Springtime means different things to different people up here in Breckenridge but, for a good percentage of the population, springtime means it’s finally time to pull the bike out of hibernation. The snow is receding and the roads are finally dry enough to cruise (the trails are a different story), but before you get all gung-ho about getting out there, take note of what steps should be taken to make sure your bike is good to go.
Thad Eldredge, the owner of Carver’s Ski, Board and Sport Shop on Main Street, knows a thing or two about biking, given his shop has been fixing up bikes in Breckenridge for over 15 years. We caught up with him to get the rundown on what people should consider when getting their bikes ready for spring and summer riding.
Clean it up
It’s been a long winter, which means there has been plenty of time for your bike to accumulate grime and gunk.
“If you have been storing your bike on your porch or a shed, you really want to give it a thorough cleaning,” said Eldredge, noting that getting down and dirty with the bike will also give you a chance to see any noticeable issues.
Just like your car, the brakes on your bike are one thing you want to ensure are working properly before you start your season.
“You want to make sure the brake pads are well adjusted and the cables look good,” Eldredge said. “Take note at how worn the pads are as well; it might not be a bad idea to buy new ones if you question whether they would be safe to ride on.”
Lube: it’s your best friend
When it comes to getting your bike ready, a little lube goes a long way, especially when you consider how many moving parts need to stay greased up. It pretty much goes without saying that you want to make sure your chain is adequately lubed, but other parts you should check include the derailleur assemblies, brake cables, brake and shifter levers and the brake assemblies.
If you are unsure about where these pivot points are on your bike, you can squeeze the brake levers, watching closely to see where they move. Anywhere you see metal parts moving against each other is a good place to lubricate. Remember to be very careful not to get any oil on your brake pads, as it will cause your brakes to do the exact opposite of what you want.
Be prepared for anything
“There is a pretty big cruiser scene in Breckenridge, which usually involves rides that go into the evening hours,” said Eldredge. “I would say pick up some lights, both rear and front, and maybe some fenders because we do get some sloppy conditions, and you don’t want mud collecting on your back.”
In addition to the steps mentioned above, it’s always a good idea to take your bike into a qualified mechanic to get things thoroughly checked out. Carver’s has four full-time mechanics with anywhere from three to 13 years of experience in the shop.
A full bike tune at Carver’s will run you $75, but you can ride away confidently knowing everything will be clean and running smoothly.
“There is a lot of competition up here, but we make it a point to treat people well as soon as they walk through the door,” said Eldredge. “And I think it’s because of that we always see them come back.”
Find Carver’s at 203 N. Main Street or, if you have any questions regarding bike tunes, call them at (970)453-0132.
Once your bike’s all ready to go, check out our blog on the Blue River Trail, accessible right from town.