As spring approaches, basic bicycle care is essential to longevity

Courtney Flynn and Courtney Flynn

With bicycle use increasing as spring crawls in, basic bike care is necessary to keep it up and going. ‘A bike can be ridden for years with proper maintenance,’ said Aaron Stevenson, a sales associate at Cycle Werks on South Main Street. Keys to proper bike maintenance: – Check the tire pressure and keep it up. Serious bike riders should check their tire pressure once a day. Those who use their bike for basic use should check the tire pressure at least once a week, Stevenson said. -Keep the bike clean and dry. Junior Alyssa Masterson keeps her bike in the garage to make sure it stays clean and dry. ‘I always clean off the cobwebs before I ride it,’ she said. ‘I don’t want dust or spiders on my bike.’ To keep the chain and gears clean use a citrus-based degreaser to wipe the dirt off and keep it dry to apply bike chain lube, Stevenson said. ‘Don’t forget to the keep the chain and gears clean and lubed,’ he said. -Do not use WD-40, a corrosion protectant, to grease the bike. This corrosion protectant is too thin. It runs off the chain and gears quickly, drying them out fast, Stevenson said. With an expensive mountain bike junior Curtis Myers said he knows not to use WD-40 because of the damage it can cause. -Do not ride on a flat tire. Riding on a flat tire can cause bent rims and a blown air tube, A.J Rinaldi, senior and avid biker since the age of 3, said. One of the most common things Cycle Werks sees at the beginning of spring is flat tires that need to be fixed, Stevenson said. -Take it in for yearly check ups. Rinaldi has had numerous bikes over the years and said it is important to take a bike in for a yearly check up and to be fixed when need be. ‘I had to learn the hard way on how to properly care for and fix my bike,’ he said. ‘The first time I tried to fix my bike three of eight gears worked. I didn’t try to fix something I didn’t know how to after that.’ With these basic tips any bicycle is bound to last for many seasons, Stevenson said. Just don’t forget to keep it locked and in a safe place.