Tune Up Your Bike
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.
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.