Top tips to winter proof your bike

by Matt Tempest | Oct 05, 2016

 

Keep on top of cleaning – This one is really important. In winter you’re going to have to clean and re-grease your chainset more regularly than you do during the summer months. This is largely down to wet weather & your bike coming back from every ride covered in an array of things including dirty water, mud & salt to name a few. The key area to keep clean is your drivetrain. A clean and healthy drivetrain should look clean and shimmer. The best thing you can do is invest in a good degreaser to help keep the dirt and grime off. Re-lube after every outing if necessary to get a smooth ride.

Waterproof grease key bearings and stem – As the cold weather sets in it’s a good idea to waterproof grease areas such as your top tube, bearings in the top and bottom cups (if they aren’t sealed) and cranks. During the colder months your top tube particularly has a tendency to creak and a little bit of grease can work wonders.

 Carry tools & tubes – If you cycle regularly in winter you’ll already know that unfortunately you’re more likely to get punctures and blowouts in winter. As if the cold and damp weather isn’t bad enough more debris on the road and trails make this inevitable. Always make sure you carry a saddle bag or supplies in a backpack. It’s best to carry a multi-tool, latex gloves, two spare tubes, puncture repair kits and a quick release chain link so you’re prepared for whatever may happen

Invest in a solid pair of mud guards. These will protect you and your clothes and are a must especially if you are a commuter. However shopping for mudguards can be a very difficult task! The best thing you can do if you’re unsure which fenders you need is take your bike to your local cycle shop and have them recommend a pair. All bikes have different mounts, clearance and frame sizes. If your bike doesn’t have mudguard mounts you still have a number of other opportunities available to you. Ass savers attach to your seat and provide some relief but in heavy rain aren’t going to cut it mid down pour. Crud Road Racers, are mudguards designed for road bikes with tight clearances that don’t have mudguard mounts.  They are cost effective, easy to fit and hug the silhouette of your wheels keeping you dry at all times.

Tyres. If it’s cold then there is a good chance the roads & trails are likely to be slippery. If you’re concerned about grip and falling off, a simple but effective trick is to lower your tyre pressure slightly. You’ll have slightly more rolling resistance so won’t go quite as quick but on the upside you’ll have a greater surface area of tyre touching the road giving you more grip. Slick tyres are also the best for grip in wet conditions because they maximise contact areas however will not be as effective on oily roads or muddy conditions.

New brake pads. If it’s wet your brake pads (disk or caliper) are going to have to work harder to slow you down or bring you to a halt. If you haven’t replaced them for a while or maybe even ever now is the perfect time to get some new pads to increase your stopping power.

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