Bike maintenance – Keeping your bike on the road
Winter riding is a rewarding experience. However, the conditions of winter can be hard on bicycles. Here’s what you need to know to keep your bike going throughout the season.
Metal parts can suffer from being exposed to salt, dirt and wet roads. By minimizing rust and dirt accumulation you’ll have a much smoother and more comfortable ride. Spending a few minutes giving your bike’s drive train (the moving parts of a bicycle such as the chain, the crankset and the derailleur) a wash down and dry will prevent some wear and tear. A chain cleaner, rag and a soft brush (or toothbrush) work well. Clean and re-grease occasionally with a chain lube designed for wet/dirty conditions. Wipe down your brakes after snowy or dirty rides and make sure the contact surfaces with the rims of the wheels are clean.
If you use your bike frequently, it may be best to leave it outside covered with a tarp or in a cold garage throughout the winter months. The constant freeze/thaw cycle is when salt does the most damage. Only bring your bike indoors if you can let it dry out fully and wipe it down completely.