I came across a great article by Total Women’s Cycling the other week on how to prepare your road bike for winter. I think it had some great advice, so I want to share it with all my fellow cyclists.
Unless you’re mountain biking, you’re more than likely going to want to keep mud off of you. Having a mudguard will make your ride more comfortable as your feet, legs, and bottom won’t be getting as wet. It’s also important for when you’re cycling with a group as your mud won’t hit them either.
Make sure the lights on your bike are properly adjusted and bright. With the change in daylight savings time, you’re more likely to be riding around in the dark. Ensure your safety and the safety of others around you by investing in a good set of lights, so others know where you are at all times. Installing lights will not only help you be seen but also allow you to see down those dimly lit roads.
- Winter Tires
The roads in the winter tend to hold more debris than other seasons. Just like you would your car, switch your regular tires for winter tires. These will not only give you a better grip on the wet roads, but you’ll also see fewer punctures. While no tire is entirely puncture-proof, some offer a higher puncture resistance.
I’m a big believer in needing a saddle bag all year round. However, it’s imperative to have a well-stocked one in the winter season. Check out this list of all the essential items you should be carrying in your saddle bag for every ride.
- Proper Cleaning
All the salt the DOT trucks lay for the impending snow can be harmful to your bike and may start to erode your frame, chain, and spokes. To combat that erosion, make a routine of regularly washing your bike. There are plenty of fancy products out there that claim clean your bike best; however, I’ve found that warm soapy water does the trick just fine. Don’t forget to dry your bike with a clean rag afterward to avoid rust.
Lube is a necessity if you want your chain to run smoothly. While you can get away with not cleaning your entire bike on the daily, it’s best to clean, dry, and lube your chain at the end of each ride. The article suggests a spray based lubricant such as GT85.
- Maintenance Checks
Make a habit to check your chain, your brakes, your tires, and any other part of your bike that sees a lot of wear and tear during the year. The cold weather of winter can be especially harsh on your bike, and a small fee to replace your chain regularly can save you a lot of money in the long run!