Al Roberts is the head bike mechanic at Skookum Cyclce & Ski.

Al Roberts is the head bike mechanic at Skookum Cyclce & Ski.

Business beat: Bike maintenance basics

The Revelstoke Review gets bike maintenance basics from Al Roberts of Skookum Cycle & Ski.

In a new monthly series, We go to local businesses for advice. This month, Al Roberts from Skookum Cycle & Ski provides some easy bike maintenance tips. Have an idea for this series? E-mail alex.cooper@revelstokereview.com

Bikes and Revelstoke go hand in hand. With trails at MacPherson, Cartier, Keystone, CPR Hill, and more, many residents are enthusiastic riders in the snow free months. As such, Al Roberts, a bike mechanic from Skookum Cycle and Sport, is offering five good tips to help your bike run smoothly this season. These tips are simple, allowing even a new rider to take a bit of their bikes maintenance into their own hands.

1) “It starts with a clean bike,” Roberts says. Sounds simple, but it shows you’ve taken the time to look your bike over. “A clean bike is a happy bike. And when you do need a mechanic, we’ll thank you for it!” he laughs.

2) While you’re making your bike spic and span, lube your chain. Not only does lubing the chain keep your bike quieter and make shifting easier, it also increases your chains lifespan. Skookum carries a selection of lube, so make sure you get the one most beneficial to your bike and the conditions.

3) “Check your tire pressure while you’re at it,” Roberts suggests. Properly inflated tires increase tire and rim lifespan in addition to making peddling more efficient.

4) “In a bike maintenance and personal safety measure, check your bolts before each ride,” Roberts says. Before you get on your bike, check your stem, pivot points and handlebar bolts. Tightening a loose bolt before you go full throttle downhill could save your bike a repair and yourself a hospital trip.

5) “Every now and then, turn the iPod off and listen to your bike. If it’s making noise or you aren’t sure if there is a problem, bring it in to your friendly neighbourhood bike mechanic,” Roberts says. Whether your bike is bought locally or not, whether it needs a simple repair or something more complex, he urges people not to be intimidated about bringing their bikes in to get checked out. “It’s why we’re here, dedicated to a life of low income and high reward,” he jokes.

In addition to the maintenance you can do on your own, Roberts recommends having your bike worked over by a mechanic at the beginning or end of the season in addition to the times you suspect a problem. “It’s good to get the shocks and forks checked, changing those fluids and seals if needed. The whole bike gets tuned and optimized and ready to ride.”

The trails are beckoning; enjoy the ride!