You're taking your bike out and getting back into the saddle after a few years? Congratulations! Just make sure it's in good condition before taking it too far from home. If you've kept it out of the weather, it shouldn't be too hard to get it back into shape.
Points to check
Be sure the frame is solid. Lying in storage shouldn't damage it, but riding on a defective frame is a great way to get into trouble. In Florida's humid climate, rust can be an issue. A little surface rust isn't a problem, but make sure it doesn't affect the bike's structural soundness.
The tires are the most likely thing to need attention. Check if they'll still hold their pressure. Look for any bulges in the sidewalls and check the condition of the treads. If in doubt, replace the tubes or the whole tires.
Lubricate the shifters and the chain, removing any dirt. Shifting may be a bit stiff at first but should loosen up with a little use. Check that the seat is firmly mounted.
Before making a serious ride, take the bike out for a mile or so and check it over when you get back. If it breaks down, at least you can walk it back. While you're on the road, pay attention to any roughness in the ride. When you get back, check if the tire pressure has gone down. If it's good, you're ready for some serious riding!
Fix or replace?
If an old bike is basically sound, it won't cost you much to get it into shape. In some cases, though, you might be better off donating it and buying a new one. These are some of the signs that replacement makes sense:
There's damage to the frame from rust, cracking, or warping,
It's not the right size for you anymore.
You're ready for more serious riding and the old bike isn't up to it.
You've seen a new model that you absolutely love and can afford.
It's your choice. You can make a bicycle last for many years, but at some point you'll want to upgrade. Take a look at our inventory before deciding, and see what the latest models offer. The important thing is to have the bike that's right for you, one that you'll want to ride a lot.