gmhTODAY Spring 2022 - Page 73

Pump up your tires On the side of each tire you will find its appropriate “ PSI ,” or
“ pound per square inch .” Pump up your tire to match that number , or close to it . Less air will make for a less efficient ride , but sometimes that helps with shock absorption if you ’ re riding on dirt . And while you ’ re looking over your wheels , spin both of them to make sure they ’ re “ true ,” not wobbly .
Check your brakes Good working brakes are essential ! Give them a good squeeze . Do the brake calipers squeeze the rim or brake rotor
( if you have disc brakes ) evenly ? If not , you ’ ll need to adjust the calipers to get even , smooth operation , or contact your local bike shop . Do the brake cables move freely ? If you ’ re feeling a lot of friction on the cable , add some lubricant between the outer housing and the cable . ( Important note : Keep the lubricant away from brake pads or brake rotors !) Also make sure your brake pads are not worn out or cracking . Replace them if needed .
Do a test ride Try shifting the gears while riding and make sure the chain
easily changes from one chainring and cog to another without delays or skipping a cog . If lubricating the chain doesn ’ t fix this , your local bike shop can do a derailleur adjustment .
Last but not least – check your helmet
Protect your noggin ! Helmets are like seat belts in a car — essential . Wear a helmet ( be a role model for the kids ), and check that it ’ s in good shape and fits your head correctly . Make sure it fits evenly across your brow , is not flopping around , and its chin straps are snug – you should be able to fit two to three fingers between the strap and your chin . Replace a worn or old helmet — four years is the maximum life for a bike helmet .
Ride your bike ! After all that attention , if you still hear squeaks or clanking
noises in your bike , a good book like the “ Park Tool Big Blue Book of Bike Repair ” can help , although not in time for a beautiful spring day …. Otherwise , your local bike shop can help you with anything more complicated .
Now that your bike is ready to ride , take that baby out for a spin and enjoy the spring sunshine !
Jodi Hall and her husband Doug are the owners of Bike Therapy in Morgan Hill , CA . Opened in 2017 , Bike Therapy has been recognized as one of the top 8 best bike shops in America by the National Bicycle Dealers Association in 2019 , 2020 , and 2021 . Located in the Historic Granary District , their goal is to help everyone between the ages of 2 and 99 to discover the joys of pedaling - on the trails or on the road . Both Jodi and Doug are avid life-long cyclists and are deeply committed to supporting the Morgan Hill Community . Visit them online at ridemorganhill . com , call : 669-888-3882 , or stop by any day of the week . The shop is located at 17540 Depot Street , Morgan Hill .
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