DSpring has officially started. The days are getting a bit warmer and longer. Even if it is still a little bit chilly from time to time, you can never get your bike ready soon enough for the first warm spring days. We'll show you how to spring check your bike, where the most beautiful bike rides around Zurich are, and how you can cleverly pack your bike and accessories.
The bike check for spring - here's how it works.
- Technical and safety checks for your beloved bike are the nuts and bolts of the beginning of spring. With a simple trick, you can quickly check the condition of your bike: Pick up your bike and drop it on the tires from a low height. If you don't hear any clanking, it's a good sign. Clanking screws and a rattling chain means your bike probably needs some mechanical attention. If you want to give your bike an all-round pampering, you should note following points:
- Frame, saddle, handlebar: The screws of these components may loosen over time. You should therefore check your handlebar stem, handlebar and saddle to see if the screws are still tight enough. If necessary, tighten with a suitable wrench.
- Tires: If your tires are porous and cracked, they have a greater risk of puncturing. That's why it's important to inspect your tire profile carefully and remove small stones or broken pieces. To ensure that your bike runs properly, the tires need the right air pressure. Before taking the first trip, you should pump up the tires. The soft side of the will indicate how much air your tires need. There is an upper and a lower limit to use as orientation.
- Brakes: It is important that the brakes have enough braking power, that they move properly and that the brake pads are in good condition. If the brake pads indicate that they have run down at an angle, they should be replaced. Many brakes have a corresponding mark. When braking with a cable brake system, it is also important to check the cabling and tighten if necessary. For safety reasons, it is often recommended to inspect these cables at least once a year.
- Chain: For bicycles with an open derailleur, maintaining the chain is especially important. The chain, consisting of around 400 individual parts, can quickly start rusting if not cared for properly. Dirty and rusty chains make pedaling difficult and cause unpleasant noises. It is therefore a good idea to clean the chain with a brush or cloth during the spring check. Powerful degreasers are available from specialist retailers, which makes this work much easier and reliably removes dirt from the chain. Afterwards you can evenly apply a thin layer of a good chain oil. To ensure that the oil is evenly distributed over all the gears, it is best to switch through all the gears once.
- Bicycle gears: Adjusting the gears is not quite so easy for the layman. Derailleurs can, however, change over time. If you are not an experienced bike mechanic, you might want to go to a bicycle repair shop.
- Basic spring cleaning: Although a thorough cleaning is not necessarily relevant to safety, it will ensure that your best means of transport for the spring of 2017 - your bike - shines and has that feel of being cared for. It is best to clean your bicycle with water and a rag. Bicycles don't do so well with steam or a high-pressure cleaner. Apart from the dirt, the high pressure also rinses away all the oil and the water can easily penetrate the bottom brackets, hubs and other vulnerable parts.
At the latest once everything is cared for, your bike will be fit for the spring of 2017. Now let's get going! In the following two sections we introduce two bicycle tours around Zurich, which you can take on a beautiful spring day. Finally, there are a few clever tips for storing your bike.
Once around Lake Zurich
The "Zürisee" is great for cycling. Thanks to the flat topography around the lake, this tour is ideal for all fitness levels. A possible start for the tour is Rapperswil, for example. From here you can cycle all along the shores of Lake Zurich to Zurich. From there it continues on the other side of the lake to Pfäffikon. If you still have enough energy left, you can circle the Obersee via Lachen, Tuggen and Schmerikon and finally return to Rapperswil. If you don’t want to peddle that much, you can shorten this tour via the Seedamm (Pfäffikon - Rapperswil) or the ferry from Meilen to Horgen.
- Distance: 98.4 kilometers
- Time required: approx. 6.5 hours
- Highest point: 434 m above sea level.
- Places along the route: Rapperswil - Feldbach - Uerikon - Stäfa - Männedorf - Miles - Herrliberg - Küsnacht - Zurich - Kilchberg - Thalwil - Horgen - Wädenswil - Richterswil - Pfäffikon - Lachen - Schübelbach - Tuggen - Grinau - Schmerikon - Rapperswil
A map and detailed information about the tour can be found here.
Off to the Oberland
Along this varied route you can ride along the two lakes and discover the famous Kyburg. For example, you can start at Effretikon station. From there, head north on cycle route 45 until shortly before Dättnau, where you will reach the Töss Valley. Here, you change to route 5, where you should stay on the left side of Töss. This is where you will get the climb in the direction of the visible Kyburg. Then continue on the country roads to Brünggen, from there to the Wissenbach down in the direction of the villages Weisslinge, Theilingen and Rumlikon at the beautiful Pfäffikersee.
The next lake on this route is the bigger Greifensee. Here you can comfortably ride along the shore, past the outdoor pool before finally reaching the Dübendorf station. From here the route returns back towards Effretikon station.
- Distance: 60.1 kilometers
- Time required: approx. 3.5 hours
- Highest point: 673 m above sea level.
- Places along the route: Effretikon – Kempttal – Kyburg – Brünggen – Weisslingen – Rumlikon – Russikon – Pfäffikon ZH – Seegräben – Wetzikon – Bertschikon – Mönchaltorf – Riedikon – Greifensee – Schwerzenbach – Dübendorf – Wangenerwald – Effretikon
A map and detailed information about the tour can be found here .
Cleverly store your bikes
If you do not want to put your bicycle out in the open air after your bike tour, you need space in your basement, garage or home to store it. In big cities like New York, where storage is usually scarce people usually just store their bikes in their homes. Many designers have developed creative ideas to store a bike in the home while making it perfectly fit it with a simple piece of furniture. Drawback: If you don’t make this furniture yourself, you could end up paying lots of money for such designer furniture. So, if you don’t have time to make such furniture yourself or find your mountain bike too bulky for the home, your beloved mode of transport can find a safe home at placeB.