The Family Home Blog

Get Your Bike Ready for Summer Rides

Jun 08, 2016
Melissa Hincha-Ownby


It is bike riding season across most of the country, but before you and your children hit the road or the trail, you need to make sure your bike is ready for those fun summer rides. Barring any major issues, you can usually inspect your bike at home on your own, but if you’re at all unsure of something or find a problem—even a small one—make sure to connect with an expert at your local bike store to ensure everything is safe.

Clean your bike
First things first, clean your bike. Even if it has been sitting in the garage all winter, your bike is dusty and it needs to be cleaned off.

Check your tires and rims
After cleaning off your bike, you’ll be able to see any issues better. Now inspect the tires and rims. Make sure there are no cracks or holes in the tires, properly inflate them (confirm using a pressure gauge) and then check the rims for a proper fit.

Check your brakes
I admit that I’m not the best at figuring out what type of brake maintenance I need to do, so I typically just do a visual inspection followed by a quick trip around the cul-de-sac to test the brakes. If they are going to fail, I’d rather them fail at low speed.

Inspect chain and cables
Visually inspect the chain and cables to ensure there are no twists, kinks or breaks. Consider applying more lubricant to the chain, if needed.

Adjust the seat for growing children
If you have children, you’ll know that they probably have grown since the last time they rode a bike, so make sure to adjust the seat for their new height. Don’t forget to secure the seat tightly, because you don’t want it suddenly lowering mid-ride. I’m unfortunately speaking from experience here.

Check safety equipment
Before heading out on your first ride, give your safety equipment a once over. Make sure that there are no cracks or dents in your helmet and the foam padding inside is in good condition.

Does your family enjoy summer bike rides together?

Photo courtesy of Melissa Hincha-Ownby.

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