The Basics of Caring for Your Bike
If you are an avid cyclist, like the attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., you know that the condition of your bike determines how smooth, enjoyable, and safe your ride will be. Proper maintenance and regular checkups with a bike mechanic are critical to riding safely, and they can save you money in the long run. Make checking your bike each time you ride (and tightening any loose parts) and getting it serviced by a professional mechanic part of your regular routine.
Reasons for Regular Bike Maintenance
Here are three good reasons to maintain your bike regularly:
- Safety: If you service your bike regularly, it will be lubricated, tightened, and inspected to ensure all parts are in good working order. This can greatly reduce the risk of corrosion, breakage, or seizing up during a ride. When something pops or breaks mid-ride, it can lead to injuries and significant damage to your bike.
- Smoother ride: Tune-ups are recommended at least twice a year to keep your bike riding smoothly. A professional bike mechanic can evaluate the parts, such as cables and spokes, that are more complex and difficult to maintain.
- Cost savings: Regular bike maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Inspections and routine maintenance can help you catch problems early on before they develop into something major.
Bike Maintenance Basics
In addition to getting regular service from a professional bike mechanic, perform the following steps yourself to maintain your bike in prime condition.
Loose bike components can lead to accidents on the road. Your best defense is to perform a routine inspection before every ride. Look for loose parts and tighten them with a bike tool before they become safety hazards.
Air, Brakes, and Chain
These are the A, B, C’s of bike maintenance:
- Air: Keeping your tires properly inflated will help prevent flats. The sidewalls of your tires will show the recommended pressure. While you’re at it, check your thru axles and quick-release levers and tighten them if necessary. Be sure to carry your pump and patch kit with you on your ride.
- Brakes: Squeeze both the front and rear brake levers to make sure the brakes are engaging as they should.
- Chain: Inspect your chain and all the gears. If the chain is kept lubricated and the parts are kept clean, your bike will shift more easily, and the drivetrain will last longer.
Clean and Lubricate
Clean and lubricate your bike on a regular schedule (monthly, weekly, or more frequently), depending on the type of riding you do. If you ride fast, hard, and often, or on wet or muddy surfaces, your bike will need more frequent cleaning and lubrication. This process is good for performance and helps protect your bike against friction wear and tear. NOTE: Avoid overlubricating. Too much lube can attract dirt and abrasive materials. Wipe away any excess lube before you ride.
You can clean most bike components by wiping them with a damp or dry rag. Some parts may require a little more effort – scrubbing or brushing and relubrication. Devote more attention to the drivetrain, which consists of the front chainrings, the rear cassette, the rear derailleur, and the chain.
Get Legal Help in the Event of an Accident
Regular, proper maintenance can help you reduce the risk of a crash caused by malfunction of your bike or any of its parts. But, unfortunately, many bicycle accidents are caused by negligent drivers. If you were involved in a bike crash with injuries that was someone else’s fault, call Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. right away at (609) 240-0040. We are dedicated cyclists and experienced New Jersey bicycle accident attorneys with a successful track record in recovering compensation for our clients.
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