Safe Trails: Tune Up Your Bicycle

inspecting bike

The Little Miami Scenic Trail is about to get a lot busier as people come out of hibernation to greet the warming temperatures. Now is an ideal time to ensure your bicycle is ready for the season. To begin, inspect the following:

1. Wheels and tires: Spokes are connected and uniformly tensioned. Tires have remaining wear, with no visible damage to the tread or sidewalls. The tires are properly inflated.
2. Brakes: Front and rear brakes apply smoothly and engage fully.
3. Chain: Chain is well lubricated and shifts smoothly through all gears.
4. Frame, fork, and seat: Bicycle overall is structurally intact with no visible cracks or rust. Parts are firmly attached to the frame.
5. Helmet: Helmet is intact with no cosmetic or other damage. The chin strap fastens tightly. Helmet age is less than 3 (or perhaps 5) years.

Depending on your level of familiarity with bicycle maintenance, you may be able to address one or more of these items (e.g., inflating tires, changing tires and tubes, or lubing or changing the chain) yourself. Your local bike shop stands ready to conduct a tune-up and to address any specific needs.

A few years ago, I brought my bike into a local shop, requesting specific maintenance based on my own inspection. The shop mechanic discovered a crack in the frame that was not evident from a visual inspection, which led me to purchase a new bike. The solution was considerably more expensive than I expected, but I avoided a potential catastrophe.

Now’s the time. Inspect your bicycle today and be ready to enjoy the Little Miami Scenic Trail safely.

by Erick Wikum
March 2024

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