Tips to get your bike ready for the winter months
The temperature has dropped and in the words of the Stark family; ‘winter is coming’, but that doesn’t mean you have to retire your bike for the season.
Here are some tips to get your bike ready for winter:
1. Make sure your bike is road legal – get some bike lights
If you’re new to cycling, you may not be aware of the legal requirements for cycling in the dark. You are legally required to have a front an rear light on your bike when travelling in the dark. You can read more about cycle safety over winter in our blog. (Click here).
Know what you’re looking for? Shop Bike Lights
2. Get into the habit of keeping your bike clean
Unsurprisingly, your bike will attract much more mud and dirt over winter. Get into a habit of wiping your bike down after each ride to take the surface mud away. This will prevent the mud, grit and salt drying on your bike components and causing damage.
If you plan to ride your bike often over winter, then make sure you schedule in a deeper clean every couple of weeks to really clean your drivetrain to help prolong it’s life.
Tips for cleaning
1. Like on your car, hand washing will be kindest on your bike. A sponge can be used for the main areas, and a bristled brush for harder to reach areas.
2. Grab yourself a bike cleaning solution, we stock a range from Muc-Off and WD40
3. Some degreaser can help with chains that are particularly dirty, you can also use a chain cleaning device to really clean up your bike chain.
4. Wipe the bike down with a dry rag to dry it off.
5. Don’t forget to re-lubricate your drivetrain after cleaning.
3. Consider servicing your bike
Keeping an eye on the components on your bike can make sure you spot any developing faults before it’s too late. If you’re confident enough and know your way around your bike, then keep an eye on areas such as cables, brake pads, gears, drivetrain etc.
If you’re new to your bike, or simply don’t have the time to give it a full check over, then all GO Outdoors stores with a cycle department offer servicing. Speak to the cycle tech at your local store for full details of what is on offer.
It seems obvious, but fitting mudguards in wet conditions will stop you getting the ever so stylish long brown line up your shorts and back. If you’re cycling with others, they’ll probably thank you for the minimal splatter as well.
5. Winter Tyres
Winter tyres are, in general a little more heavy duty. During wet weather, debris is more likely to be washed into the roads and you are more likely to get a puncture, changing up your tyres for winter will help reduce the risk.
6. Travel prepared
This one should be a year-round tip. Make sure you travel prepared, pick yourself up a bike tool and puncture repair kit, or spare inner tube. You’ll also need a bike pump for re-inflating a repaired inner tube, or inflating a new one.
Nobody wants to be stranded at the side of the road or left pushing home a bike with a punctured tyre.