Summer is trying its best to stick around but it’s time to face facts; things are going to get mucky on the roads. Now, this is a positive thing if you like mud-plugging on your MTB but for those of a more sensitive disposition (roadies) all this horrid dirty stuff makes a right mess of the bike. Luckily there’s a few things you can do to stop the harsh weather destroying your beautiful ride.
Always clean your bike. Yes it’s boring and after a long ride in the cold and wet you probably just want a shower and something warm to drink but cleaning your bike off with a decent degreaser after the ride will pay dividends in the long-run. Warm water and some soap does wonders and only takes a few minutes. Don’t be tempted to take a pressure washer to your bike though, that always spells disaster.
Cable care. Lube your cables to keep them running freely but make sure you clean off any excess as it attracts dirt. You’ll be amazed how much better your brakes and gears perform once you have applied some TLC to the cables.
Chain reaction. The light summer lube you have been using won’t cut it in winter, unless you want to re-apply every time you go out. A wet lube may be a better solution to ensure your chain stays oiled but don;t just apply one and forget until spring. Cleaning your chain and re-applying lube sparingly is the best way to look after your expensive drivetrain.
Tough tyres. Lightweight skinny tyres are great for summer but in winter you need something more durable. Consider reinforced tyres with bigger widths to give you more control and more puncture-resistance. Some riders have a different set of winter wheels too (other have winter bike but there you go).
Gritty brakes. Nasty stuff builds up on your rim and gets trapped by the brake blocks which can leave damage to your rim. Small stones and grit can eat through the soft aluminium rims quickly so give your blocks a quick wipe after every trip.