The temperatures here in Indy have finally hit the 60s and 70s, which is prime bicycling weather! Before you head out on your first ride, make sure you know the best ways to ensure not only keeping your bike in tip-top shape, but also how to maximize safety for each ride.
Here are five tips to guarantee you get the most out of your time on your bike:
1) At the top of the list, is this no-brainer—each spring, take your bike to a bicycle shop service center to be professionally tuned up. Basic maintenance is a must for safe riding through the Indiana spring, summer and fall seasons. Our go-to shop is Bicycle Garage Indy, with locations North, South and Downtown.
2) Each time you’re getting ready to go for a ride, make sure to inspect your tires and check the pressure before you go out. Not sure how to find the optimal tire pressure for your ride? Check out this handy guide from bicycling.com.
3) Know how to fix a flat! The last thing you want is to be miles from home with a flat tire and no clue how to fix it. You should be prepared to patch or replace tubes as needed, especially if you’re getting ready to go out on a long adventure. The process is less intimidating than you may think. Here’s another great step-by-step guide by bicycling.com.
4) Lubricate your chain. If you want to extend the life of your chain, you ought to apply lube about once a month or even more if you’re riding in wet conditions. First, clean the chain with a dry rag. Then turn the cranks slowly backwards and apply a drop of lube on each link. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then wipe off the excess grease. The average chain can generally last approximately 1,000 miles if it’s properly cared for.
5) The bike shop will check to make sure the nuts and bolts on your bike are tight, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t regularly check them yourself. They should be tight but not so tight that it messes with your bike’s performance.
We’re looking forward to a great biking season—how about you? If you’re riding downtown, be sure to check out our construction progress, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates. P.S. Don’t forget to ride your bike to work on May 17, for National Bike to Work Day!