Doc’s Orders: Keeping your bike healthy

Dave Jones and Brad Randall, The Bike Doctor, Saskatoon

We’ve enjoyed providing mechanical support to the cyclists in the MS Bike tours in Saskatchewan for about 28 years. It’s been a pleasure serving all of the wonderful people dedicating their time and energy to ending MS.

Over the years we’ve tuned up thousands of bikes. We’ve seen people ride the MS Bike on tandem bikes, recumbents, trikes, hand cycles, fat bikes and even a unicycle.

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Here are a few tips to keep your bike healthy for any MS Bike landscape.

#1 Make sure your bike is the right size—you’d be surprised how many people are riding a bike that isn’t the right size for them! Take your bike to an experienced bicycle mechanic or your local bike shop for sizing. You’ll enjoy your tour a lot more!

#2 Check that your seat is at the right height. You should have a slight bend in your knee when you’re seated and the crank is in the fully extended position.

#3 Invest in a comfortable seat. There are many different widths and thicknesses of seats out there. Our suggestion is to seek out a seat built specifically for your body type; it can make a huge difference on a long ride.

#4 Check that your tires are well inflated . If you can push down on them with your thumb, they need pumping up. We recommend a tire with a smooth centre and not too many knobs. This will substantially reduce resistance while pedalling and can help you ride faster and save your energy.

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#5 Lubricate your chain when needed. This reduces wear and friction while pedalling.

#6 Have your wheels trued to make sure they aren’t rubbing on the brakes while you ride. No need to work any harder than you have to.

#7 Make sure that your handlebars are at a comfortable height to protect your back and prevent too much weight being placed on the wrists and hands.

#8 Fasten a water bottle holder to your bike so you can stay hydrated during the ride.

#9 Adjust your helmet so that your head is protected in the event of a fall.

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Most importantly, have fun and happy fundraising! Register for your local #MSBike ride today, and join thousands of Canadians in the fight to #endMS.

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