Simple bicycle maintenance to stay on the trail
SHERIDAN — With the weather warming up and more bike trails becoming available as the snow melts in the Bighorn Mountains, it is time to pull the bikes out of the shed or off the hooks in the garage.
Before adventuring out for a bike ride, there are some easy at-home maintenance items to consider when properly maintaining a bicycle.
Checking the tire pressure and lubing the chain are two of the first things to do when a bike comes out of storage, said Sheridan Bike Company owner Jordan LeDuc.
A dirty chain is a common problem LeDuc sees in bicycle maintenance. To properly clean a chain, a person needs to backpedal while dropping a Teflon-based dry lubricant onto the chain, making sure the lubricant fills in the pores along the inner and outer chain. Excess lubricant should be wiped off to prevent extra debris from being attracted to the chain.
A dirty or dry chain can damage the drivetrain, LeDuc said. WD-40 is useful for a lot of things but bicycle chains is not one of them.
Each type of tire has a different level of proper inflation and can be found on the sidewall of the tire. Mountain bicycle tires are usually between 20-30 PSI while road bicycle tires are around 80-120 PSI, LeDuc said.
Keep road tires at a higher pressure — and thus harder — to allow for better rolling. The lower pressure on the mountain bike leads to better traction, handling and a softer ride. Visual signs of tires wearing out are dry rot and cracking.
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