How to get your bike ready for spring

If you use your bike for the first time after the winter break, you should take a look at the technical equipment – and do not forget the tires. Read here what you should look out for with your bike.

Do you want your bike to shine properly? Then use warm water and a rag for cleaning. However, avoid chemicals and soaps, as these can attack individual components such as the bicycle chain and lead to rust.

Check for cracks and rust

After the bike has been cleaned, you should carry out a visual check: Small cracks, abrasions and rusty areas are easily recognizable after thorough cleaning. If the handlebar is damaged, have it replaced by a specialist – otherwise there is a risk of a broken handlebar.

Maintain bicycle chain properly

After the winter, it is important for all wheels to check the chain and the circuit. If both are clean and in good condition, a short test drive is sufficient to check the functionality. If not, you should clean the pinion, chain and derailleur roughly. For this purpose, a solvent-impregnated, non-fluffing cloth is often sufficient. Stubborn dirt can be removed with a brush or toothbrush.

After cleaning, lubricate the chain with chain grease or oil. The rule is: less is more. Excess fat or oil is simply absorbed with a cloth.

If you lubricate your chains with lubricants for spraying, you should be careful: The spray can come to the brake flanks or brake discs and thereby greatly reduce the braking force. The grease prevents the brake shoes from gripping properly.

Do not forget brakes

Over the winter applied rust on disc brakes can provide for the first braking for a particularly strong braking effect. Then you should prepare yourself as a cyclist and tackle the first rides very carefully. As a rule, the corrosion on the windows disappears after a few braking cycles, according to ADAC.

Nevertheless, you should also check the condition of the brakes during your spring check: Uneven wear, cracks or damage can be a major hazard on the road.

Be sure to change porous bicycle tires

Especially those who had mothballed their bike or pedelec over the winter should take a close look at the tires of their bike in the spring, advises the ADAC. In general, porous tires appear much more likely than a funky profile. A tire change is therefore sometimes useful even for not visibly recognizable damage.

In addition, you should check the tire pressure during your spring check. This is usually 2.0 bar for front tires and 2.5 bar for rear tires – depending on the type of bicycle, the benchmark can be significantly higher. If the value is exceeded or undershot by 0.5 bar, this is usually not problematic. More critical is a significant deviation: Excessive pressure can cause the bicycle hose to burst, too low increases wear.

Check lighting and cables

Even if the sun shines more often and longer, the right lighting is important. Therefore, check if the bulbs and LED lights are still working after the long winter. The wiring should also be checked: Porous or broken cables can hinder the lighting as well as corroded contacts. For lanterns, you should check the batteries.

Season check and inspection

Basically, the ADAC advises an annual inspection of the bike, also to detect hidden defects and prevent consequential damage. For about 50 euros that offer many bike shops.