents, but no matter how many bicycle safety steps are taken, some negligent motorists may still cause accidents.