There have only been a few days of warmer weather, but already local bicycle shops have seen an increase in people looking to get their bikes in shape for summer.
“As soon as the sun comes out, a switch hits and everybody is ready to go,” says James Holm with Summit City Bicycles and Fitness, 3801 Lima Road.
But if you haven't ridden your bike over the winter, it's probably a good idea to give it a tuneup before hopping on and pedaling away.
The best idea is to take your bike into a local bicycle shop where professionals can give your bike a once-over. However, there are some things you can do at home to get your bike ready.
Holm says people should follow the ABC of bike maintenance: A, check the tire pressure; B, check the brakes to make sure they are working properly; and C, check your bike's chain, making sure that it is not rusted and falling off.
Charles Syndram, who co-owns InRush Bicycles, 3204 Crescent Ave., with his wife, Micki, agrees that tire pressure is the first thing bike owners should check, especially if a bike has been sitting all winter.
The recommended tire pressure is usually written on the side of the tire, Syndram says. He says bike owners can use a tire pressure gauge for bikes to make sure the pressure is correct.
Syndram also recommends using chain oil to help lubricate your bike's chain to get it moving.
Next, make sure your handlebars are tight and check the nuts and bolts of the bike, Syndram says. This includes making sure the pedals are tight as well.
Holm says a good idea is to pick up the bike and spin the wheels, making sure the wheels are tight on the bike.
If not, tighten those as well.
When it comes to bike maintenance, Holm says “the tricky thing is not everybody knows how it should be.”
“It's a good option this spring to have someone who knows what they're looking at,” Holm says about getting a bike tuneup.
Summit City offers a free safety check on bikes and tuneup prices based on what your bike needs done.
At InRush, Syndram says owners can get a bike tuneup starting at $50.
Both places try to have a bike back to a customer in two or three days.
“We don't want people to be without their bikes,” Syndram says.