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Take your bike for a quick pedal around the neighborhood to make sure the gears and brakes are working well. Then take your allen key tool set and check every allen bolt on the bike. Do the same with the torx bolts. If you have a carbon bike, make sure not to over torque things as it can cause carbon to crack. There’s a number of highly affordable “preset” torque wrenches on the market. The vast majority of bolts on a carbon bike, including the seatpost and stem camps, should be torqued to 5Nm.
Examine the brake pads and replace if they are close to the end of useful life. The road might still be wet and a water/dirt combination splashing on brake pads will wear them quickly. This is even more important if your route includes descents where high speed is achieved. It’s best to start the season with new brake pads.
Examine the wheel braking surface. This is particularly important if your wheels have carbon braking surface. You need to ensure that the braking surface is uniform and no fibers are protruding through the resin. If you spot an area where the resin has worn off, consult with your LBS.
Inspect the tires. Road bike tires are made from soft rubber that is prone to quick wear. When inspecting the tire, watch out for flat spots and small gashes. Flat spots are caused by excessive brake application where you “lock up” the wheel. If your tire has an excessive number of those, it’s probably worth replacing. Small gashes are caused by road debris. If the gash is less than ¼ inch (6 mm) in size, it’s worth repairing. It can be repaired with either superglue or shoe repair glue (Shoe Goo is highly recommended).
Lubricate all moving parts with bicycle specific lube (WD-40 is not a bicycle lube).Once done, take your bike for another test ride, run through all the gears to ensure the lubricant is distributed.
With the bike ready to go, check your helmet to make sure there are no compression points or cracks in the helmet material. Once a helmet has been crashed, it must be replaced. The helmet’s job in a crash is to compress and slow your skull down so your brain doesn’t bounce around inside your skull and cause concussion or brain damage. When you crash your helmet, the damage to the helmet is irreversible.
Don’t take any chances with your brain. Buy a new helmet if you are in doubt of the integrity of your hemet.
Starting into the ride don’t mash up the hills. Your chain has been sitting all winter and mashing might stress some weak links and the chain might break. Start out spinning up the hills until you have confidence that the chain is ready for some more strenuous riding.
Enjoy the ride.