Ciclo Urbano’s tips for Spring Cycling

By Michael Bush, West Town Bikes

One day it’s winter, the next day it’s springtime! Oh, wait a minute, this is Chicago…

Well, Chicago cyclists know that winter is hard on a bike, whether you ride it through the slush and salt, or leave it to languish in the basement (or heaven forbid, outside in the elements).

Bikes that have been ridden hard and put away wet could really use some love and attention. This is the perfect time of year to give your bike the special treatment it so desperately needs.

Here’s a quick list of the Top 3 ways to show your bike some springtime affection:

1.  Stop by your local bike shop for a free assessment! 

Once you find a good shop with mechanics you trust, you can bring your bike by at any time to make sure everything is in good working order. Ciclo Urbano’s staff will never try to talk you into buying something you don’t need. We’ll help you identify which parts of your bike are working well, as well as which have seen a lot of wear, and we’ll give you a sense of how much longer they may last. Routine bike maintenance and repair will save you money and frustration in the long run. Remember, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure!

2.  Clean it up!

Dirty bikes don’t work as well, or last as long as clean bikes. Salt and sand, grit and grime accelerate rust and corrosion. And chains and gears wear out much more quickly when they’re coated with grit– it acts just like sandpaper!

Stop by the bike shop and have us put it in the bike wash! Or, if you’ve got that DIY spirit (like we do!) take some time to wipe everything down with a mild solvent (soapy water is just fine). Make sure to get all the crud off the chain and gears, and around any other moving parts, like brakes and derailleurs. Don’t spray solvent or soap directly on the bike; spray it on a rag instead, and try not to get too much of it inside of the moving parts before you…

3. Lube it up!

Using a basic multi-purpose bike lube, like Tri-Flow, can really get things moving again. Lubricate your the rollers of your chain (but not your gears), and all the moving pivots on your bike, like on your derailleurs and brakes. Careful not to get any on your brake pads!

Happy Springtime, and hope to see you riding!

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