It’s time to get back on your bike, but
first let’s make sure it’s in riding condition
You can literally feel it in the air.
Winter has done its worst and is on the way out, while longer days, greener parks and sunnier afternoons are becoming the new norm (again). This annual renewal triggers something inside us all, causing us to feel the need to get out more and enjoy everything we’ve missed so much over these last few cold and grey months.
By “everything”, of course, we mean “cycling”.
If you’re like us, spending more time on your bike is at the top of that list of things to do in the warmer weather. To help out, we’ve put together a checklist for anyone whose e-bike is making a return to the sunshine after hibernating all winter. Getting back in the saddle is a rite of passage this time of year, so do it right by following a few simple tips before you set off!
Front to back, top to bottom
Let’s start with the most basic of basics—cleaning. Dust and dirt can accumulate anywhere and clearing it away is a must. This is a great time to detail your bike with an end-to-end cleaning that it might get just once a year. There’s more to your bike than the seat and handlebars—make sure to inspect joints and connections, wheel hubs and all those little nooks that don’t often get your attention. Obviously, make sure that any lights or reflectors are as shiny as they day you got them.
Moisture is also an issue. Depending on the conditions in which your bike was stored, there could be a small amount of condensation still remaining. You might be able to wipe it away after a visual inspection, but it’s best to let the bike sit out in a dry, ventilated environment even for a day or two before putting it back into service.
Let’s jump to the battery. If you use a smartphone application to track battery status, turn it on and check the charge level. If you followed our advice about storing your e-bike during the winter, the battery should be somewhere between 30% and 50% charged. Regardless of where the battery level is, connect the charger and allow time for it to get to 100%.
4. Tyres and brakes
Now it’s tyre and brake time. Visually examine the surface of the tyres, looking for any signs of damage, like punctures or cracks. They’ll almost certainly need a bit air after being stored away for so long, so inflate them to the manufacturer specifications printed on the side. Bear in mind that your wheel hub may benefit from some lubricant.
Test both front and rear brakes while standing and pushing the bike forward, braking one wheel at a time. Be sure that brake cables are well connected and safety out of the range of motion of any moving parts (and your legs). Be sure that brake cables show no signs of damage. If they do, this might be a good time to have them replaced, something that needs to be done regularly anyway.
5. Quick releases
Quick releases are our next stop. You have them on your seat stem and handlebars and it just takes a few seconds to open them and securely close them again. This is an important thing to do since you can’t be sure how much they may have loosened over the past few months. Better to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you hop on for your first ride this season, don’t you think?
6. Folding mechanism
Last but certainly not least, go through the folding and unfolding motion of the bike. If it feels like you’re getting any resistance or it seems like it’s not as easy as it should be, you can apply some lithium grease spray at the folding point. Alternatively, folding and unfolding a few more times may very well work out the problem.
So there you have it—you’re ready to ride. Remember that if you have an issue with your JIVR that won’t work itself out, you can always get in touch with us directly and we’ll help.