Prepare your bike for the winter
The weather may be passable at the moment but you know that Mother Nature is just watching and waiting to make her move. There are ways, however, to keep your bike on the road and in excellent working condition leading into the early training season.
When it comes to winter conditions, a little bit of pre-planning goes a long way. Any steps you take to prepare your bicycle (and yourself) for the harsh winter weather, will make a huge difference to your enjoyment and safety.
Pads wear down over time however this wear is accelerated when winter riding due to dirt and grit from the wet road surface.
This can lead to slower brake response times, and it can require more effort from you to engage your brakes.
Before every trip check your brake pads, levers and the function. The rim of the bike is also a part of the braking system so do not forget to check over the rim and make sure it is free from dirt and grime.
This can be done by giving the rim a wipe with a wet wipe/baby wipe ensuring to dry it off after a clean.
Brake cables and housings:
Cables can fray, rust and/or weaken over time. When this happens, the extra slack in the system can cause your brake pads to set up a little further away from your wheel rims than before.
The flexible cable housings which protect your brake cables can break corrode clog up or fray over time.
Give all the cables a once over before every trip ensuring that they are all in good functioning condition.
- Wipe down and lightly lubricate your brake cables every few months (or whenever signs of grime and/or rust appear on their visible surfaces).
- Lubricate by applying a small amount of bike oil to the cable near the cable guides and housings. Be careful not to get any lubricant on your brake pads or wheel rims.
Brake arm and lever pivots:
The various pivot points found throughout your brake system can be maintained by frequently wiping them clean (as often as every ride), and by applying a very small amount of lubricating oil to the pivot areas while moving them back and forth.