#2 Keep a new
Inspect It. Bikes last longer if you keep an eye on the components and replace
things before they become too worn. Start with the frame. Look for rippled paint or bulges
near the tube intersection. These are signs of damage or impending failure, usually caused
by a crash. Check the tires and brake pads for baldness pads have a tread just like tires.
Check the grips or bar tape for slipping, cracking or peeling. Study the cable housing
where it enters the brakes, derailleurs, levers, and frame stops. Squeeze and hold the
brake levers to see if the cables are rusted or frayed anywhere along their run. Also
measure the chain for wear. When a chain is new, there are exactly twelve inches from the
center of any pin to the center of another. You should replace the chain when the second
pin exceeds the 12-inch mark by an eighth of an inch. Otherwise, expect accelerated wear
to the cog and chainring teeth (and a much bigger repair bill).