Bike maintenance tips from Grand Valley experts (video) | PostIndependent.com

Bike maintenance tips from Grand Valley experts (video)

Brittany Markert
bmarkert@gjfreepress.com

To promote a safe bike ride and ensure fun, local technicians shared these simple tips cyclists can use at home to ensure bikes are in top-working order.

CHECK YOUR BIKE BEFORE A RIDE

On either an on- or off-road bike, consider checking what Ashley Jordan, co-owner of The Bike Shop, calls the "ABC's" of riding — air, brakes, and chain. (The Bike Shop is located at 950 North Ave., Unit #108, in Grand Junction.)

When it comes to air, check the tires for not only the correct pressure needed in the tire, but also for wear and tear.

"Make sure there aren't any tears, bulges, or torn areas," Jordan said. "If it's flat, find out why it's flat before airing it up."

For brakes, make sure to squeeze them and to confirm that they stop properly. Jordan also suggests making sure the pads aren't rubbing on the wheel rim.

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"No one likes a squeaking bike," he added.

According to Keith Benedetto, head mechanic at Colorado Backcountry Biker (150 S. Park Square, Fruita), if riders hear squealing when using bike brakes, it could cost them a couple hundred dollars to repair or replace.

According to Jordan, too much lube attracts dirt; and not enough chain creates noise and improper shifting function. The main part of the bike, the chain, is also the piece with the most moving parts. And it is often the most neglected part of a bike.

Cyclists should not use WD-40 on their bikes, contrary to popular belief, Benedetto suggested.

"It has to be specific chain lube," he said, adding the type (wet or dry) or brand doesn't matter. "It's a personal preference deal."

Other areas on the bike one should check is tightness in the handlebars, the front wheel and the seat post.

WHEN TO SEE A BIKE DOCTOR

Although many quick bike fixes can be done at home, it may be best to visit a local bike shop to make needed repairs.

Jordan suggests riders seek expert help when there is something loose, squeaking, squealing or making an unfamiliar noise on a bike. Other issues appropriate for bike mechanics include shifting, brakes not working properly, or too much sag in suspension.

"If someone says a chain is slipping, that usually isn't true; and we ask clients questions about what is going on and we evaluate from there," Benedetto said. "Each time you ride your bike there could be something that goes wrong. And you have no idea it is happening because you are used to it. I look at hundreds of bikes a week, and in about a minute I can usually figure out problems you weren't even aware of."

Manufactures suggest new lines for hydraulic brakes yearly, which is similar to expert recommendations for suspension updates.

Bike shops in the area include The Bike Shop, Bicycle Outfitters, The Board & Buckle, Brown Cycles, Grassroots Cycles, LTR Sports, and Ruby Canyon Cycles in Grand Junction; Colorado Backcountry Biker and Over the Edge Sports in Fruita; and Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports in Palisade.

Pick up the 2015 Cycling Guide at one of these local bike shops or read it online at http://www.gjfreepress.com.

GRAND VALLEY BIKE SHOPS

Colorado’s Grand Valley hosts a variety of bike shops servicing road and mountain bikes.

Fruita

Colorado Backcountry Biker

150 S. Park Square

970-858-3917

Over the Edge Sports

202 E. Aspen Ave.

970-858-7220

Grand Junction

Bicycle Outfitters

537 N. First St.

970-245-2699

The Board & Buckle

2822 North Ave.

970-242-9285

Brown Cycles

549 Main St.

970-245-7939

Grassroots Cycles

401 Colorado Ave.

970-243-2453

LTR Sports

2470 Patterson Road, #3

970-257-7678

The Bike Shop

950 North Ave.

970-243-0807

Ruby Canyon Cycles

301 Main St.

970-241-0141

Palisade

Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports

237 S. Main St.

970-464-9266