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Bike Maintenance for Winter Riding

As much as we may all try and fight it, it’s safe to say Winter is well and truly upon us. That means one thing for all those of us who live by the N+1 rule, and that is to put those shiny summer bikes away and pull out the Winter Training machine for few months of cold, wet miles. However, just because it’s the winter bike and “it’s there to be ridden hard”, doesn’t mean it doesn’t need as much love (if not more) than the summer race bike.

Whether you use one bike all year round or you’ve got a second bike for this dark and damp time of year, now is the time you need to really pay attention to keeping things clean and well lubricated. A good maintenance routine will not only keep the bike running smoothly and efficiently, but will also prevent unnecessary expenditure on worn out parts.

The good news is there are a  few simple pre and post ride checks to keep that bike working all year round. The first thing on your list should always be the efficiency of your brakes and the amount of life left in the pads. The last thing anyone wants is a runaway bike with no stopping power. The second thing to check over is the quality of your tyres and the pressure before every ride. I, for one, run different pressures dependant on weather conditions (softer in the wet, harder in the dry) to ensure optimal traction throughout the ride. The third quick check before you head out to the point of no return, is the quality of your chain and efficiency of your gears. I recommend anyone that doesn’t currently own one to purchase a chain checker and keep on top of the wear of their chain in order to prevent any nasty gear jumping and chain slipping while out on the road. Once you’ve confirmed the chain is within the right wear limit, a quick spin through the gears, a small trickle of lube and you’re ready to hit the road.

It’s worth mentioning that too much chain lube can be as detrimental as not enough, so make sure you’re keeping things clean after each ride and using that oil sparingly.
For any maintenance or mechanic service enquiries, feel free to contact Glen on glen@athletelablondon.com.