Going on extended cycling trips can be a lot of fun, but it’s crucial to equip yourself properly before you head out. A breakdown on the road can ruin your day and leave you stranded without help.
There’s no telling what could happen on the road. Before heading out, use these steps to prepare your bicycle for long rides.
Lube the Chain
Your bicycle’s chain transfers the motion of your feet on the pedals to propel you forward. You won’t be able to go anywhere if the chain becomes rusty, breaks, or falls off the derailleur. You could also get hurt if it happens at the wrong time, like when you’re trying to stop.
Inspect your bike’s chain before every ride to ensure it’s in top condition. You can clean off any dirt or debris with a rag or brush. Using a chain lubricant to ensure it shifts appropriately and runs smoothly is integral to bike maintenance.
Adjust the Handlebars
The handlebars play an essential role while riding. They allow you to control where you’re going and provide needed support when pedaling quickly or going over rough terrain. Properly adjusting your handlebars will reduce the effort it takes to move forward.
You can use a wrench to adjust the height of your handlebars if they feel awkward. Learning how to set up your handlebars for maximum cycling comfort will allow you to get the most out of your ride every time you go out.
Inspect and Inflate the Tires
Bike tires must handle the terrain without giving out. Size, tread, and material can affect how well they hold up. If they’re deflated or old, you could end up with a flat tire in the middle of your ride.
Ensure your tires are appropriately rated for the terrain. You can get tires for urban areas, racing, off-roading, and more, depending on your needs. Check them before each ride to ensure they’re adequately inflated. Each tire has psi requirements, so check that information before filling.
Pack Supplies for Long Rides
Cycling can be an exhausting pastime, especially when it’s hot. Bring water, snacks, and medical supplies in case you need to take a break, refuel, or patch yourself up.
Preparing your bicycle for long rides ahead of time will reduce the likelihood of a breakdown or accident on the road. Being proactive and considering the risks will allow you to enjoy your ride without interruptions.
Dianne Pajo is a Certified Personal Trainer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her outdoors and performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.