Loaner Bikes

The El Cerrito High School Mountain Bike Club, “ECHS MTB Club”, has a number of mountain bikes, both owned by the club and on loan. We have these bicycles available so that we can allow newcomers access to this amazing sport without a huge upfront cost. These bicycles are made available to students who wish to ride with the ECHS MTB Club for training and racing, but who do not yet own a bicycle and/or can’t afford to purchase one.

If you need a loaner bike, please fill out this form and turn it in with your registration before the deadline.  We will try to get a bike for everyone who needs one.

Bike Care

Storage Store bike inside to keep dry and prevent theft.

No parking at school Do not park the bike at school.  It will get stolen.  If you need to ride to school in order to have your bike available after practice, there are several riders who live near school.  We can work with you to find one of these riders and you can leave the bike at their house during school.

Treat like it’s your bike Don’t do reckless things that may damage the bike.  We want to keep the bikes around for multiple years for riders who need them.  Don’t skid.  New tires are expensive and skidding is almost always unnecessary and unsafe.

Bike Maintenance

Keep tires inflated (every ride) Before each ride, check the tire pressure to confirm it is still firm enough to ride. The tire pressure should be between 25-30 psi. (Riders 165+ should aim for 28psi; <165 can start at 25psi.) Refill as needed. Riding without sufficient air can cause the tire to “burp” and break the seal causing a messy flat. NEVER ride on a flat. It will destroy the rim.

Here’s an article with more info on how to choose the right inflation.

Lube the chain (every 1-2 rides, or each time the bike gets wet) It’s important to oil your chain frequently.  Not only will this keep the bike running faster, but a well-lubed chain prevents ride-ending chain breakage. During the summer when it’s dry, you’ll need to lube it less. Usually every other ride or so. During the winter when it’s wet, you’ll need to lube it more. Always lube you chain after washing your bike or getting the bike wet.

Here is a short video showing you how to lube your chain:

I use White Lighting on my bike.  You can find a variety of lubes online or at Mike’s Bikes.  Just make sure you use a bike lube and not a cleaner like WD40.

Wash and keep the bike clean  (each ride – 3 weeks) Having a clean bike is not just so you can look good.  It will prolong the life of the bike. Leaving mud and sand on your bike will work into the components and wear them down.  You should wash your bike every couple of weeks when it is dry out. You should wash your bike each time you return home from a muddy ride.

Here is a short video showing how you can wash your bike:

A few things to note:  You don’t need expensive bike cleaners or brushes.  You can buy those and they are great.  But you could also use Simple Green and an old toothbrush.

Maintain fluid in tires (~every 3 months) The tires on the loaner bikes are tubeless.  That means instead of an inner tube, they have tire sealant which will fill most small punctures without your noticing and allow you to ride lower tire pressures.  This sealant will dry out over a few months.  It’s important to check the sealant every couple of months and top it off. (It’s worthwhile to make it a practice to shake the wheel and listen for fluid OR set a calendar reminder.)  To check the fluid, let the air out, open the tire with a tire lever and check the fluid amount.  There should be about 3 oz.  You need an air compressor or C02 cartridge to add air back to the tire.  This is because the tire needs to be seated and you have to add air quickly.  Most bike pumps won’t work. One of the coaches can help you with this if you ask. But if you’re in the market for a new bike pump, Mike’s sells pumps that can re-seat a tubeless tire. 

Brake pads (3-6 months) The loaner bikes all have disc brakes. Disc brakes have brake pads.  These pads wear out after use and need to be replaced.  You can often feel or hear when the pads are worn and need to be replaced.  You can also remove the wheel and look at the pads to see if they need to be replaced.  Pads will usually last about 3 months depending on usage. Do NOT pump the brakes while the disc and wheel are removed!

Bike Carry

All riders should carry the following items on their bike:

  • Multi-tool – Example: Crankbrothers Multi-Tool A multi-tool is needed to take the tire off to change a flat.  A multi-tool with a chain tool is also helpful.
  • 29” tube – Example: 29″ Presta Valve MTB Bike Inner Tubes . Don’t be the rider that has to borrow one from a coach or friend.
  • Air Pump – Either a pump or C02 Inflator works.  Examples: Hand Pump or  CO2 Bicycle Inflator . Note: if you get a C02 Inflator, you want 20 Gram cartridges. One cartridge is sufficient to re-seal a tubeless tire, but Murphy’s law is that you’ll have 1 more flat than you have cartridge, so it is best to have both.
  • Tire Levers – Example: Pedro’s Tire Levers

Optionally – I like to carry a chain link.  You need to get the right one for you bike.  For example if you have an Eagle, then you want: SRAM Eagle PowerLock Chain Connector 12-Speed.

You can put all this in your jersey pocket, but I recommend a saddle bag on your bike, so it’s aways there.  Examples: Ortlieb Saddle Bag  Wedge Bag

Mike’s Bikes or other bike shop will carry all these items if you want to shop around.

Bike Helmet

A helmet is required whenever you are riding the loaner bike.   Read here to learn more about helmets.

Bike Pedals

The loaner bikes come with flats.  If you would like to put clipless pedals on the bike, you are welcome to do so.  Please save the flat pedals to put back on the bike when you return it at the end of the season.