As the weather starts to turn more as we move towards autumn and winter with the temperatures dipping, the light diminishing earlier and more rain starting to fall. Getting your bike ready for these conditions is worth thinking about. Below are some of the things I like to do.
Give your bike a good clean
Technically this should be done anyway after most rides but it’s definitely worth giving it a thorough clean, maybe take as many components off as you can and give them a good scrub. I’ve had it before where the only things attached to the frame is the fork and handlebars. Everything else has been removed so that it can be cleaned properly. That way you know there isn’t already loads of horrible mud and grime working its way into bearings or moving parts and spoiling your bike.
Get it serviced
Depending on how confident you are with taking bikes apart and servicing them or the individual parts, and of course if you have the right selection of tools, you could do this yourself or you may have to take it to your local bike shop. Having your bike regularly serviced means that it will less likely encounter more serious issues that can cost a lot more to fix. Oh dear, I sound like a salesman trying to sell you a servicing plan. Unfortunately, it’s true. However, before the winter months, it’s never a bad idea to have a full service on your bike; that way, you know it’s working as it should. Plus it makes it a lot easier to maintain too.
Add mudguards and lights
This is definitely a fairly easy and relatively cheap thing to do. A decent set of mudguards cost between £30 – £35 depending on which ones you go for. A set of lights again depends on what you go for, but if they’re just a fairly basic ‘to be seen’ light then you can get them for around £45. Plus, if they’re looked after, they should last you a while. I think I have a set of lights that’s lasted me the best part of 10 years. Mudguards are definitely a good thing to have when the rain starts to fall. Yes, they won’t keep you 100% dry but they’ll keep the majority of the water away. Plus you can get ones that simply clip on so they don’t have to be a permanent feature, especially if you’re like me and don’t really like the look of them.
Change your wheels or tyres
This is one I do every year for my road bike, I have a set of winter wheels, that are a little bit more robust than my summer ones and I don’t mind too much if they get wrecked. Plus it means that I can have some more appropriate winter tyres on them with a bit more grip when it gets wet and slippy. I could just change the tyres over but it’s much quicker and easier to swap wheels.
Have a designated winter bike
This is a fairly extreme one, but certainly, one that’s crossed my mind before and I know some people who do it. Have a bike that is used purely for winter riding or when the weather is rubbish. This bike probably won’t be all singing, all dancing like your other bike but that’s what it’s designed for. It’ll be equipped with mudguards, lights and will probably be a little heavier than your summer whip, but at least it means that the grime and grit won’t be affecting that lovely carbon frame or wheels. A lot of people think that it is a really expensive option, but you could pick up a second-hand aluminium bike for about £300 on eBay, equip it with the necessities and your sorted. The only other thing to think about is storage – minor detail.
I hope some of the above ideas have been helpful.
What do you do to prepare your bike for winter?
Until next time.
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