Bring your ride out of hibernation with these easy fixes for common problems

Major dirt and grime

Don’t use a high-pressure hose on your bike – it may mar the finish and dislodge important parts. Instead, try a gentle flow from a garden hose. Better yet, use a soft-bristle brush, warm water and dish soap.

Gunk on the chain

With a five-centimetre brush, apply a degreaser to the chain. Give it a minute to work. Hose the chain, let it dry and apply a drop of lube to each link – but inside the chain, or else the lube may fly off as you ride.

Loose spokes

Pluck the spokes like guitar strings. You should hear loud, clear notes. If one spoke has a lower pitch than the others, tighten it. If the pitch is too high, it’s over-tensioned and could break. Turn the nipple a quarter turn at a time for best results.

Hard, no-traction tyres

Wrap a lemon half in a rag, and then squeeze the juice over the tyres and rub it in. The acid breaks down the top layer, softening the tyres so they provide more traction.