Tech Tips

Bike Maintenance after the Winter Months

If you have been grinding out the winter miles, your bike will certainly be in need of some attention. If you have been riding a designated winter bike make sure, before you consign it to the shed, that you have given it a complete clean and service. Some time spent now, or some work given to your local bike shop, will save you frustration in the autumn.

If you will be riding the same bike through the summer, take advantage of a recovery week to give it an overhaul. Pay particular attention to tyres, brakes and the drivetrain. Check that the seat-post hasn't seized, there is no water inside the frame and replace any rusted bolts. Even with regular diligent cleaning, salted winter roads can really take their toll so don't be surprised if you have to part with some money. If you have got some early season races or events, you may want to take off your mudguards but, if not, we advise keeping them on through the spring showers season.

Kit Overhaul

Go through all of your winter kit and make sure that it is all clean and dry before packing it away. Wash and re-proof waterproofs using products recommended by the manufacturers. If you have been using neoprene overshoes, make sure you rinse them well to remove salt from road spray and use a water dispersant on the zips. Again, some time spent now, will save you annoyance and money when winter arrives again.

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Clothing essentials for Spring

With modern cycling clothing, if you dress correctly, you can be comfortable in all conditions. Flexible layers are the key to staying comfortable in mixed conditions typical of spring. Must haves include:

arm/leg/knee warmers

toe covers or lightweight overshoes

gilet or lightweight wind/waterproof

lightweight gloves

casquette for under your helmet

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Rim Check

What happens when a rim wears out

If you're lucky, you'll be pumping up your tyres nice and hard, you'll hear a crack, then nano-seconds later you'll hear a loud bang. When the dust settles and you've recovered from the shock, you'll notice that a razor sharp aluminium hoop has parted company from your wheel. You'll also notice that your tyre sidewall is probably ripped and your tube is history.

If you're unlucky, the same thing will happen to you when you're out riding. You can fill in the rest...

The image below shows a rim from a customer who didn't know there rim was worn and replaced a tube & this is what happened when he tried inflating the new tube.

IMG_0688[1]

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Punctures

This time of year there is a dramatic increase in bicycle punctures. This is usually because of the hedge cutting that takes place throughout June but also the gause bush and hawthorn bushes on the pathways around our lovely island paths.

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Saddle Height

Another common misunderstanding which makes cycling harder for the rider is saddle height.

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Chain Cleaning & Lubrication

The chain is fundamental to the bicycles transmission yet so many run these either dry or rusty or over oiled and dirty. A chain should be one of the most cared for components of your bike. When you purchased a new bike it was clean enough that you could eat a packet of crisps directly after touching the chain.

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Tyre Pressure

Sounds simple but ensuring you have the correct tyre pressure is an important part of bike maintenance.

The easiest way to make your cycling harder than necessary is to ride with your tyres under pressure.

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