Bicycle maintenance does not have to be difficult nor does it have to take much time. Here is the “BYU-approved” way of maintaining your bike:
1. Bicycle storage is the most important step in keeping your bike alive and well. Keep it inside if possible or locked outside in a covered area. Doing so will prevent rust, fading, theft, and keep it from getting a sunburn or frostbite.
2. Inflate your tires regularly as inner tubes deflate with time. Many students ride with tires that are underinflated, causing premature tire wear and frequent flat tires. Use a bicycle pump at least weekly to keep tires inflated to the recommended pressure listed on the sidewall of the tire. If you are at all unsure how to do this, any local bike shop would be glad to help you. There are pumps at the maintenance stations located around campus.
3. Clean and lubricate your drivetrain. Every month or so, clean your chain using a degreaser, brush, and an old rag. Once clean and dry, apply chain lube to maintain a smooth ride. This will need to be done more often in the wet winter months to prevent rust. Once again if you are unsure how to do this, any local bike shop would be glad to help you.
4. Clean and adjust brakes. Rims, pads, and discs get dirty with use, to clean them simply wipe them off with a rag and rubbing alcohol. Doing so often will lengthen the life of your braking system (saving you money) and keep your braking power strong. Replace brake pads when they reach the wear line. Again, local bike shops carry a great variety of replacement brake pads.
Did you know about one bike every day is reported stolen from BYU campus? Quality bicycle locks will greatly reduce the risk that your bicycle will be snatched.
You might ask yourself, what type of lock should I use? If you love your bike, you should use a u-lock. A thick steel bolt is infinitely more difficult to cut through than a thin cable and the vast majority of bicycles stolen from BYU campus were locked only by a cable lock, or not locked at all.
Local bike shops carry a good selection of locks to fit your needs. Expect to pay $15-$60 and remember the cost of a good u-lock will always be less expensive than the cost of a replacement bicycle. It will also save you about 2 cups of human tears.
When using your lock, secure as much of the bike as possible. Ideally, you will lock your frame to a sturdy, immovable object. You might also lock your wheels to the frame with an auxiliary cable lock (especially if left outside at night). When only using one u-lock, locking the frame to a rack is the first priority.
If you did not heed our warnings or met your match with a determined theft, please report your missing friend to the BYU Police or the Provo Police, depending on where it was stolen. Stolen bicycles are often used as vehicles for joyrides and are left on the side of the road. Often they are picked up as stolen property by police and wait for retrieval from their original owner. Be sure to register your bicycle in case this happens to you, so the police will know who to return the bike to. Following these steps on Cycling Utah’s website might also help you track down your bike.
Note that when buying a bicycle, it is likely replacing the cost of a motor vehicle. Although it may require a few hundred dollars up-front, your bicycle will save you thousands of dollars in the years to come. The BYU Bicycle Committee recommends investing in a good-quality bicycle that will last several years.
Winter Bicycle Commuting Tips
Although it does require more preparation, biking in the winter is just as fun and rewarding as biking during warmer seasons.
To keep you warm, dry, and safe we recommend using the following:
- Fenders - They will prevent water and snow from splashing up on you. You and your bike will stay clean and dry. Trust us, your bike will love you for it.
- Lights - Keep in mind that winter brings less daylight. Be prepared with a good set of lights to stay visible to motorists.
- Cap - A beanie or skull cap is great to keep your ears warm. Wear them under your helmet.
- Gloves - Gloves are essential to blocking the cold wind from freezing your hands onto your handlebars, making you late to class without a doubt.
- Knobby Tires - If riding a road bike, you might consider switching to a set of tires with knobby tread during winter months. This will give you more grip when riding through snow. You’ll avoid the embarrassing slip and fall in front of your fellow cougar classmates.
Any of these items can be purchased through local bike shops.
Local Bike Shops in Provo and Orem
- BYU Outdoors Unlimited (Provo) - Full-service repair department with a single do-it-yourself repair bench. They are dealers of Fuji, KHS, and SE bikes and rent commuter bikes to students each semester.
- Hanger 15 Bicycles (Provo) - Full-service repair and dealers of Specialized, Trek, Scott, Electra, and Haro bikes.
- Mad Dog Cycles (Orem) - Full-service repair and dealers of Trek, Raleigh, BMC, Electra, Surly, and Salsa bikes.
- Provo Bicycle Collective (Provo) - Nonprofit shop that provides several do-it-yourself bicycle service stations for hourly shop use fee or annual membership. Sells refurbished and used bicycles and parts of all types.
- SBR Cycles (Orem) - Full-service repair department and dealer of Cannondale, Cervelo, and Felt bikes.
- Taylor’s Bike Shop (Provo) - Full-service repair department and dealer of Giant bikes.
Local Mobile Repair Shops (They will come to you)