As the daughter of a cyclist, my formative years were probably spent a little different than yours. Summers were about the Tour de France. Names like "LeMond," "Hincapie" and "Bruyneel" were common at home. I was sidelined many a Saturday watching my dad race.

Bike Tune UpBut Spring was always time for tuning up and getting back out on the road, much like what you're probably itching to do too. So whether you're Tour-worthy or just wanting to get out the Trek, here's what to consider when tuning up your two wheels.

Take to your checklist
Bicycles require maintenance just like everything else. And when they haven't been out for a ride in months, they too can feel a little rusty. Here's how to tune up at home:

  • Rinse: First, go for a light - emphasis on the word light! - rinse with your garden hose. The mist setting is best to get areas damp enough to remove grime. A high-pressure blast of the hose though will add too much water to the areas of your drivetrain that need to be greased. So go light on the rinse.
  • Soap is fine for the frame and wheels: But again, limited use on your drivetrain. What's a drivetrain? Think the gears, your bike chain, your pedals - anything that mechanically powers your bicycle to move. Soap + these elements = no-no. Bottom line: Frame and wheels can get the top-notch soapy treatment. Skip anything in silver though. 
  • Now degrease and clean the drivetrain: Use a degreaser {find at your local bike store} and work to degrime chains and gears. Re-lubricate when finished.
  • Dry. Dear old dad used to bounce his bike on the tires a few times to shake excess water loose, then would hand wipe the rest. Avoid polishing seats and pedals unless you want feet and bums sliding off them.

Take it to the experts
If your schedule is just too busy for a manual tune-up, Hamilton County is chock full of incredible bike shops that can help or point you in the right direction:

  • Bike Line, 724 Rangeline Road, Carmel. 317.815.1122. Bike Line offers minor tune-ups as well as larger repair services.
  • Carmel Cyclery, 230 W. Carmel Drive, Carmel. 317.575.8588. Offer sales, tune-ups starting at $75 in addition to other services and bike rentals.
  • LoKe Bicycles, 11640 Brooks School Road, Fishers. 317.595.5653. A host of service options {tune-ups begin at $69}, online store and member discount program.
  • Motion Cycling & Fitness, 9530 East 126th Street, Fishers. 317.813.7433. Both in-store and online shopping, service/repair with tune-ups beginning at $45, ride community and more.
  • Nebo Ridge Bicycles, 4335 West 106th Street, Carmel. 317.471.1089. Regular shop rides, sales, bike fitting and more.

Click here for more information on some of these shops and area trails. Happy cycling!