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Cycling Prep for Winter
Cycling Prep for Winter
Finally we are feeling cooler weather out here on the West Coast where we've got our 3 (almost) beachfront stores. It's time to start prepping our bikes for winter weather. Many of you are new at cycling so some of these tips might serve as a reminder. Here are some tips for cycling prep for winter.
Before we get into all of that, however, the best way to prep your bike and get expert advice is to visit your bike shop (Ahem Bike Attack has 3 convenient locations in Southern California) and ask your friendly bike mechanic (we've never met an unfriendly one). They'll also have time tested tips and tricks for you.
Wider is better. Puncture resistant is also better. In wet and/or icy roads, wider tires have more tread and you'll want all the grip you can get if you're out there training. All-weather tires are great options to switch out those racing tires, you'll go a little harder but it's worth not slipping and injuring yourself needlessly.
Why do we have Daylight Savings anymore? That's a discussion for a later...time. Heh. LIGHTS. Ok it's darker out earlier in the day so you want to stay visible. Wearing reflective clothing only works if there's a source of light, you'll need lights on your bike to notify everyone else that you're out there pounding gravel. Remember, head lights AND tail lights are a must.
You need to protect your frame and components from unnecessary damage. Attaching a fender to your rear seatpost to protect your back and undercarriage from anything wet and muddy kicked up from the ground.
You should be changing your cables regularly anyway, make sure you've got a fresh set for the winter months, even going so far as to adding cable seals to keep water and mud out. You'll get optimal performance out of your bike if you regularly maintain and keep it clean.
Stainless steel for winter folks. It's just easier, lasts longer, less likely to rust. Also ...lube. Wet chain lube is the way to go- water resistant, lasts long, keeps your cassette and rings in working condition.
What type of saddle do you have? Synthetic? Leather? Use leather dressing to protect your seat, use liberally and frequently. Saddle covers are great as well.
Yes you're still in cycle country. Coat your bike frame with car wax to protect it from the winter elements. It lasts longer, more durable and will protect your frame. Trouble spots are the bottom bracket and the underside of the downtube. DO NOT put carwax on your brakes or braking surfaces. Do Not.
If it's wet or icy, you want your brakes in tip top condition. Aluminum braking surfaces are recommended and brake pads for difficult weather should be installed especially for those of you in harsher winter conditions. Disc brakes perfom better in wet conditions than rim brakes.