As the hours of daylight reduce and the weather deteriorates many of us still want to enjoy outdoor riding. Winter weather can take a toll on your bike so we've teamed up with Newlands Cycles, Workington, to bring you some bike maintenance tips to get your bike ready for winter and keep it working in cold, wet conditions!
Over to Mark from Newlands...
How to maintain your chain
Keep your chain clean and lubed. This is really important, especially over the winter months when there is a lot of salt & dirt on the roads, which corrode & rust your chain. Some kind of wet lube is advised over the winter months such as Cyclon wet or all weather lube, both of which are available at Newlands Cycles so if you pop in to collect some don't forget to stock up on VOOM!
Appropriate winter tyres
We recommend wider, harder of 4 season tyres. Swapping to a wider 28mm tyre is always a given for me at this time of year; your 23 or 25mm race tyre isn’t going to offer as much grip on the damp country roads in winter. A harder wearing tyre like a Continental Gatorskin can also be a good idea to reduce punctures, as last thing you need to be doing is standing at the roadside fixing punctures with cold hands.
Why fit mudguards & lights to your bike?
Mudgaurds and are a must this time of year and once you’ve ridden with mudguards you will realise how much water, spray and mud is kicked up from the road onto your bike, clothes, face and riding buddies! As well as taking a toll on your bike a lack of mudguards really does contribute to how wet you are on the ride. Your friends, clubmates & your bike will be grateful if you have these on for winter rides as they keep everyone much cleaner & drier.
As well as mudguards, lights are a no brainer really – they keep you so much more visible on the dark, damp, grim days we get during a British winter. With the amount of collisions on the roads these days the more easily a driver can see you, the better!
Why inspect your brakes regularly
It’s really important to check your brakes often to make sure the brakes are in good working order throughout the winter. More so in winter than in summer, dirt & grit can get in between the brake contact areas which causes poor performance as well as much more abrasion to pads, discs & wheels.
Its worth knowing that, if you run disc brakes, sintered or metallic brake pads work much better in the wet than organic brake pads. Checking the brakes regularly will keep them working smoothly and probably save you money by increasing the lifetime of components!
Get your bike serviced for winter
Servicing your bike at your local shop will prepare it for the demanding months ahead! It will be well worth your while & could save you a lot of hassle & money further down the line. Salty water & grime that's on the roads in winter can cause components to be corroded or seize and will hamper the performance, so having them working perfectly will help you ride your bike further & make it more enjoyable this winter. I find you’re also more likely to clean your bike regularly if you’ve had it serviced – when it runs smoothly and is shifting is on point you want to keep it that way!