July 7, 2015


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Video: Fixin' bikes and shiftin' into spring

Springtime means a spring-tune up for cyclists - whether your bike sat in the garage all winter, or stubbornly rode the salty streets.

And as Will Belford of the Exchange District's Natural Cycle explains, it's not just about repairs - but preventative maintenance.

Used gear wheels on display at Natural Cycle in the Exchange District.

MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Used gear wheels on display at Natural Cycle in the Exchange District. Photo Store

Shop manager Will Belford (left), mechanic Graham Madden (centre) and co-op member Andrew Dalton in the repair area of Natural Cycle in the Exchange District.

MELISSA TAIT / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Shop manager Will Belford (left), mechanic Graham Madden (centre) and co-op member Andrew Dalton in the repair area of Natural Cycle in the Exchange District. Photo Store

"Inspecting the action on your (gear) shifters or your brake levers is a good thing to do, at least once a month because the last thing you want is to really need it in an emergency, and then it's not there for you."

Some of the basics of a spring tune-up may include:

  • Checking tire pressure and health.
  • Making sure the tiny parts that make up the chain are spaced correctly so they don't cause wear.
  • Checking the bearings where the pedals are attached for balance and wiggle.
  • Testing the physical action of the brakes, cables and gear shifters.

And there is a reason it's called a tune-up.

"All of the systems need to be balanced, to be just so - perfectly adjusted," Belford said.

You don't need to know how to repair them yourself, but keep an eye on things and bring it into a professional when you spot a problem.

But you don't have to bring your bike in every spring for a tune-up, every bike is special Belford said and when it comes down to it, "the more you ride, the more you have to be fixing your bike."

Watch the video of the mechanics at Natural Cycle for more tips on bike maintenance.

melissa.tait@freepress.mb.ca

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