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All cyclists are responsible for keeping their riding equipment in good working order. Safety, comfort and performance are all determined through proper equipment, so please take this seriously. If you need support, visit a local offical Bike shop to discuss your needs.
Get Your Bike Properly Fitted
Being fitted to your bike important to your comfort. It should be appropriately sized for you. The saddle, stem and handlebars should also be properly adjusted.
Listen to Your Bike
Unusual sounds – such as squeaks, popping, grinding, creaking or rattling – are warning signs of a problem and should be inspected. A complete overhaul is recommended annually.
ABC Quick Check
A is for Air Check you wheels for worn tires, loose spokes, warped rims and proper tire inflation.
B is for Brakes Check brakes for function, cable tightness, worn pads, frayed cables and alignment of the pads with the rims. Ensure the brake is not rubbing on the wheel. Lift the bike and spin the wheel to be sure it is spinning freely.
C is for Cranks, Chain and Cassette Check your pedals and cranks for tightness. Check for chain looseness and bad links; clean regularly. Lubricate with bicycle chain lube. Check the derailleur for worn cogs and adjustment. Check that your gears change smoothly.
Check to ensure that the wheels are clamped securely in the drop-outs before each ride.
Additional Safety Checks
Check your helmet for cracks and make sure it fits properly. Check your shoes for tight cleats and straps and buckles in good repair. Make sure your bicycle saddle is the right height and the bolt is tight. Check your handle bar for looseness at the headset and stem.
How to Adjust a Helmet
Helmets are designed to prevent serious head injury. A serious fall or crash can cause permanent brain damage or death. Bike crashes or collisions can happen at any time so ALWAYS WEAR A PROPERLY FITTED, DAMAGE-FREE HELMET. Adjust your helmet in six easy steps, or consult with your local bike shop if you need support:
Use cycling shoes with locking pedals for comfort and performance. Cycling shoes have stiff soles to prevent foot flex and fatigue. Special cleats lock into pedals, keeping the shoes from slipping and adding increased cycling efficiency. Shoe straps and/or buckles allow tightness adjustment in case of foot swelling on long rides.
Use padded cycling shorts with a high quality chamois. In addition to providing comfort and performance, they are breathable, lightweight, stay dry to inhibit bacteria growth and reduce pressure points and chaffing.
Cycling Eyewear and Gloves
Proper eyewear is important to protect your eyes and field of vision from airborne objects discharged by a cyclist in front of you or by a nearby vehicle. Cycling gloves will keep your hands warm during cold weather and will protect your hands in the event of a crash.
Cold Weather Gear
If you’ve never cycled in cold weather before, you will be surprised at how warm you will get! Cycling is an aerobic activity, which means that your body will produce heat more than walking. Most first-time cold weather cyclists find that they have overdressed and are too hot.
It’s more than likely that you already have clothes that will work for your legs and torso. Your extremities are the most challenging to keep warm – hands, feet, and head ) – and may require something extra. Following are a few tips:
Warm-Up: Don’t hit the hammer from the get-go! Start slowly so that your body, and especially your joints and muscles, can warm up. Your body works better when it is warm.
Layering: Layering allows you to add and subtract layers according to how warm/cool you are. Function over fashion rules. It is important to use thin/lightweight materials do reduce bulk and maintain maneuverability. How many layers to wear depends on the individual and the length of the ride. Shorter rides may require warmer clothing since the body has less time to heat up. Many cyclists recommend that you start off feeling a little cool because you will quickly warm up. If you overdress you will become sweaty in no time. Experiment with different combinations and see what works for you. Consider marking down the daily temperature, what you wore that day, and what worked well. Remember that once you stop cycling you will cool down quickly, so carry an extra layer if you plan on stopping for an extended period of time.
Torso: A thin water/windproof jacket is a must. There are many cycling-specific jackets on the market. Start with a wicking base layer next to the skin made of polyester/micro-fiber-synthetic fabrics to keep sweat/moisture away from the skin; silk and wool are natural fabric choices. Stay away from cotton as the base-layer as it will absorb sweat and keep it next to your skin, making you wet and cold. Jackets with full front zips increase your options for moderating temperature.
Legs: Many cyclists are comfortable wearing tights (over the cycling shorts) or leg warmers. Knee warmers are also an option for “warmer” temperatures.
Head: Cover your head to conserve the most heat. Cycle-specific hats and helmet liners fit snugly under the helmet. Leave a few extra minutes to adjust your helmet to fit over your hat.
Hands: Hands are in a stationary position so are more subject to cold than the rest of your body. Try wiggling your fingers when stopped. Use full-finger gloves – make sure that glove thickness does not hinder shifting and braking. Have a waterproof option available for rain – if your gloves aren't waterproof try a shell. Ski gloves are particularly good for temperatures below freezing. If your hands sweat, consider a wicking liner to keep the sweat away from your skin.
Feet: Cover your cycling shoes with over-booties or toe warmers. Avoid sock layers because that can cut off circulation.
Official Bike Shops: