The students are off to school and the commuters are off to work!
This is the time of year we see a spike in service calls, because the southern heat/humidity is starting to dip. As you prepare your bike for all of your autumn journeys, we want to pass along three important tips before hopping on your bike and hitting the road...
1. Air Up - First and foremost, check those tires! Before you air them up,
inspect the tires for any cracking or tears (especially if the bike has been in storage). Next, check the sidewall of the tire for the correct pressure range. After you have determined the best pressure for your tires, use a floor pump with a gauge to air them up slowly. On occasion, the tube will push out between the tire and the rim causing a flat, so air them up slowly and check the tube to prevent this. After they have been topped off, make this part of your pre-ride routine
2. Lube the Chain - This often goes overlooked by riders until there is an audible squeaking. Consider this noise a reminder to inspect/lube the chain. Always remember to use a bike specific lube. Never use WD-40. This will attract more dirt and destroy the drivetrain. Our current favorite is the Dry Lube made by Muc Off. It is a clean and long lasting lube. The best way to lube the chain is by leaning the bike up, pedaling backwards, and putting a couple drops of the lube on while the drivetrain is in motion. Next, wipe off the excess with a microfiber cloth and let it sit for a couple of minutes to soak in
3. Be Prepared for the Weather - Fall in the Carolinas can be a mixed bag. We can see temperatures range anywhere from 90 degrees to 30 degrees in late fall. This is also the time of year for sporadic rain and wind. Always check the forecast before heading out and make sure that you bring a light rain jacket just in case. You should also make sure that you have a quality pair of gloves, a hat, and any other accessories on hand to make your ride more enjoyable. We hope this gives you a good baseline for the season and ongoing preventative maintenance. Until next time, enjoy the ride!