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Has it been a while since you have seen your ZiZZO? Has it been hiding in the dark all folded up in your closet? Is it still in the garage, basement, or maybe even in the trunk of your car? Maybe you live somewhere that is sunny most of the time and you didn’t ever put it away...lucky you! A lot of people that live where the weather is a big factor haven’t even touched their ZiZZO since October unless they were using the ZiZZO Indoor trainer. What do you say we get it ready for some Spring riding with some easy tips and things to check before we hit the road?
Let's start with a simple bath. A low-pressure water hose can help get off the salt, dirt and dust that accumulates. We don’t really suggest a high-powered sprayer just because the water might get into places that can cause problems. One of our loyal ZiZZO family members has shared that they like to put it in the shower and wash it that way. I’m not sure my significant other would approve so you may want to check in with your housemates about that first. Don’t forget to dry it off after and make sure to get into the parts that lock into place. We wouldn’t want rust to form there.
Did you put in some miles in 2021? That chain might need replacing. One of the most underrated and affordable things to keep your ZiZZO running and shifting smooth is the chain. Being that the chain is close to the ground it sure can accumulate some serious muck! With regular use comes wear or as some say they “stretch.” When that happens, it can cause the other parts of the drive train like your cog and chainrings to also wear faster. That can be a big hit to the bike budget. It’s a lot cheaper to just buy a new chain. Most decent chains run under $20. So how do you know if that chain is shot? Based on your riding style, strength, terrain/conditions, shifting, and use of lube can make a lot of difference. Let's keep it really simple. Have your ZiZZO shifted in its smallest sprocket/gear in the back. That would be the ones with the fewest “teeth”. Now on the front chain ring see if it's really easy with your thumb and pointer finger to pull off the chain. If it barely pulls off the ring a bit that means it hasn’t stretched much. If it pulls off really easily allowing it to lift off near the top of the teeth it's pretty worn.
There are also tools for checking “chain stretch” if you want to do it yourself. For more details check out Park Tools link here. (https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help/when-to-replace-a-chain-on-a-bicycle) If you don’t feel confident, pop by your local shop and see what they advise. Always support your local shops if you can. If you don’t need a new chain a simple wipe down or scrubbing with a brush and some chain cleaner will work. Finish by adding a few drops of your favorite lube.
How are those brakes? Take a squeeze of the levers and a visual inspection of the brake pads. If you see your brake cables are frayed and hanging by a thread it might be worth it to get those changed out. If you don’t see any major issues but need a little adjustment, check out our video with our experienced ZiZZO bike techs on our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWcrkZR7PdU).
Are the pads getting thin? Take a look at the “brake pad wear indicator line” (see image above) and see how much material you have left. Pads are a simple and cheap replacement as ZiZZO bikes use industry standard parts. All else fails just check with your local bike shop.
How is the tread on the tire? Are there signs of cracking or big cuts? Is it looking really thin? Do the wheels spin nice and straight? Replace if needed or just pump up to the proper PSI that is recommended on the side of the tire. On the rims themselves check for any wobble by looking at the brake pad when it spins. If it has a big sudden movement left or right in one direction then goes back to center after rotating it may need a small adjustment to the spokes to get the wheel a little “truer”. If it's very minor and does not even come close to wobbling to the brake pad then it is most likely in good shape. If you're not hitting big pot holes in the street, jumping off curbs or any jarring event the ZiZZO rims are pretty beefy and can handle a lot of normal wear. Once again check with a local shop if you aren't sure and they may assist you. There are lots of videos on YouTube about “truing” your wheels with a spoke wrench if you want to learn. Simple concepts and a cheap spoke tool may save you some time and money doing it yourself.
Let's tighten things up a bit to finish it off. Check the bolts and the quick releases on your bike to make sure they are snug and maybe a quick look at the various lock adjustments that are specific to a ZiZZO folding bike. The last thing is to check that saddle bag if you have one. Sometimes we take stuff out and forget. I personally like to make sure there is a new tube, tire tools, patch kit, a mini pump and a house key is in mine.
We hope you find this helpful to get you back on the road on your ZiZZO for many more miles of smiles because we all know life is always better riding bikes!