Bike maintenance tips from Western Colorado experts
Grand Junction Free Press
Western Colorado BIKE SHOPS
There are several bike shops in Western Colorado to help fulfill any rider needs, whether on or off road. Note: Not all bike shops in Western Colorado are listed below:
Sunlight Mountain Ski and Bike Shop
309 9th Street
319 6th Street
Mountain Sports Outlet
205 6th Street
Colorado Backcountry Biker
150 S. Park Square
549 Main St.
Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports
237 S. Main St.
To promote a safe bike ride and ensure fun, Western Colorado 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 in Grand Junction, 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,” he 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.
“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 it won’t shift properly. The main part of the bike, the chain, is also the piece with the most moving parts. The chain is also 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.
To support local bike shops, there are several in town including Sunlight Mountain Ski & Bike Shop, Canyon Bikes, Mountain Sports Outlet, The Gear Exchange LLC, among others, in Glenwood Springs; Colorado Backcountry Biker and Over the Edge Sports in Fruita; The Bike Shop, Bicycle Outfitters, Brown Cycles in Grand Junction; Rapid Creek Cycles & Sports in Palisade.
The 2015 Cycling Guide at one of these local bike shops or online at http://www.gjfreepress.com.
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Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort is working on adding new terrain, and plans to build a new chair lift in the coming years.