Before you zip off on your journey, you should always check over your bike. After all, it’s “safety first” and the best commute is a safe commute. So before you hit the seat, make sure you’re hitting these key points:
Wheels and Tires
Are your tires properly inflated? Your tires should be firm to the touch. Check both tires by pinching them with your thumb and index finger. If you can easily push it in, it’s too soft for most riding. We also recommend using a PSI (Pressure Square inch) gauge to make sure your tires are in the proper range - the target PSI for each SWFT bike can be found on the side of every tire.
Tight and Secure
The spokes. You want your wheel spokes smooth and secure! To check all spokes for tightness, simply squeeze together each crossing pair (the spokes that overlap each other.) You’ll need to do this on both sides of the front and back wheel. If you find a loose one or are questioning whether it is loose or not, it’s always best to bring your bike to your local bike shop for a professional opinion and tightening. Also keep note of your ride - if you hit any dreaded potholes or killer curbs, recheck your spokes before hopping on again.
The brakes. Brakes are a rider’s best friend, so you really want to make sure your brakes are tight. Give them a good squeeze and rock your bike back and forth to ensure their stopping is up to snuff.
The handlebars. You want to maneuver securely, after all! To check that your handlebars are wobble-free, stand in front of the bike, place the wheel between your knees, and twist the handlebars from side to side. There might be a little flex but the handlebars should not come out of alignment. Also double-check that the wheel is straight when the handlebars are.
Look over the bike. Does anything look loose or likely to get in the way of operating the bike?
- You’ve got the power. Make sure your battery is fully charged and connected.
You’re ready to ride off in comfort and security - enjoy your ride!
A Note About Maintenance
For you and your e-bike’s optimal safety, we recommend bringing your bike into a shop once a year for a tune-up, just like you would a car. If you’re riding a lot (over 500 miles) you may want to get that tune-up twice a year. Preventative maintenance like this will help keep your bike in top condition - and on the road - for a longer time.
A Bike tune-up consists of:
- Cleaning the bike
- Checking that the gears and derailleurs are functioning properly
- Checking the chain for stretching or wear and tear
- Inspecting the brakes for wear and stopping power
- Checking the tires for wear, cracks, or swellings
- Checking all cables for stretch and function
- Checking the wheel spokes and tightening if needed
- Ensuring no unwanted movement from the headset and seat posts
- Tightening every nut and bolt to ensure the bike is stable while riding
- As required, applying the right oils and greases to moving parts
At the tune-up, the professionals will give your bike a run-through and make recommendations for optimal maintenance. Things like brake cables, brake pads, and tires do wear out over time, so you’ll want to get those periodically replaced. A shop employee will recommend whether it is time for a replacement or give you a heads up on when you should be replacing them in the near future. Your tune-up should leave you assured that your bike is in the perfect shape for the perfect ride.
So stay speedy, stay stylish, and - most importantly - stay safe!