Ten Essential Tips to Get Your Bike Ready for Summer

Ten Essential Tips to Get Your Bike Ready for Summer

The warm breeze of summer swiftly approaches. Now is the time to dust off your bike and prepare for some sun-soaked rides. Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, ensuring your bike is in top shape is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are ten essential tips to get your bike ready for summer.

1. Clean Your Bike Thoroughly

Before hitting the road, give your bike a thorough cleaning. Use a gentle bike-specific cleaner (such as Weldtite Bike Cleaner) and a soft brush to remove dirt, grime, and old lubricants. Pay special attention to the chain, gears, and brakes.

A clean bike not only looks great but also functions better.You'd be surprised the amount of energy is wasted when pedaling a bike clogged with dirt and grime. On average a bike with a dirty transmission will lose about 2-3 mph!

We recommend you spray the chain with (Weldtite Citrus Degreaser) to remove gunked up dirt, then wipe off with a cloth. Be sure to use a soft brush once again to get in around the cogs and jockey wheels of your rear derailleur to keep it free of dirt!

2. Inspect Tires and Wheels

Check your tires for any signs of wear, cracks, or embedded debris. Replace them if necessary. Ensure your tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure, which is usually marked on the tire sidewall. Also, spin your wheels to see if they wobble or are out of true. If they are, a visit to a bike shop might be needed to get them trued.

We at McCabes Cycles love trueing wheels and removing buckles so we will happily straighten your wheels for you. We can straighten just about anything so long as it doesn't have a S bend or is beyond the point of repair.

 3. Check the Brakes

Your brakes are crucial for safety. Inspect the brake pads for wear and replace them if they are worn down. Ensure the brake cables are not frayed and are moving smoothly. Adjust the brake tension so that your bike can stop quickly and safely when needed.

 4. Lubricate the Chain

A well-lubricated chain ensures smooth and efficient riding. Apply a bike-specific lubricant to the chain such as (TF2 Cycle Oil), wiping off any excess to prevent attracting dirt. Regular lubrication reduces wear and extends the life of your chain and gears.

 5. Adjust the Gears

Shifting should be smooth and precise. If you notice any skipping or hesitation when changing gears, it might be time to adjust your derailleurs. Check the alignment and tension of the cables. If you’re unsure, a professional tune-up can help ensure everything is in order.

If you notice the rear derailleur is crooked or bent, we recommend you bring it to a bike shop immediately and do not attempt to change gear. A bent derailleur can lead to a castrophic failure resulting in a broken gear hanger, twisted chain, and broken derailleur. In the worst cases I've seen it can also catch in the spokes of the wheel and buckle or ruin your wheel as well. Stay vigilant!

6. Tighten Bolts and Nuts

Over time, bolts and nuts can loosen. Go over your bike and check all the bolts, especially those on the handlebars, stem, seat post, and wheels. Use the correct torque settings if available to avoid over-tightening, which can damage components. We recommend you do this everytime you plan to go on your bike just to keep everything torqued correctly and safe.

7. Inspect the Frame

Look over your bike’s frame for any cracks, dents, or other signs of damage. Pay particular attention to high-stress areas such as the joints and welds. If you find any significant damage, consult a professional before riding.

 8. Test the Suspension

If your bike has suspension, check it for smooth operation. Make sure the forks and rear shocks are functioning correctly. They should move smoothly without any squeaking or scraping. Adjust the suspension settings to match your riding style and the terrain you plan to tackle.

 9. Update Accessories

Summer riding often requires different gear. Ensure your lights are working if you plan to ride in low-light conditions. Consider installing a bottle cage to stay hydrated, and check that your bell or horn is functional. Reflectors and a well-fitted helmet are essential for safety.

 10. Plan a Safety Check

Finally, consider taking your bike to a professional for a comprehensive safety check. A trained mechanic can spot potential issues that you might miss and ensure your bike is in peak condition. This small investment can save you from bigger, more expensive problems down the road.


Getting your bike ready for summer is more than just a tune-up; it’s about ensuring your safety and maximizing your riding pleasure. With these ten essential tips, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy all the adventures and freedom that summer biking has to offer. So, gear up, get out there, and enjoy the ride!

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