Spring Cleaning: Tune Up Your Bike

By Kerry McNally, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As we close out the fourth official week of spring, it’s time to wake your bicycle from its winter slumber and give that two-wheeler a tune up.

We pedaled over to the One On One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis to get some expert advice from store owner and former world class cyclist Gene Oberpriller.

No matter how long your bike has been in storage, Oberpriller says that a bicycle is one of those rare inventions.

“What’s cool about a bicycle is it can sit around for 50 … 60 years, and if it’s in the right condition you can just put air in the tires and ride it off. And you can’t do that with really anything else,” he said.

So where do you start in the spring?

“First thing is check the tires. They are probably going to be low. A very common thing for bikes sitting in over the winter is for the tires to lose air,” Oberpriller explained.

You should also be certain that you have the right tires for the right terrain.

“We always recommend a street tire for street riding and a dirt tire for dirt riding,” he said.

Now before you take a seat, you’ll want to take some time to adjust it, for both safety and comfort.

“Next is the saddle. Are you comfortable on your seat? You have lots of adjustment in it,” said Oberpriller.

Before you mount up be certain to get a proper handle on things.

“The third most important part is what your holding onto — handlebars. They come in various widths, rises, heights and shapes. It can make a big difference on how you feel on the bike,” Oberpriller said.

And not having a working headlight and reliable brakes could cost you in more ways than you can imagine.

Oberpriller said, “The state law is one working brake and a head light visible from 500 feet and a red reflector. Those are the minimums. And the ticket, ironically, is the same as the motor vehicle code for a headlight which is about $135.”

You’ll also want to make sure that your chain is good and lubricated.

If you’re going to take your bike to a professional for a spring tune up, here’s an insider tip: clean it up beforehand. Most bike shops will add $15 to $40 on to your bill for simply taking a clean cloth to it, and that could be a tasty lunch after a nice long ride.

  • garyjr

    A headlight on a bicycle? State law? I dont think so… $135 fine for a motor vehicle missing a headlight?? Who is this Oberpriller? You want to quote laws and fines, get your facts straight. You are SO Wrong…

    • jo

      garyjr, maybe you should read up on the law. I’ve received one of these tickets. Fishman is correct. Read below.

      • Rusty Shackelford

        Nerd debate!!! Hey sissies, quit prowling around on your bycicles and invest in a vehicle.

        • Karen

          This sissy *chooses* to bike 18 miles round trip to/from work each day. I could easily sit my but in my car to get there, but my bike gets me there faster, for free, and energized for the day. I’ve also knocked $25 off my car insurance for the 90 miles per week that I am not putting on my car. I’ll be the one sissying right by you as you pump $75 to fill your tank every week. *insert Wicked Witch of the West theme here* Happy riding everyone!

          • Rusty Shackelford

            And those guys who “choose” to sword fight with plastic swords and shields on the fields by Como Zoo for days on in are not sissies either right?

    • dangerbunny

      Uh, Oberpriller knows more about bikes and bike law than your mom knows about hookin. Show some respect.

  • Fire Walker

    Nice spelling. Must be a journalism major.

  • Fishman

    Minnesota law discusses the need for lights in darkness in 169.22:
    Subd. 6. Bicycle equipment. (a) No person shall operate a bicycle at nighttime unless the bicycle or its operator is equipped with a lamp which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and with a red reflector of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety which is visible from all distances from 100 feet to 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle…

  • garyjr

    169.22: is only a discussion, not a law. It has’nt been placed in effect, nor will it probably ever be.

    • Andrew Rosenberg

      i’ve received this ticket as well, and it just makes good sense as well

  • Doug J

    The headline is correct. It’s simply one of the four seasons; Sping, Sumer, Faul and Wintur. What’s the problem?

    • Grammer Freek

      Houw dose a hedline git passed hte spel checkur; lett aloan them editurs??

  • Jason

    169.222 is a law garyjr. If you only ride during the day it is not applicable but if you ride at night it is the rule and law. Not quite sure why you think it is simply a discussion. It only makes sense, why would a car be required to have headlights but not a bike on the same roadways?

    Happy riding everyone!


  • Joey

    It’s the law to ride with traffic on the right shoulder. I always ride on the left. It just feels more comfortable to see the cars rather then having a texter hit me

    • Rusty Shackelford

      Joey, didn’t your mother teach you to not ride you bike in the road?

  • Rusty Shackelford

    The police need to start searching you creeps on top of the ticket like they do us drivers. THAT would put a stop to ya’.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Bycyclists in poccession of flammible liquids or paint should be a federal offense.

  • dana

    Rusty obviously has a few rusty bedspringa up in his ol’ attic.

    • Rusty Shackelford

      I don’t like the cut of your jib dana. What is this, Branson, MO amatuer tryouts?

      • M B

        So it’s okay to slam and rip on others, but when someone does the same to you, you get angry and defensive?

        Can you say hypocrite?

  • TF

    You know what I hate, people who ride their bike down the road in traffic slowing everyone down even though they don’t pay a DIME in taxes to be on that road. ANNOYING…

  • Rusty Shackelford

    It’s a hazard, since they are not protected effientely for the roads, we are expected to ride the center lines putting our families at danger. Keep your $25 you bums.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    What happened to mountain biking? Now mountain biking is fun, we lived in the woods are teenage years in the woods mountain biking. Why are you all on the streets? You are poor, criminals, or complete radical socialists.

  • chug

    Wow, all the Hate. Good Ole’ American Hate. Not poor, not a criminal, nor a socialist. Just love riding and staying fit. Times they are a changin folks, them cars are going to put you in the poor house soon enough.

    • chug

      Oh, and I ride in the woods as much as possible.

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