Early spring is a good time to replace bike parts that may be worn out so you can start the new season with critical components in top-notch shape. Here are six things you should do now.
Your tires: The knobs on mountain bike tires lose their edges, which reduces traction. Road bike tires, especially rear tires, lose their crown, making them feel clunky when transitioning in and out of corners. All tires age. Rubber gets harder.
The chain: Measure the chain stretch to determine whether your chain needs to be replaced, or alternatively, you can make replacement part of your annual routine. An old chain is more prone to breakage, shifts poorly, and accelerates wear on the bike’s chain rings.
Check the cables: Cables are the wire cores and housings are the outer covers through which the cables run. Your first indication of failing cables may be a “snap” followed by a loss of tracking or shifting.
Brake pads: Rim brake pads harden over time, which diminishes braking efficiency. They also pick up bits of grit that grind against the rims. Disc brake pads pick up junk, which can gouge rotors. Replacements pads come in many styles, including those for severe conditions and pads for specific types of rims, such as ceramic-coated and carbon fiber.
Cleats: Worn cleats are difficult to clip in and out and may release unexpectedly. New ones should be installed early in the season when your daily mileage is low.