It’s a good idea to do a little bike maintenance after a fall to ensure no real damage was done even if you were able to kind of knock things back into place.
If you’re lacking in maintenance skills, stop by your local bike shop for a quick assessment and if needed tuneup before your next ride. Knowing your bike is sound will give you peace of mind and more confidence to attack hills or go the distance.
The main things you want to check or have checked after a fall are:
Wheel alignment: Look at how the wheel spins in relation to the brakes. The wheel should spin freely of the breaks and maintain the space while spinning if in proper alignment. If not, your wheel likely needs to be trued up.
Breaks: Your breaks should have equal space on either side of the wheel. If one is closer than the other or touching the wheel, your breaks may need to be adjusted and/or pads replaced if you’re overdue for maintenance.
Derailleur: If you fell on the side of your derailleur, you want to make sure it isn’t bent and that your gears are still shifting well. Start by spinning the back wheel to make sure the derailleur isn’t hitting the spokes. If you went down with your knee or elbow first, chances are you spared your derailleur. You should still cycle through all your gears just to make sure they all work.
One last little tip…You know that hiss that you hear when you pop the nozzle of the pump off your tire. It’s actually air from the hose not air from the tire escaping. So be sure not to pump your tires over the maximum pressure. 100 PSI is good for most riders.
The guys in the bike department at Sports Basement are so good about teaching bike maintenance on the fly and sharing their tips about gear and training. Don’t be shy about asking them questions or for help. They also offer free bike maintenance classes monthly. You can get more tips on the Hello Workout blog. We share as we go.
If you haven’t already, join us for the century challenge this summer. We’re sharing some of our training photos with the hashtag #Womens100 and on the Hello Workout Instagram page. We look forward to seeing your pics too.