3500 Mile Tuneup

Being new to a bicycle and not really having a manufacturers recommended service schedule as you do with a car, knowing when to replace components can be a little tricky at times.  I had noticed that my rear tire seemed to have a odd bulge in it.  Upon further inspection, a colleague showed me stretch marks in the tire and told me that a blowout was imminent.

Unlike a car, when you have  blowout, there are not 3 other wheels.  While the more dangerous one for both a car and bike are the wheels that do the steering, it is still very scary and shocking when a wheel blows much like the surprise you get when a balloon pops, only you are riding on the balloon!

Getting replacement parts

Normally I am a bargain shopper, getting the best product I can find at the best price.  This normally means online retailers with free shipping and no tax as opposed to retail stores with retail pricing and tax on top.  I usually can wait a few days or a week since I plan ahead and usually have spares on hand.  In this case I could not wait and did not have a spare on hand.  With anything rubber and flexible, you don’t want to store it and then expect it to be in perfect condition unless you can keep it from the air in a vacuum.  A good example would be expiration dates on those little “safe” devices us grownups use 🙂  Though they are sealed..perhaps that is a gimmick in itself.

I trotted down to the local bike shop, there are many in a big city which is nice, trying to find a specific tire.  No such luck, but definitely many choices and leave it to an expert to help me choose.  I ended up with a Continental Grand Prix 4000s.  I had heard about these and after recommendations, took the plunge and spent the $60, minus WABA member discount on it.  My plan was to order another when I got home for the front wheel which was not in nearly as bad shape, but my bike was dangerous to ride.

While I was at it..

While I was taking apart my bike, I decided to do a few more things which made me feel like I was giving my bike a good overhaul, though I really did not replace many of the parts at all.

  • Replaced Tire
  • Saved the thorn proof tube and installed a lighter one for speed 🙂
  • Cleaned the bike since I had the wheels off.
  • Lubed the drive chain (Well “waxed” with White Lightening)
  • Replaced the rear brake pads, since I had the wheel off and I use them more than I should, I have been told.
  • Replaced the sweaty nasty padding in my helmet.  Mine came with an extra set.
  • Picked up my gloves that were special ordered for me. I had lost a glove about 3 weeks ago and they finally came in to the local shop.

So…when I rode in to work it was nice having a comfy helmet, 2 gloves, a near silent drive train, and a new tire which was not going to blow out on me at any moment.

No manuals

As you can see, the things I did were totally based on my riding and would be different for everyone.  I would recommend checking your breaks and certainly your tires.  If you leave your bike outside, there are quite a few things you need to check.  It is better that you don’t leave it outside if possible and definitely not when it’s raining to prolong the life of your bike components.

  • Tires for Sun Rot
  • Chain and Drive Train for Rust and Binding.  You will want to lube your chain often.

Happy Riding!

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