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Destination Recreation: Bike Care Tips - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Destination Recreation: Bike Care Tips

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Andrew Boczar started working at Earl's Cyclery and Fitness 10 years ago.

"Starting from the ground up from kids bikes with training wheels, and then you kind of experiment, mess around, break a few things, and figure it out," he says.

Boczar sure figured it out. Today, he is the service manager, and knows a thing or two about getting your bike ready for the season.

"The biggest thing you can do is take the bike out, wipe it down, clean it up," he says.

Boczar says not to use a garden hose, as the water pressure can do more harm than good.

"A brush, a rag really doesn't take all that long and it's a lot safer to the bike," he says.

While cleaning your bike, the chain needs some attention too. Boczar tells us using an old rag with a degreaser is the best way to prolong the life of the chain.

"You can just back off all of that dirt and grime, and you can see all of that dirt and grime in two quick seconds; it's actually quite a bit of grease," he says.

And be sure the chain doesn't dry out. If it starts to squeak, it's in need of some lubrication.

Then of course there are the tires. They need to be inflated to the manufacturer's recommendation.

"It will actually be stamped on the side of the bike tire; it will be a psi rating," he says.

When it comes to tires, they come in all sorts of varieties. A typical road bike tire aids you in the elements:

"The idea is that these little lines actually help shed water as you ride through it," he says, showing us one example.

Meanwhile, a racing tire has a smaller profile. And for the die-hards, studded tires can help you get through the ice and snow.

If you're racking up some miles, those brake pads will start wear down too.

"There's a lot of different designs but there are actually indicators on the break pads themselves of the wear limit, and it's pretty obvious when you look at them," he says.

While Vermont offers lots of great terrain, sometimes it can be kind of rough on a bike; the wheels can get knocked around a bit. Folks like Boczar can keep your wheels turning the way they should be.

"Right now I'm truing the wheel, these spikes hold the wheel together and keep them straight," he says.

Keeping your bike running smoothly does require some effort, but people like Boczar bike because of the way it makes them feel.

"It's just the freedom of kind of getting to play around and see the sights," he explains.

A full service bike tune at Earl's Cyclery and Fitness runs $75.

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