Addressing maintenance issues before they become an issue will reduce hassles for you and save you money. Having a ride destroyed because of a mechanical issue that could have been prevented is no fun.

So before your first ride of the year it is always a good idea to review your bike and accessories to make sure that everything is working properly and you have everything you need to enjoy your

A Clean Drive Train is a Happy Drive Train

first ride of the year.

First you want to check over the major systems of your bicycle.

Braking and Shifting.

First run through the gears and make sure your bike is shifting properly. Think back to the last time you rode. Did your bike shift smoothly and properly? Or does it need a little attention?

Next you’ll want to look at the brakes. Are they working properly? Do the brake pads line up on the rims? When you pick up the bike and spin the wheels do they spin smoothly between the pads without rubbing the pads? Do the brake levers stop before touching the bars so that you have enough to actually stop the bike?

Brake Pads

How does the wear on your brake pads look? Most modern brake pads have a wear indicator line on them. If you can see it you are good, if you can’t it is time to replace. It is also a good idea to check the pads for any imbedded debris that could damage the rim surface.


Checking chain for lubrication is something you should do on a regular schedule and will offer a smoother, quieter ride, better shifting and longer chain life. If you have a chain wear indicator it is a good idea to check your chain to see how much life it has left in it.


Healthy cables are essential to safe shifting and braking on your bike. Checking the cables periodically is always a good idea. Do you have any damaged or kinked cable housing? Damaged cable housing can affect how you bike brakes or shifts. Next you want to check the inner cables themselves. Is there any rust on the cable that could cause it to break or fail?

Next you want to check the ends, are they frayed or broken off where they attach to the brakes or derailleurs? Addressing this issue will be necessary for future adjustments and to ensure the cables stay securely attached.


How does the tread look? Is it worn, are there flat spots? Are there a cuts or tears in the tire? How does the side of the tire look? Is it dry rotted? If you can see the threads in the rubber that is a sign of dry rot. Are there any areas of wear on the side of the tire? That can be an indication that the brake pads are rubbing on the tire.

Any of the above signs could mean it is time to replace your tires. Items like those above make it more likely that the tire will get more flats or even experience a blowout.


Grips wear and get torn. How do they look? Were they comfortable last time you rode? Are the ends of the handlebar covered and protected. Uncovered bar ends can damage your car when leaning your bike on it or worse yet increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident.

Grips and bar tape are relatively inexpensive upgrades that can yield big returns in comfort for your hands and a more enjoyable ride.

We offer no charge safety inspection on your bicycle. Come on in and we can look your bike over with you and see if there are any issues that need to be addressed.

Here is a great resource to post by your bike that covers a Quick Check to be performed prior to every ride.

CLICK HERE to Get the Quick Check Form

In Part Three We’ll cover Accessories.