Winter Bike Checks with Cycle Tech Oldham

Winter Bike Checks

At any time of the year your bike should be in optimum working condition .
But even more so when the winter conditions put more wear on components and the rider requires performance from tyres and brakes. Many riders store their good bike for the winter and buy a cheaper winter bike.

“Cycling in the snow and ice is hard on your bike”

Winterizing:

 By preparing the frame and components.

Cleaning:
Give your bike a good wash before winter sets in

  • Cycle Tech Oldham does not recommend using a pressure washer to clean your bike.  Or the use of washing up liquid as it contains salt that is corrosive and abrasive. The pressure washer will force water into areas of the bike that it wouldn’t normally find it’s way into eg: cable housing, frame structure, hubs, bottom bracket, headset, therefore washing out all the vital oils and greases. You should use a bike wash like Dirt Wash which can be sprayed on the bike and mixed with hot water in a bucket, and using a brush to wash of mud and dirt. Degreaser may be used on chain and sprockets with a small brush. Use clean water in a watering can to rinse off, all parts should be dried off before lubricating. Note: You should take care with disc brakes, to avoid oils & grease on disc & pads as this will contaminate the pads and cause loss of braking. These parts can be cleaned with specific disc brake cleaners.
  • You could also use a Bike Shield to protect your brakes when you are cleaning the drive chain.
  • Give your bike’s frame and moving parts a blast of aerosol lube. Products like Brunox Turbo Spray or TF2/GF85 are great for loosening rusted, stuck, or stiff metal parts but are not ideal as a lubricant for bike chains, wheel hubs, bottom bracket and headsets. DO NOT SPRAY BRAKE BLOCKS/DISCS OR WHEEL RIMS.

Tyres:
By checking your tyres for wear or splits will reduce your chances of flats! Running your tyres at the correct pressure will not only improve handling, but will also increase the life of the tyre and reduce punctures.

  • Over time tyres will start to wear out and need to be replaced. Remove the tyres from the wheels and do a thorough check for excessive wear, cuts, and embedded objects like flints and glass.
  • Fit only the correct tyres and size for your bike and the type of riding you are doing
  • Inflate to the correct pressure (Front & rear maybe different) and check every month or before a big ride. A little less air will also improve the tyre’s ability to absorb vibrations from riding over rough roads, so you get more comfort too.

Wheels:

Some riders have a set of winter wheels they use to save their expensive ones.

  • Clean and grease hubs, this is also a good time to check bearings and hub for wear
  • Clean and check rim for wear
  • Wheel runs freely between the brake blocks

Brakes:

  • Make sure brake pads have plenty of wear and rim brakes are properly aligned to wheel rim.
  • Check brake wires for fraying and outer cables for splits.
  • Any rain water that can enter the cables can freeze in the winter and brakes will not operate. By placing a drop of oil (Wet lube) or grease on the ends of the brake wire where it enters the outer cable will stop water entering.
  • Cable adjustment is correct.

Drive Chain:

The drive chain can wear much quicker with the grit and grim that is thrown at it.
  • For a longer life of your chain, don’t use de-greaser. Instead use a good quality lubricant, such as Shimano’s PTFE. This needs to be applied by shaking the bottle and applied to the chain along the inside of the rollers while pedaling backwards and then allowed to dry.
  • To clean simply wipe off excess with a rag or for dirty chains spray Brunox Turbo Spray on a rag and wipe the chain then re-lubricate the chain.
  • Expect your chain to take a beating over the winter and be prepared to replace it after the winter season.

Mudguards:
Not only to save yourself from dirt, but to protect your bike

  • Fit good quality mudguards to your bike.
  • Close fitting mudguards can clog up with slush, ice, and snow and impede your progress. Depending on your bike, mudguards that clip on the down tube and seatpost provide good protection and plenty of clearance.

Lights:

Be seen
  • Short days and falling snow or rain can drastically limit a driver’s visibility. Use a powerful, highly visible front light or flashing white LED and at least two bright red flashing LED rear lights. Most winter riders use two bright red flashing rear lights because batteries can fail in cold conditions. We do recommend caring a spare front light in-case of failures.
Lastly don’t forget to protect yourself and make cycling more comfortable
If you are unsure how to look after your bike, please contact us at Cycle Tech Oldham to book a Winter Service now.
Cyclist who live out of the Cycle Tech Oldham area email: service@cycle-tech.co.uk and we will reply with a mechanic within striking distance
In addition this article first published by Cycle Tech UK

Madison clothing at Cycle Tech Oldham

With having more retail space we are stocking Madison Cycling clothing & Orbea cycling tops

The Madison winter range is now all in stock with ladies and gents coats, waterproof jackets, shorts, bib-shorts, bib-tights, gloves and overshoes

We will also be adding the Madison clothing to the web site shop over the next month or so