Health & Safety

September 6, 2013

Maintain bicycles at home for smooth, safe ride

IMG_3852b
 

Southeast Arizona is considered one of the prime locations in the United States for street and mountain biking. Cooler temperatures and monsoon’s end will soon bring bikers out in greater numbers. Before prime biking weather sets in, bikers should give their bicycles some TLC for smoother, safer rides with minimal breakdowns or flat tires.

With modern bicycles, maintenance should be considered a critical part of the overall riding experience. The latest bicycle designs have up to 30 speeds, indexed shifting and integrated brake/shift levers.

Home bicycle maintenance requires a portable bicycle repair stand, specific tools and a tire pump. Park Tool Company (www.parktool.com) is among other online sites where riders can find specific tools for bicycle maintenance.

Before starting any maintenance, perform a light bicycle cleanup. Use a damp cloth to remove road and trail grime from the frame, fork, rims, derailleurs, crank arms, brakes, stem and handlebar. This allows a rider to work on a bicycle without getting dirty.

Before each ride, check tire pressure. Inflate tires to the recommended air pressure listed on the tire. Inspect tires for cuts, thorns and uneven wear. Replace worn-out tires quickly to avoid tire failures during a bicycle ride. Also, when changing out tires, replace the tube.

Brake adjustments are important for quality stops. Adjust brake pads close to the rim without touching the rim during wheel rotation. In addition, adjust brake cables for minimal slack. Inspect brake pads for wear and replace as needed.

Clean tire rims with a cloth soaked in dish soap, then rinse and dry. This will remove road and trail grime from the rims, as grime interferes with stopping power.

Bicycle chains require proper lubrication to function correctly. Use a bicycle-specific chain lube regularly. In general, lubricate the chain whenever it starts to make noise during shifting. The best way to apply lubricant is to apply one drop of lube to each rivet/bushing. Be careful — over-lubrication will attract dirt.

Gear-shifting adjustments can be difficult and require two steps. The first is to adjust the derailleur’s limit stop-screws. These stop screws are labeled “H” (high) and “L” (low). Adjust limit stop-screws on the front derailleur when the chain is shifting past the smallest or largest chainwheel. For the rear derailleur, adjust limit stop-screws when the chain is shifting past the smallest or largest sprocket.

The second step is adjusting the shift indexing. Each index stop corresponds to one position of the derailleur. The indexing adjustment is an adjusting barrel located at one end of a length of cable controlling the derailleur. If needed, adjust the cable tension for proper shifting between gears.

This article covers only basic bicycle maintenance. Additional bicycle maintenance information can be found online. In addition, the Internet has free how-to maintenance videos. For complex bicycle repairs or complete overhauls, a rider may need to visit a local bicycle shop.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Scout-1954

FINAL ISSUE: Scout newspaper prints final edition after more than 61 years

Times are changing. Gone are the days when a kid stood on the corner waving the newspaper and crying out the latest headline. Gone are the days when news could wait until the presses had finished rolling. Today news is instanta...
 
 
Jennifer-Caprioli

Scout on the Street

Joan Vasey Managing Editor As managing editor of The Fort Huachuca Scout for the last eight years, I’ve seen a lot of transitions as military and civilian personnel have come and gone, including Scout reporters. Threaded thro...
 

 

Plan now for gate changes beginning Aug. 3

Significant changes to installation access at Fort Huachuca will begin Aug. 3 including a return to the original gate names and background checks for all individuals 18 years and older without an approved form of DOD identification. What is now known as the Main Gate, will return to its historical name, Buffalo Soldier Gate, and...
 
 
Julianne E. Cochran

Help wanted: Enlisted aides in valued roles for Army leaders

Julianne E. Cochran An Enlisted Aide Training Course instructor shows a student the specifics of setting up a general officer’s uniform during a practical exercise. WASHINGTON – Enlisted aides are considered an elite group ...
 
 
Stephanie Caffall

Vacation Bible School attracts 130 attendees this year

Stephanie Caffall From left, Trey Roberts, 10, John Pecic, 9, and Kyla gross, 7, hold Bible point signs during snack time. The Bible point on July 16 was God has the power to forgive. Fort Huachuca’s Main Post Chapel hosted i...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>