If you ride a bicycle a lot in the Palm Springs area or are considering doing so, you could be wondering, “Which bicycles are the safest?” After all, there have been some innovations in bicycle technology that should render bikes safer.

The answer is that you do not really need the latest bicycle technology to stay safe, although if you have it, that should be fine. Rather, the safest bicycles are those that are well-maintained and that are paired with riders who use safety gear as well.

Bicycle safety starts with the rider

When you ride a bicycle, safety starts with you. That means having a helmet, and if you ride in low-light conditions, then having reflective gear helps too. It also means following the rules of the road and using techniques such as eye contact to communicate with drivers the best you can and to avoid those who appear to be texting or who are otherwise distracted. Of course, sharing the road with drivers can be tricky, and some cyclists in Palm Springs prefer to use Class I or Class II lanes.

Maintain the bicycle well

A used bicycle, even one 10 or 20 years old, can be just as safe as one bought new yesterday if you maintain it well. In other words, it is best to store a bike inside rather than outside if possible and to service a bicycle with more frequency the more often and farther you ride it. Also, if you crash your bike or buy it used, a checkup at a bike repair shop can help pinpoint any safety issues.

General safety tips for every ride include checking for proper tire pressure and a glance over the bicycle chain. It also helps if you can bring simple repair parts such as a patch kit on your rides or if you know that there are many bike repair shops on your route. Monthly, you should wipe down the bicycle and lube various parts, among other things. Every six months or yearly, it is helpful to check brake pads, cables, housing and the like for wear.