Five things to get your bike ready for spring

DC Bike Riders participate in the 2016 Ride. (Abram Eric Landes)
adventure sport
Make sure you have air. If your bike has been sitting around all winter, your tires may be flat or low on air. You want to make sure these are inflated properly so investing in a good air pump is crucial for avid bike riders. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/Warren Goldswain)
Check your brake pads. Just like a car, the brakes and brake pads on your bike are very important and should be in the best condition possible. Bike brake pads should feel soft to the touch and not dry or flaky. The length of your brake pads should press firm to the touch and not wobble or feel loose.
Check your brake levers. You do not want these to squeeze all the way to the bar. Make sure, when you squeeze the levers, the brakes engage. The brakes should not stick and should fully stop the wheel while in motion.
Check your cable and cable end. Make sure there is no rust or oxidation on them. They should be a shiny silver and not a flat grey color. Where the cable ends stop, those pieces should not be frayed.
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adventure sport

This article is sponsored by DC Bike Ride

Spring is here and to get ready for the amazing spring ride, DC Bike Ride, it is time to get that bike ready as well. Before you go out, here are five things you need to do to get your bike ready. REI is a proud official sponsor of DC Bike Ride 2017 and can help you with those spring tunes.

  • Make sure you have air. If your bike has been sitting around all winter, your tires may be flat or low on air. You want to make sure these are inflated properly so investing in a good air pump is crucial for avid bike riders.
  • Check your chain. You will want to check both your front and rear chain rings and sprockets. Check for proper tension and any rust or dirt that may have built up over the off-season.
  • Check your cable and cable end. Make sure there is no rust or oxidation on them. They should be a shiny silver and not a flat grey color. Where the cable ends stop, those pieces should not be frayed.
  • Check your brake pads. Just like a car, the brakes and brake pads on your bike are very important and should be in the best condition possible. Bike brake pads should feel soft to the touch and not dry or flaky. The length of your brake pads should press firm to the touch and not wobble or feel loose.
  • Check your brake levers. You do not want these to squeeze all the way to the bar. Make sure, when you squeeze the levers, the brakes engage. The brakes should not stick and should fully stop the wheel while in motion.

If you do not feel comfortable working on your bike just yet, take a bike maintenance class, which are offered at REI.  At each of the different REI stores, they offer classes from basic to intermediate. Available Classes can be found for your area at https://www.rei.com/learn.html. These classes go over the basics (gear adjustments, brake adjustments, air pressure, bike fit, how to identify worn parts and replacing them) in a 2 hour period.

Bike fit for customer

At the DC Flagship store, they offer one-on-one GURU bike fits from  quick fits (for the person shopping around for a bike) to fit  optimization (looking to get a pro fit on their current bike and/or may  want address reoccurring fit issues). Call and schedule with the DC  Flagship store: (202) 543 2040.

Other important things to remember are to stay hydrated while out  on the trails, especially while being accustomed to the warmer weather.

If you are looking for a fun bike ride for the whole family,  DC Bike Ride on Sunday, May 14 is the perfect family outing! Join the 20-mile car-free scenic bike ride (there’s a 6.5-mile turnoff point for the little ones) through the streets of D.C. with on-course entertainment past some of the world’s most iconic sights. After the ride, celebrate the epic journey at the Finish Festival headlined by Biz Markie on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol. Kids ages 3-7 participate for free and registration for riders ages 8+ start at $60 each. Join the ride at DCBIKERIDE.COM before prices go up on May 1st!

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