The key to success at the TD Five Boro Bike Tour? Simple. A tour-ready bicycle. A few easy checks will keep you rolling all the way from Manhattan to Staten Island without a hitch.
Susan Lindell, the shop manager at Brooklyn’s Recycle-A-Bicycle (one of our bike shop partners at this year’s Tour) shares the essentials of getting your bike ready for a big ride.
The most important thing is to make sure your tires are properly inflated and in good condition. The correct tire pressure will ensure that you are rolling as efficiently as possible as well as help prevent pinch flats from not having enough air. Use a pump that has a gauge and pump your tires to the proper PSI, which can be found on the sidewall of the tire.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that your wheels are installed securely. If you have quick-release wheels, make sure that the levers are closed tightly. Check that the curve of the lever is convex and reads “closed” on the side facing outward. If you have bolt-on wheels, use a wrench and tighten all axle nuts.
Now, take your bike out for a quick spin in a safe area with low traffic. Shift through all your gears to make sure that your derailleurs are working properly and your chain is not falling off. Squeeze your brakes and make sure they have sufficient stopping power and are not rubbing.
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to bring your bike to your local bike shop for a quick safety check. Do this in the weeks before the ride so they have plenty of time to address any problems they find.
Now your bike is ready. What about you? Check out our training tips here.