While March has most definitely come in and gone out like a lion for most of us this year, here’s hoping that springtime will quickly transform to lamb status. We’ve all been getting a bit stir-crazy this winter with the weather and eagerly await the transition to warmer temps. Now that daylight saving time is upon us, too, it means that riding outdoors is just that much an easier proposition.
In the meantime, there’s no time like the present to take care of a few simple maintenance items to ensure your prized bike(s), too, emerge from hibernation in tip-top, road/trail-ready condition.
When’s the last time you checked your chain for wear? Preventative maintenance is the key to a silky smooth drivetrain and the chain is the component that needs a certain modicum of vigilance. Swapping out a chain before it’s worn is the key to extending the life of cassettes and chainrings. No matter if your bike is road or mountain, 7-speed or 11-speed, Nashbar has just the chain to meet your drivetrain’s demands. And checking for worn chains is a simple endeavor when you’ve got a handy chain-wear tool (here or here) to let you know when replacement is necessary.
Pro tip: Before you dispose of your worn chain, keep it around for reference so you can readily determine how many links to trim from the new chain to equal its length.
Walk over to your bike(s) and take a quick squeeze of the brake levers. Throw the bike onto the work stand and make a few shifts through the gears. If the mechanical braking or shifting action isn’t quick, precise, and of minimal effort then it’s time for brake cable or shift cable replacements.
Pro tip: Before disposing of old housing, keep it around so you can use it as a guide for cutting new housing to the same length. Save yourself some time and effort!
Swapping out your brake pads for a fresh set is a quick means to guarantee safe, confident riding. And for those who’ve been braving Mother Nature’s worst this winter, it’s likely you’re due for new pads both front and rear. It’s pretty easy to be lulled into less-than-adequate braking performance as pads gradually decline, but once you’re got new pads you’ll be reminded just how awesome your brakes can be when they’re in peak condition.
Out of sight and out of mind, cleats are easy to overlook. But if you can’t recall the last time you’ve installed a new pair on your shoes, it’s likely the time is now. A new set of cleats will ensure you’re maximizing that all-important pedaling efficiency plus they guarantee crisp, clean entry and exit from the pedals. And for those with road shoes, a simple investment in cleat covers as well not only helps extend cleat life, but provides a little extra on the traction side – perfect for negotiating the smooth floors of convenience stores while out on a ride.
Pro tip: If you haven’t already done so, trace an outline of the cleats on the sole of your shoes so there’s no question as to duplicating the exact cleat position. You’ve worked hard to dial in the perfect position so why not ensure perfect continuity.
Not so much a fix, but a definite morale booster for those first rides when it’s warm enough for bare arms and legs. It’s amazing how something as simple as fresh handlebar tape can utterly transform the aesthetics of a road bike. Crisp and clean, fresh and fun, dollar for dollar you can’t beat how sharp your cockpit looks with new handlebar tape. No matter if you prefer matching the bar tape to your paint job, opt for timeless black, or are a stickler for white, Nashbar has a world of options to accommodate any predilection. Why not stock up now for the season?