Biking/Fat Biking, New Moon News, Ski & Bike Tech Talk

Start Spring with a Bike Tune-Up

Cleaning off your bike with a spring tune-up

Now that we finally may be moving toward some spring-y weather, it’s a great time to get your bike into New Moon (or your local bike shop) for a spring tune-up.

After a long winter in the garage, shed, or even the basement, your bike’s parts likely didn’t miraculously fix themselves. Tires may have mostly deflated. The carefully applied film of chain lube has secretly collected a substantial layer of dust, fuzz, and cat hair… It is now time for the spring tune-up… not just to keep your bike riding well for many more miles, but especially to be safe on the roads and trails, we always recommend getting your bike looked at before you start the season.

Dustin working on a bike at New Moon Ski & Bike

A basic tune-up covers the most common and basic adjustments and required lubrication. A tech will clean your bike, re-lube components, and do a safety check of all the hardware – bolts, tires, tubes, etc. They will also work their magic with the working systems of the bike – brakes and drivetrain. These key adjustments are what most riders notice most after a tune-up. Gear shifting and brake function often degrade slowly through the course of a season or many seasons, and cyclists are often shocked at how much better a bike works after a tune. In some cases, new cabling, brake pads, or drive components like a chain or a cassette are needed to get everything working smoothly. If any additional parts or repairs are needed, the customer will be notified if they wish.

Cyclists are often surprised by the mechanics’ recommendations – specifically new chains and new tires. Chains wear out with use, becoming “stretched” over time. That, in turn, wears the teeth more quickly on the rear cogs or the front chainrings. At that point, the worn chain is accelerating wear on the rest of the drivetrain and potentially ruining otherwise good parts. Big or strong riders will stretch a chain much more quickly than lighter or gentler riders. Our area’s mountain bike trails invariably have a sand component in the soil. Sand is an efficient abrasive, and, yup, that will wear your chain out, too. For the road bikers, sand is found on road shoulders, often in abundance. One ride on a wet shoulder, and, you guessed it, ‘crunch crunch’ – sand in the chain. Our service department is equipped with special instruments to check for chain wear. We’re happy to gauge your chain anytime, just swing by the shop and we’ll show you what condition your chain is in. It just takes a few seconds! We can also show you special chain cleaners and wax-based lubricants that help keep your drivetrain grit-free and running smoothly. Keep that chain clean between tune-ups and you can actually save some money in the long run!

Now for tires… Tires are the real unsung hero of the modern bicycle. Often just paper-thin, these are ultimately responsible for getting you out and back safely, not to mention quickly if you’re into that. Bike tires can and do weather with exposure to the sun and the atmosphere. Most rubber compounds will ‘dry out’ and crack or split over time leaving the fabric casing deeper in the tire vulnerable to cuts and punctures. Then there’s wear & tear, just like your car tires. Instead of getting upset about wearing out a bike tire, be glad you’re lucky enough that you ride often and did just that. Tire wear and weathering can be subtle. We’re happy to help you evaluate the condition of your tires and will find a perfect replacement for your riding style and needs. Again, if you’re unsure,  stop by the shop with your bike or just bring your wheels if that’s easier.

This summer, New Moon’s service department will again be headed by Dustin and backed by a team with many decades of bike tech experience, including Darrell, Hannah, and, of course, Chris Young who will continue to work on special projects, wheel builds, and bike fittings.

So, beat the rush-make sure your bike is safe and ready to ride the roads and trails before summer starts!