If you are also affected by the curfew have to stay at home, then you can use your time wisely and make your bike fit for the upcoming season.
Your bike is looking forward to its new self after a long winter in the dusty garage ;-).
Gentle basic cleaning
It is best to start with the gentle basic cleaning and look out for possible defects that might have been hidden under the dust layer.
For basic cleaning, it’s good if you can clamp your bike in an assembly stand if you have one.
And then you can start with the gentle cleaning – stay away from the high-pressure cleaner! After all, you don’t want water to run into the bottom bracket as it would rust like an old nail.
A wise approach would be as follows:
First you spray your bike with a special bike cleaner and let it work briefly.
Then wipe off the dirt thoroughly with a sponge or soft microfiber cloth. If necessary, you can of course also moisten the cloth.
Even if your love is big – you don’t have to share the toothbrush. Therefore, it is best to use an old brush for the winding parts of your bike and use it to clean everything that is difficult to reach.
After cleaning, it is best to let your Ruff Bike dry and then do it honor with a clean microfiber cloth by polishing it until it is free of dirt and shiny.
So that everything runs like a clockwork, it is important that you now dedicate yourself to the moving components of your cruiser.
Below we have created an overview of which grease is suitable for which component. In this way you ensure that your bike will not become a rusty donkey.
The right type of grease depends on the viscosity of the lubricant:
Bottom bracket and headset: use a higher viscosity grease (adheres better)
Seat post: use stubbornly adhering greases (can hardly be displaced)
Suspension fork and damper: volatile greases (use special oil)
Chain: use a special chain oil
THE ART OF CHAIN CLEANING
It’s probably not the first time in your life that you have to lubricate a chain. However, since you never stop learning, you can skim through our tips on how to get a bicycle chain clean and smooth. Of course, you should check beforehand whether the chain is not too worn out and has a good tension. For that, you can use a caliper for bicycle chains.
The strategy step by step:
Prepare at least 3 soft microfiber towels and a high-quality special chain oil. Make sure your bike is stable and cannot fall on your head (or foot). If possible, turn it on its back so that you can get to the chain well. Place an old newspaper under the chain so that the oil doesn’t drip directly onto the floor.
Now you put some chain oil on a clean microfiber cloth and easily encompass the chain. Then slowly turn the pedal clockwise and pull the chain through the microfiber cloth. You will see that there is a lot of dirt going down. Always take a clean spot on the microfiber cloth and drizzle it with fresh chain oil. Repeat this process until only very little dirt remains on the microfiber cloth.
If the chain is already fairly clean, add a drop of chain oil to each connection point of the chain links. That sounds like a lot of work, but it’s a very relaxing job and can be done faster than expected. Let the oil take effect for a short time and then pull the chain again through a clean microfiber cloth.
Now you take your bike and do a few laps with it, pressing hard on the pedals to push the excess oil and the remaining dirt out of the chain. Afterwards you have to pull the chain one last time through a microfiber cloth and remove the dirt. Now you’re done – the chain should sparkle.
Now that you have successfully cleaned and polished your Ruff Bike, you can start looking for defects and other grievances.
Take a close look at everything from front to back – you will find out exactly what you should pay attention to in the next section.
For your driving safety, you should check the brakes of your cruiser thoroughly before your first trip.
On the one hand, you check whether the brake pads still have enough profile – that is the case if you can still see the grooves on the rubber. If not, you exchange the rubbers for new ones. Also take a look at the brake cables to see if they are still clean and can slide through the sleeve.
Then you should check whether everything is still in the right place and firmly connected to the frame.
The screw connections on your Ruff Bike are also components that need to be checked. So that you can safely cruise without a part becoming loose or even falling off, you should check all screw connections on your bike and tighten if necessary. Also remember the screws under your saddle.
You should also check the gearshift and set it so that you can comfortably shift any gear without anything dragging. You already checked the sprockets and all chain rivets when lubricating the chain. If everything fits there, you should still check the front derailleur, the rear derailleur, etc. for their functionality and adjust them correctly if necessary. You should also check the shift levers on the handlebars for their function and strength.
To ensure that you are safe on the road even at night, you should check the lighting of your bike. Also remember if your cruiser has a battery to charge it before your first trip. Otherwise your adventure will have an unwanted quick end.
After a long hibernation in the garage, your bike is a little out of breath. Therefore, you should fill the tires in the prescribed frame. You can find the optimal air pressure on the edge of the tires. If you want to cruise around on dirt roads, the air pressure should be slightly above the specified minimum. If you drive on the street, the air pressure must be high to have as little rolling resistance as possible.
So now you’re done – your bike is sparkling clean, fully functional and almost like new.
The basis for a fresh look has been created.
In the next “Ruff-fresh your Cruiser” post you will learn tips & tricks on how to give your bike a new look for little money.
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