Cycling

In a recent Weekly Wheeler newsletter, the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition offered these maintenance tips for cyclists:

Since the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March, a bicycling boom has been evident across the country. Local bike shops are reporting huge increases in bike sales and maintenance requests to service bikes. If you’re in need of repair because you’re dusting off an aged, beat up, or previously well-loved bike, you’re not alone. The trouble is that riders are finding it difficult to get a quick tune up with many bike shops being booked up for weeks (don’t let this dissuade you from reaching out to them, though!).

Reported the Los Angeles Times: “Rainer Zaechelein, the owner of Menlo Park’s Menlo Velo, a small bike shop along El Camino, said in the 25 years he’s run the shop, he’s never been so busy. Waitlists for standard tune-ups, which usually book out no more than a day or two, are running four-plus weeks.”

However, if you’re in need of some basic maintenance tweaks, below are some tips that don’t require you to be a bike aficionado or even leave your home! And, you won’t need a shed of special tools to do them. Simple tools like hex wrenches, tire levers, and Philips and flathead screwdrivers, are all you need in many cases.

If you search the web for ‘bike maintenance’ you’ll find oodles of advice, articles, and videos. To make it easy, we’ve selected a few that are easy to follow and from reputable sources like Park Tool and the League of American Bicyclists. Park Tool has many videos you can scour through if you’re looking for more advanced tips. Below are just a few for basic knowledge and minor fixes.

BIKE FIT
Fitting and Adjusting Your Bike  – video

BASIC BIKE CHECK
ABC’s of Bike Check  – video

TIRES/WHEELS
How to Fix a Flat Tire on a Bicycle  – video
How to Remove and Install a Wheel on Your Bike  – video
How to Patch a Bicycle Inner Tube – video
Tire, Wheel and Inner Tube Fit Standards – article
Tip – Reuse or recycle your old tubes. Tubes are super versatile for all sorts of practical purposes  If you don’t find a use for them, Mike’s Bikes will recycle them for you.

BRAKES
Park Tool Guide to Rim Brakes – video
Rim Brakes – What Type of Brakes Do I Have?  – video
Linear Pull Brakes – Mounting and Adjustment  – video

SHIFTING
Guide to Derailleurs and Shifting: Introduction – video

CHAIN
Clean and Lube Your Chain – video

Tip:  70% Isopropyl Rubbing alcohol is a cheap and effective degreaser! No need to buy special stuff. Pour rubbing alcohol into an old rag and rub along your chain. You can also use an old toothbrush to get the sand and grit out.

Hopefully some of these tips will help get you on your bike in no time. Be sure to take a slow test ride after you make adjustments to ensure everything is working properly. Have fun, be safe and enjoy your ride!

InMenlo file photo of Rainer Zaechelein by Scott R. Kline (c) 2012

{ Be the first to comment }

View from the Bike Lane: Reminder about cycling courtesies

The lifestyle changes that all of us are making as the result of Coronavirus pandemic are challenging. But there are some positive effects occurring. From my kitchen window, I see so many more families out cycling together. Given good weather and a noticeable reduction in traffic, cycling is more enjoyable than ever. Along with increased […]

Click to read more →

Public input sought for county improvements to Santa Cruz Avenue/Alameda de las Pulgas Road corridor

The County of San Mateo has been working with a task force of residents and stakeholders since September 2018 to address safety and connectivity concerns for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers the Santa Cruz Avenue between Sand Hill Road and Avy Avenue. On January 30, the County held a community meeting and shared four conceptual design […]

Click to read more →

Atherton police increasing traffic & bicycle enforcement on Middlefield Rd. in February

For the month of February, the Atherton Police Department will increase traffic and bicycle enforcement efforts. In 2019, there were seven bicycle versus vehicle collisions on Middlefield Road between Marsh Road and Ringwood Avenue. Of the seven collisions, four resulted in a visible injury to the bicyclist (abrasions), two resulted in a complaint of pain, […]

Click to read more →

Take a Little Free Library bike tour on Oct. 12

Take a bicycle tour of some of the new Little Free Libraries in Menlo Park on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. The tour starts at the Main Library and ends up at the Belle Haven Branch Library. We’ll stop along the way at a few libraries to browse and take pictures. […]

Click to read more →

Pop up bike lane comes to Menlo Park for three days, Oct. 2-4

As part of the Safe Routes to School program, the City of Menlo Park plans to install a temporary bike lane on Chilco Street, between Hamilton Avenue and the railroad tracks in the Belle Haven neighborhood. For three days, October 2–4, the temporary bike lane will provide a vision of the new street design. City […]

Click to read more →

Get bike safety swag at Belle Haven Community Mobile Market on Aug. 25.

Facebook is providing bike repair and lunch boxes at its Belle Haven Community Mobile Market on Sunday, Aug. 25, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. The free bike repair clinic will be held at the Belle Haven branch of the Menlo Park Library located at 413 Ivy Dr. The aim is to get students’ bikes […]

Click to read more →

Bicycle safety improvements in downtown Menlo Park completed

Work on permanent treatments for the bicycle facilities along Oak Grove Avenue, Crane Street, Live Oak Avenue and University Drive in Menlo Park are now complete. Final construction of the project began in May 2019 and consisted of refreshing the faded painted lines from the pilot project with reflective thermoplastic striping. Between El Camino Real […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park-specific bike safety classes will be offered for kids and their parents

Is your child planning to bike to middle school in the fall? Wheel Kids, together with the City of Menlo Park, have created a Menlo Park-specific Middle School Bike Skills parent/child class. The weekend morning class has three parts: in class instruction, blacktop practice and on the road cycling. Kids (and their parent — participation […]

Click to read more →

Bike safety training in Menlo Park teaches middle school kids how to navigate city streets

Last weekend 12 lucky students participated in a bike safety training provided by Wheel Kids. The event was organized by Parents for Safe Routes, and the La Entrada Safe Routes to Schools Taskforce. The training started at La Entrada Middle School. After Wheel Kids trainers presented examples of traffic situations and correct bicycle riding, the […]

Click to read more →

Peninsula Bikeway launch event proves fun for everyone

The Peninsula Bikeway was officially launched last Saturday at Burgess Park in Menlo Park. Once completed, the  Bikeway will make biking a viable option for most trips between the cities of Menlo Park, Atherton, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. About 50 people turned out for the event which featured the chance to test ride a variety […]

Click to read more →