- Shock Pressure
- Lube Chain
- Quick Release
Look for lacerations, holes, wear, bulges, and bits of sharp debris in the tire tread.
Bulges will be similar to a car tire bulge: the interior lining has somehow become compromised and the thread of the belting have torn. The tube then pushes through and the only thing holding the tube and all its pressure is the actual rubber of the tire. This can lead to a very bad blowout. I recommend replacing this tire before considering another ride.
Holes and cuts in the tire can allow debris easy access to your tube. If you hear gunfire while riding and then feel like you're riding a flat tire, something got through to your tube. This type of blow-out requires a tire boot and a tube fix to get home.
Also, inspect the sidewall of your tires for wear and lacerations. Sometimes your brakes will come in contact with the tires and cut them open, leading to shot-gun loud blowouts.
This is a fairly simple test. Grab the front brake and handlebar. Then rock the bike back and forth on the wheels with the front brake still engaged. What you're looking for a is a loose feeling with two clear points of contact at each end of motion rocking the bike. If this is the case you have what we call "headset play" and it needs to be tightened. On rare occasion this is actually something else. Come see us.
If you feel nothing and things are solid and tight, then you're good to go. To correct this looseness you'll need to loosen the stem clamp bolts and then use a 5mm allen key to tighten the top-cape bolt slightly, until snug, until the play goes away. Then retighten the stem clamp bolts.
Test the tightness of these bolts by standing in front of the bike and pinching the front wheel between your legs. Put your hands on the handle bars and twist them right and then left while keeping the wheel still. This doesn't require extreme force, just a test to see if anything slips. If it feels solid then you're ready to go.
Every shock manufacture has their specifications on what shock pressure to run. It is often based on your weight and as a rule gauged around 25% sag. If you've set this, check it once in a while to be sure that your shock is holding air.
Road bikes: you have been out riding and I'm sure that you have a good deal of sweat and sugary energy drink dripping all over the place. Before lubing your chain, get a damp cloth and maybe a cleaning agent like Simple Green or light, soapy water and wipe the bike free of these liquids. Especially important to pay attention to the underside of the bike, as this is where your cables run. This will increase the longevity of shift quality on your freshly tuned bike.
Mountain bikes: Do the same, except in the case of collected and excess mud. Sometimes it is best to lightly soak the mud with a light spray from the hose and then spray some cleaning agent, such as Simple Green, onto the bike. After the mud has had time to soften, use a light spray and maybe a light duty brush to rinse the bike. Front and rear shocks should be treated with extra care. After having removed the mud, carefully wipe dust seals and anodized surfaces of shocks free of everything. You should do this after every ride, at least the shocks. This will increase the life of the seals and shock overall and reduce professional service intervals.
This is important to do after the ride because you don't want your chain out on the trail or road in a wet and freshly lubed condition. This does nothing but collect dust and debris.
Follow the directions on your lube bottle. Whatever you do, in Utah, an extremely arid climate, Dry Lube is key. To use this effectively lube your chain and then cycle it a couple times. Wipe off the excess thoroughly. My favorite is Rock & Roll. We also have some house dry lubes that are fantastic compounds.
On the note of chains, see us once a month about your chain wear.
Simple one. Quick releases are called that for a reason. They should be installed so that you can get them off. You should be able to get them off without serious injury to yourself or having to use another tool. Snug and firm, but simple to undue.
Chris King Hubs require 1100 ft/lbs of pressure when installed on the bike and the skewer is closed. More that that can fracture parts of the hub. Less can let it slip. This should still be easy enough to take of the bike without serious strain.
Key, don't overtighten the skewers. They're designed to increase pressure exponentially when closed.
Once in a while you need to check your spoke tension. This is an easy test. Simply grab one spoke at a time between thumb and forefinger while the wheel is installed in the bike (one spoke in each hand on respective sides of the wheel) and give it a wiggle. If it feels like a loose spaghetti noodle, you should bring it by the shop. Go through all the spokes and make sure they're snug and sitting pretty.
While you have the wheel in your hands, use one hand to steady the frame of the bike and then the other to try to move the wheel side to side. It should feels snug and moving the bike as well. If you feel a looseness as described in the headset/stem check, this is a loose axle and requires special attention of your mechanic.
This is very important to the practical function of your bike. If you feel that during your ride that your bike is taking its own direction or tracking differently from what you want to see, then this should be checked. There are a number of possibilities that you may run into.
First, make sure that the wheel is squarely in the dropouts, I mean fully installed in the bike. Loosen the skewer and push the axle of the wheel all the way into the bike and re-close the skewer. Visually inspect the distance between the fork legs (or seat stays) and the tire. It should be perfectly symmetrical. If not, follow these steps..
Skewer springs are shaped like cones and should be install with the narrow end of this cone facing the axle. If the large end of the spring in installed backwards it will overlap on the axle and create a shim when installed into the bike, also causing it to sit awkwardly.
The wheel may be out of dish or the axle may be loose. Please visit the shop for remedies as this requires special tools to repair.