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How to do a proper bike tune-up (and the tools you’ll need!)

Your bike was shifting great, braking instantly, and effortless to ride.

But that was 1000 miles ago. Now, those shifts aren’t so quick, and the brakes are making some noise–and not stopping you. You chain might’ve even popped off of the crank.

It’s time for a tune-up.

At Cycle Shack, we have a tried and true methodology for bike tuneups that we’ve employed on thousands of bicycles in southwest Florida. There are five key areas we seek to improve with every tune-up we do:

  • Wheel performance
  • Drive-train performance
  • Brake performance
  • Steering performance
  • Aerodynamic performance

Curious as to how we do it? Read on. Only be prepared–when we tune a bike, we don’t cut corners. That means be prepared with the right tools. Read on to find out how!

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Bike Pedals 101

A molded plastic platform pedal is the most common type of pedal you’ll find on a bicycle at the bike shop.

The only piece on a bike that is almost always touching the rider is the pedal. The pedal transfers the power from the rider’s muscles into the crank arms, drive train, and wheels, motivating the bicycle forward over the ground. Pedals often have a reflector on the front and back to increase the rider’s visibility, too.

So, pedals are pretty important, right?

Before buying a bike, or installing new pedals on your old bike, it’s important to understand the engineering differences between the various pedals that are out there.

Types of Bike Pedals

First, know that there are three basic types of pedals: platform pedals, cage pedals, and clip-in pedals. Each serves a specific purpose.

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