The Positive Spin - Mx

Friday, March 27, 2020
by Ed hazelwood — Member-at-Large
Winter is not the time when most bikes get a lot of love. Yes, some of us still ride them, but usually not as much as in warmer times of year and when we do, our bikes are usually subject to the harsher elements that mother nature has to offer.
This year as we the weather starts to warm, and the daylight lasts longer all of us and our sport have some serious challenges facing us. But it is still time to take a look at springtime cleaning and maintenance (Mx).
Even if you are going to be riding alone or in very small groups safely distanced apart from one another it is a great idea to get your bike ready to be a smooth operator. Give your bike some love.
For starters, Clean Your Bike!
Here’s a checklist from Lennard Zinn, author of Zinn & the Art of Road Bike Maintenance:
  • Wash off winter salt, sand, and grime with low-pressure water from a hose. (High-pressure sprayers can force water where it shouldn’t go.)
  • Check your chain for wear with a chain-elongation gauge and replace it if indicated.
  • Check your brake and shift cables for nicks and proper tension. If you find nicks or fraying, replace the cable. If they’re stretched out, tighten or replace them. If all is well, consider lubing your shift cables with a few drops of chain lube to keep them sliding smoothly.
  • Overhaul your jockey wheels for improved shifting. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Check your wheels for true and tighten any loose spokes.
  • Check brake pads for wear and replace them if they’re getting thin.
  • Replace that nasty handlebar tape!
  • Lubricate your bottom bracket bearings.
You may or may not feel comfortable doing some or all of this yourself. If you do, great. If not, it’s a very good time to show your local bike shop some love as well. Bike shops can use it. They too are suffering under the onslaught of COVID-19.
Personally, while I am pretty good at doing a lot of the maintenance myself, I took my Cervelo to Spokes in Ballston, VA for the premium clean and tune up just a week or so ago. Turned out one of the cables had serious issues and I knew I needed a new chain. Thrown in tweaking all the adjustments, an ultrasonic cleaning of the rear cassette and my ride is ready to rock smoothly.

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