Sunshine and a cool breeze make for great cycling weather, and that’s just what summer brings. As the temperature warms, your fitness routine may change from attending the gym to getting involved in outdoor sports and activities, such as biking. Be sure that your bike is ready for the season. You may have worn down the tires last fall or, if you stored it in a garage or outdoors, your bike may be in need of some repairs.
First, flip your bike over so that it’s standing upside-down and the wheels can move freely. Then, check the following five tune-up points to prepare your bike for summer cycling:
Tires - Moisture and cold can make your bicycle tires cracked and brittle. Excessive use can cause them to slip to one side or wear down. If the tires are worn, cracked, or don’t spin freely then you should buy new tires or at least get a realignment.
Brakes - While turning the wheels, be sure that the brakes move freely and work when applied. Try different amounts of force to be sure that the brake is sensitive enough for you. If not, the brake pads might be worn down, or you may need to replace or lubricate the cables.
Shifting Gears - Shift through all of your gears while spinning the bike tires to see that the chain switches rings. If it fails to switch gears, the derailer might have seized up during the cold winter. For this issue, you can sometimes oil and work it manually back to a smooth motion. However, more often than not, it needs replacement. There could also be a buildup of debris in the cable housing the individual gears, in which case you wouldn’t see movement from the cable at all. They can be cleaned and oiled or completely replaced.
Chain - Your chain shouldn’t slip or jar as you pedal. Instead, you want to see a smooth motion. Clean dust and dirt off, then grease. If the motion is still bumpy or the chain continually slips, it may be stretched out too far from wear and need to be replaced.
Seat and Handlebars - Flip your bike right-side up after going through the rest of the inspection. Look to make sure that your handlebars and seat are secure. Twist the handlebars through the full range of motion. Oil the pivot joint as needed.
Biking is undoubtedly a superb summer workout. It’s fun, relaxing, and gives a great sense of freedom and accomplishment. Not to mention that your thighs and calves feel the burn afterward. Giving your bike a tune-up, right as the weather warms up, will keep you safe and get you outside and exercising.
We also suggest adding 7-Keto® to your summertime health regimen. 7-Keto is a metabolite that has been extensively studied for its various benefits, which include weight management and steadying metabolic rate. Enjoy the beautiful sunshine, while working toward your health and fitness goals.