Bike Equipment & Maintenance Resources

Click on the following links to get more information:

– Before each ride, remember to do an ABC Quick Check

Maintenance Tips from Park Tool

Maintenance Tips from Bicycle magazine


Equipment

FRAME SIZE  |  Frame size is the most important component of comfort; it cannot be changed. You should have 1″ to 2″ of stand-over height on road bikes; 3″ to 4″ stand-over height on mountain or hybrid style bikes. Your local bike shop will be able to help with frame fit determination.

SADDLE HEIGHT  |  While seated, you should have a slight bend in your knee with your feet on the pedals. Set the seat height wearing the shoes you intend to cycle in. Beginners may want their seat a bit lower for comfort and security, but this can rob you of some power and put stress on your knees. As your feel steadier, you can incrementally raise the seat higher.

SEAT ANGLE  |  Adjust the seat angle for your comfort. Some like it nose-down, some nose-up. Do what is best for you. You can also slide the seat forward and back to bring the knee squarely over the pedal in the three o’clock position.

SADDLE DESIGN  |  If you are new to cycling, expect some soreness the first few times you go out. As you ride more regularly, tenderness should go away. Clothing that bunches up at the saddle or that absorbs sweat and stays wet can add to abrasion caused soreness. Light, airy, and wicking fabrics may help alleviate this. Or, consider cycling shorts that hug tight and have some padding over the areas of your bottom that will help support you on the seat. Saddles come in gender specific as well as comfort and performance models. If you hurt after your bike shop adjusts the saddle, try a new one.

HELMET FIT  |  A helmet is your last line of defense in a crash; just like a seat belt in a car, it protects you when something goes awry. A helmet will not protect your head if it is not properly fitted and secure. Read the instructions that come with your helmet. Make sure that the helmet fits level on top of the head, not tipped back.  The pad system should be adjusted so that the helmet does not bounce from side to side or rotate easily. The straps should form a “Y” under your ear lobes and the chin strap should be tight enough to allow you to slip only a finger between it and your neck. The front rim should be barely visible to your eyes. After a crash, replace your helmet immediately.

Maintenance

Much like a car, your bike requires maintenance to perform effectively. With proper attention, you and your bike will enjoy a long riding relationship. The following items are vital to your bike’s maintenance

PROPER TIRE PRESSURE  |  Maintaining proper tire pressure is very important. Too little air in your tires increases negative wear on your tires (e.g. compression cuts), rolling resistance and accelerates wear and tear on your frame, fork and wheel parts. Conversely, too much pressure may cause the tire to gravitate toward blowing off the rim, resulting in a much rougher ride. We highly recommend that you maintain your tires at the pressure rating noted on the sidewall of your tires. To do so, you will need a pressure gauge or a pump with a built-in gauge.

RIDE CAREFULLY  |  The bulk of damage to tires, tubes and rims can be avoided if you are careful about how and where you ride your bike. Consistently scan the road ahead in order to ensure that you can avoid debris and road hazards (glass, potholes, railroad tracks, etc.).

CLEAN AND OIL YOUR CHAIN  |  A clean chain shifts better and is much less likely to jam than a dirty one. Cleaning your chain requires the use of a solvent to remove the grime and grit. After the chain has dried, it should be lubricated. Bear in mind that chain manufacturers recommend replacement every 1,200 to 2,000 miles. Riding beyond this threshold may damage your rear cogs and affect shifting efficiency.

30-DAY CHECK  |  Consider bringing your bike into a local bike shop for a complete check and adjustment during the first 30 to 60 days of riding it. During this period, your bike’s bearings may loosen slightly, and brake and gear cables will stretch.

 



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