Bike maintenance: How to get ready for spring in 6 simple steps

Bike maintenance: How to get ready for spring in 6 simple steps

Whether you have cycled through winter (good for you!) or have yet to dust off your bicycle for its spring debut, it’s important to get your bike ready for the new season. After you’ve planned your favorite routes, you also want to ride them with an awesome bike, right? While an annual check-up at your local bike shop is always a good idea, here are some quick and easy steps you can take to make sure you’re ready to hit the road this spring.

 

Step 1: Clean your bike

A well maintained bike is a happy bike! Not only does a clean bike look better, its parts will perform well together, wear off slower and save you money on replacements. Some soap water, a couple of rags and an old toothbrush will do the job. Giving your bike a good scrub also works wonders for your motivation: nothing like a spring clean to get you in the mood to show off those sparkly fenders.

bike-maintenance-kids
© Vasilev Evgenii / Shutterstock.com

Step 2: Tired tires

Inflate your tires till they feel hard to the touch, or to the recommended pressure as it says on the tire. For a safe ride the wheels should spin freely and straight – no wobbling. You’ll definitely need a replacement if the wheel is missing some of its spokes or the tire is visibly damaged, cracked or worn down. When in doubt, take it to the local bike shop.

 

Step 3: Check your brakes

They should not graze the wheels when loose and make full contact with the rim of your tires when pulled. If the rubber on your brakes is worn down, it’s time for new brake pads. If you can easily squeeze your brake levers down to your handlebar and they don’t snap back with force, they need to be tightened.

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© Oleksiy Rezin / Shutterstock.com

Step 4: Test your gears

Turn your bike upside down or lift the rear wheel to manually shift through your gears while turning the pedal with your other hand. Watch for any signs of wear or damage on the chainrings and rear wheel cassette. Easy running gears and chains best transfer the force of your legs to the ground.

 

Step 5: Oil your chain

If your chain is loose or rusty, head to the bike shop for a replacement. A worn out chain will prevent effective pedaling and you won’t do your chainrings any favors. If the chain is just dirty or squeaks, clean off the muck with a rag and lightly lubricate the chain with some chain oil for a good-as-new smooth ride.

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© wk1003mike / Shutterstock.com

Done all that? Great!

Now make sure you pay special attention to our last and most important step…

 

Step 6: No more excuses

Banish them once and for all by trading in your drive to work for a happier, healthier commute on two wheels. Try out your new route on the weekend to get used to the roads and intersections before navigating through rush hour traffic. Set yourself some achievable challenges. Sign up for Bikemap Premium, join a weekend cycling club or do like me and train towards a bike race event that scares you just enough to keep at it. It’s always more fun to work towards your training goals together!

 

Congratulations! You’re ready to ride.

© Shutterstock.com
Title image: DisobeyArt / Shutterstock.com
Stay on track with Bikemap’s new offline navigation

Stay on track with Bikemap’s new offline navigation

When you’re out riding a new route there is so much else you’d rather give your attention to than staying on track. After all, there’s terrain to react to, other cyclists to look out for and scenery to enjoy.

It’s easy to miss a turn when you’re navigating busy city traffic or remote areas you’ ve never been before. You don’t want to stop to check the route every few minutes – not to mention having to worry about your mobile signal in remote areas. 

Stay on track with Bikemap’s new offline navigation

Using the Bikemap app, you can now follow turn-by-turn voice directions while on your bike. Once you update to a Premium account and download a region, you can get directions to every destination within that region. Keep your eyes on the trail while cutting out roaming charges and saving valuable battery life.

How can I navigate my routes offline?
  1. Download the free Bikemap app for Android or iOS.
  2. Register or sign in if you already have an account.
  3. Upgrade your account to Premium.
  4. In the menu, click on “Offline Regions”. Pick a region and download it by hitting “Store for offline use”. You can now navigate offline within that region.
  5. In the menu, click on “Navigate”. Tap on the map to enter your destination or insert it in the boxes (only destinations that have already been entered will pop up when in offline mode)
  6. Then click the “Navigate” icon to activate directions in real time.
  7. Go out riding and say goodbye to lost data connections and high roaming charges. 

    Bikemap tip: Set your phone to flight mode to save valuable battery life!

navigation-blog-premium

 

Enjoy the ultimate freedom with Bikemap offline navigation now!

Download the Bikemap App for Android or iOS and get the full Bikemap experience:

App_Store      google_play

Offline maps and routes are only part of our new Premium offer! Curious about what else we’ve got? Discover more about Bikemap Premium here.

8 great cycling benefits you should know

8 great cycling benefits you should know

As anyone with a bike will know in their bones, cycling is good for you. But what exactly – apart from a great time – happens when you head out to exercise on your bike? We set out to answer that question for you. Here are 8 things regular cycling does for your body*:

 

*Warning: you might get addicted to all these positive effects.

Burns fat while you ride.

Cycling at moderate speed is the key here – no need to exert yourself if your goal is to burn body fat. Interval training is great for increasing your metabolism levels, so try pedaling as fast as you can.

 

Burns fat while you rest.

This is one of the best perks of getting in shape. You’ll increase the fat-burning enzymes which get to work long after you’ve showered off and your heart rate is back down.

 

Keeps lungs and heart healthy. 

No wonder those who exercise live 3 – 5 years longer than those who don’t. And enjoy the positive effects on their hearts and lungs while they’re at it.

 

Want more training tips? Triathlete Mario Fink tells us how he gets in shape for Iron Man Hawaii.

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© lassedesignen / Shutterstock.com

Lowers stress levels. 

And reduces fatigue, anxiety and depression. Just a little bit of regular cycling improves reaction time, memory and creativity, making you excel at work and play.

 

Makes you sexier.

Whatever your body type, exercise increases your confidence, your testosterone levels and your sex drive. That alone makes you more attractive.

 

Reduces pain.

Cycling is a low-impact activity and has been proven to reduce and prevent joint pain and arthritis.

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© Pixabay.com

Improves your sleep.

Regular exercise and sunlight are both known to cure insomnia. Be sure to choose some great routes in exciting destinations so you have something sweet to dream about, too.

 

Elevates your mood.

The runner’s high is real, but the cyclist’s high is all of the endorphins you get from good exercise PLUS the thrill of speed and the joy of wind in your face. And bragging rights – so don’t forget to create or upload your routes with Bikemap.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your bike and go for a ride!

There simply is no better way to give your body and mind an energy boost.

Would love to reap the benefits but have a flat tire? Our bike maintenance tips will get you back on the road in no time.

Picture credits

Title image: © Titov Dmitriy / Shutterstock.com