Five tips for making your bike safe for spring use
It is time to get your bike ready for the great outdoors. We have put together five simple tips to make cycling safer. Follow them and you will soon be up in the saddle and riding away into the spring sunshine. And don’t forget to wear a cycle helmet!
1. Wash off the winter dirt
Whether you have been cycling all winter or not, your bike will probably have acquired some dirt and needs to be cleaned. If you have an e-bike, prepare to clean it by removing the battery and covering the display with clingfilm (an extra precaution, but you don’t have to do this). Hose your bike down and then use warm water and a brush to scrub it down from top to bottom. Use a toothbrush to get into every nook and cranny. You don’t really need any cleaning agent, but mild soap works well. Hose your bike down again. Dry the chain with a rag and lubricate it straight away. If you don’t, it may soon start to rust. Wipe off excess lubricant.
Tyre condition is essential to both speed and safety.
2.Bike tyres may also need a pit stop
Tyre condition is essential to both speed and safety. Check your tyre pressures. If your tyres are squashy, it will be harder to ride and you will be slower. Check the tread as well and ensure there are no cracks on the sides. Worn tyres mean poorer grip and a higher risk of punctures. Check also that the spokes are firmly in place. Loose spokes will cause the wheel to start to twist. If you carry on cycling, the rim itself may become twisted and need replacement.
3. Tighten nuts and adjust the brakes
A bike is like a piece of furniture you have assembled yourself. The nuts may need to be tightened after you have used it for a while. Check also that the handlebars are firmly in place and pull on the chain to see whether it has the right tension (no more than 1 cm play up and down). Then go for a short ride to test the brakes. If they are not as effective as they should be and you have rim or disc brakes, you can adjust them on the handlebars. The blocks and linings may also be worn and need replacement. If you don’t want to adjust the brakes yourself, take your bike to a repair shop so you feel totally sure that your bike is working properly and safe.
Try out your bell too, so that you know it will work when you zip past your neighbour.
4. Be seen and be heard to be safe
Although the days are getting longer, it is important that both your front and rear lights work and that all your reflectors are intact and clean. Try out your bell too, so that you know it will work when you zip past your neighbour on the downhill stretch home.
5. And now the most important thing of all
Your bike is now shiny and clean and you are ready to go out on the road. But how will you protect yourself? A good cycle helmet is essential. Whatever type you use. At Hövding we think everyone who wears a helmet is a hero. And what we can offer is the safest cycle helmet in the world. In fact, it’s not really a helmet. It’s an airbag that turns into a helmet. In 0.1 seconds. Not bad, eh? Read more about Hövding here.
Have a good ride in the sunshine!