Your Bike Tune Up Checklist For The Spring

March 11, 2024
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As the weather is warming up and the trees around the city are budding it’s time to dust off your bike seat and get your bicycle ready to ride for the spring and summer seasons. Before you head out you will want to take a look at all of the mechanical equipment on your bike so when you hop on it for your first ride of the spring you are not putting yourself at risk of getting into a New Haven bicycle accident.

The sooner you get working on taking care of the tune up items that you need to on your checklist the sooner you can get out and ride and enjoy everything our beautiful city has to offer for bicycle riders. In fact, according to RedFin, New Haven is the most bikeable city in the state of Connecticut with a bike score of 66. The real estate experts list East Rock and Wooster Square as two notable neighborhoods for cyclists to get a really good, quality ride in with the bike lanes and accessibility to attractions that are easy to bike to as highlights of the report.

Whether your city is ranked high or not as being particularly bikeable or not you will want to make sure that you are ready to be safe when you are out riding your bike. Safety starts with your clothing and gear that you are wearing before you even get on your bike. While there is not a bike helmet law for adults in the state of Connecticut, the safest thing you can do while riding a bicycle is to wear a helmet, so to protect yourself against serious injury you will want to make sure you have a well-fitting bicycle helmet and that you are wearing it on all your rides. You will also want to make sure you are visible to passing vehicles and that means wearing brightly colored or reflective clothing, especially at night.

Once you have your clothing appropriately picked out for your bike ride you are going to need to start checking off items on your safety checklist for your actual bike. You can not stop riding in November and then all of a sudden hop back on in March and expect everything will be just as you left it, unfortunately things don’t work that way. It is important that you take time to look over your bike before you head out for your first ride and make sure everything is safely up to date. We’ve made it easy for you with a checklist you can just grab and run with.

1.) Tires. One of the first things that change in state over the time between your last ride of the fall and your first ride of the spring are your tires. Tires are known to deflate significantly and in some cases, with older tires, experience small pinholes that can cause them to deflate as you ride. You should first, check to make sure there are no pinholes in your tires and then inflate them to the recommended pounds per square inch (PSI) for your riding adventure. If you’re not sure what that is, check with the manufacturer to make sure your tires are inflated properly.

2.) Brakes. Another critical component to a safe ride, brakes are important to make sure they are in working order before you head out and hit that first hill of the season only to realize they are not in working condition. Over the course of a few months brakes can get knocked around a little bit and out of place and if this is to happen you might get on your bike and find a surprise that your brakes are not working. It is better to find this out in your driveway then on your first ride.

3.) Chain. A dry and dusty chain is a recipe for disaster on your first spring ride. You will want to look over your chain, spin it a few times and decide if it is in need of lubrication. If it is, address this before your first ride so you do not put yourself in a precarious situation as you ride your bicycle through New Haven’s streets. Along with lubricating your chain you will want to make sure it is tightened and in good working order before you jump on your bike for your first ride of the season.

Another thing you will want to check for comfort, not necessarily safety, is your seat position. Given that bicycle seats are adjustable it is quite common for them to get knocked around in storage and when this happens you may find yourself riding in an awkward position. If this happens it will be uncomfortable but it also may put you at risk of getting into a New Haven bicycle accident as discomfort is a distraction and distractions can come at a cost. Take time before you head out on your first ride to make sure your seat is positioned properly so you can ride comfortably and safely.

Even after checking off all of the items on this checklist you may find yourself getting into an accident and becoming injured. If this occurs, you may need to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Contact our office and one of our experienced attorneys may review your situation and work with you on protecting your long-term interests.