Bike maintenance – winter proofing your bike
It’s important to maintain the condition of your bike throughout the year, but particularly in winter, where you may need to carry out more frequent checks. You will also need to pay special attention to your brakes, pedals and tyres; as well as moving parts, such as the chain, gears, cables, hubs and bottom bracket.
- Salty water off gritted roads can affect exposed parts such as your cables, so it’s worth checking those regularly, and also keeping your chain well oiled.
- Your stopping distances will greatly increase on wet and icy surfaces, so you’ll need to ensure your brakes are kept clean and are adjusted, if necessary.
- During these months, you’re more likely to get a tyre puncture. Replacing your current tyres with wider ones pumped up at a lower pressure, can offer added grip and safety while cycling on wet roads. Carrying a tyre repair kit might be handy too.
- The rain, wind and snow can all contribute to slippery conditions while pedalling. Be sure to check your pedals have a good enough grip to get you through these months and beyond.
- Mudguards are also worth investing in during this time, to help to stop the spray of water and dirt hitting you or your belongings while out and about.
- Lastly, one of the simplest tips and most effective, is ensuring you regularly wash your bike and tyres, to prevent any build up of dirt and ice that could potentially affect any parts. Keeping it as clean as possible will hopefully help to keep everything working smoothly.