When Spring comes around, you will be back riding your bicycle. It's probably been off the road all winter, so it is a good idea to do some routine maintenance. You don't want to grab your bike and immediately put it on the road. You can damage the bike and more importantly, endanger yourself.
So, here is a list of four important things to do in preparation for Spring.
Check The Tires
Tires are the first thing you should check. If the tires are not inflated properly, it can cause an accident. It is especially important if you've not ridden the bike in months. A slow leak could have caused the inner tubes to deflate a bit. You might not notice it until your out on the road and its too late.
You should use a pressure gauge. Most modern bike pumps have one integrated. If you don't have one, you can pick one up at any bike shop. Here is a guide that will help you determine the correct pressure for your bike's tires.
Make Sure The Brakes Work
It's unlikely that the brakes were affected while the bike was in storage, but it is smart to check them anyway. You can check the brakes without riding the bike by either using a bike lift or inverting the bike. Once the bike is on the lift, or upside down, peddle with your hands. Then, use the hand brakes.
If there is something wrong, you need to find out if it is the brake pads or the brake lines. When you squeeze the brake handle you should see the brake pads move. If they don't move then the line is the problem. If the pads move, but the tire keeps spinning, then you either have worn pads or ones that need adjustment.
Check The Chain
Bike chains need to be oiled. If you've had your bike sitting around for a while, it's time to break out the chain oil. Don't use anything besides bike chain oil. Many people make the mistake and try and use WD-40. Don't. Instead, go to a bike shop and get oil that is specifically designed for your bike's chain.
Make Sure You Can Shift Gears
This is the trickiest thing to check. If your bike doesn't shift gears comfortably it can be for a number of reasons. The cassette might be off balance. The shifter barrels might need to be adjusted. The lines might be damaged. If you can't fix the shifting with a simple barrel adjustment, it is best to bring it in to the bike shop, Tri-A-Bike Inc, and have an expert handle it.