6 Checks to Perform Before Visiting Local Bicycle Repair Shops

With spring well on its way, cyclists across the country will be visiting their local bicycle repair shops to get their bikes in shape for the riding season.  Why not bring yours to Alamo Bike Shop here in San Antonio soon?  We’ll be happy to give it a complete inspection and tune-up.

Before you come in, though, here’s a series of six quick tests you can use to find out about any potential problems before they become serious.

  1. Pick your bike up about 4-5 inches above the ground, and then let it drop straight down on its wheels.  Listen for any rattles, creaks, popping noises, etc.; these could be signs of loose or damaged parts.
  2. Engage the brakes and let them go.  They should snap back into place immediately.  If they don’t, be sure to get them checked out before your next ride.
  3. Give the tires a close look-see.  Check for any tears, rips, or cuts.  Make sure they’re inflated to the recommended pressure and stay that way.
  4. Spin the wheels.  You should notice no wobbling, squeaking, or contact with the brake pads.
  5. Check the wheel’s quick release levers (they allow the wheels to be removed without using tools).  Make sure the levers are tight and functioning properly.
  6. Check the headset.  This is the tube that connects the frame and the front wheel forks.  Over time it can come loose.  Check for this by applying the front brakes while gently tilting the bike, so that the rear wheel raises up and goes back down to the ground.  If you hear any clicking, you may have headset problems.

Be sure to mention any problems you notice to the experts on our team here at Alamo Bike Shop.  Whether you live in the San Antonio area or will be visiting us in the future, drop by and see us!  We offer a full range of services for your cycling needs: rentals, secondhand bikes, tours of downtown, and repairs.

Secondhand Bikes: Buying Tips for Older Persons

More and more Americans are staying physically active well into their later years.  The benefits of lifelong exercise include better health and improved quality of life. Cycling is an especially good activity for older persons; it’s low-impact and has terrific cardiovascular benefits.  Many seniors are on tight budgets, however, and can benefit from the cost savings associated with secondhand bikes.  So here are some tips for choosing a great bike with the needs of mature persons in mind.

Get Comfortable

For most seniors, the best all-around choice will be a “comfort” or “cruiser” bike.  These models have features such as high handlebars, wide tires, and well-padded seats.  They also feature fewer gears for ease of riding and front- and rear-wheel suspension.

Saddle Up

Most seniors will be comfortable with saddles that are between 8-12 inches wide.  A layer of gel padding is a good idea as well.  It provides enhanced comfort and protects the coccyx and perineum.  Another important consideration is saddle design; horseshoe-shaped ones are especially comfortable and supportive, as are noseless ones or those with a deep indentation down the center.  Leather is a good exterior material, as are the various moisture-wicking fabrics.  They help to avoid chafing and keep the saddle dry.

Do a Test Run

Before buying any bike, take it for a short test ride in the parking lot.  The handlebars should be set at a comfortable height, the saddle should not put undue pressure on any part of the body, and the knees should have a slight bend as the pedal reaches the bottom of the down stroke.  A good bike shop will make sure that the cycle fits the rider comfortably.

If you’re an older person and live in or near San Antonio, then we encourage you to drop by Alamo Bike Shop soon.  We’ll be happy to match you with the perfect secondhand bike for your needs and your budget.