Putting your bike away for winter? After a busy summer out riding, many cyclists choose to give their saddle a break over the chillier seasons.
In this guide we explain our top tips to help you prepare for proper winter bike storage and to ensure your two-wheeled friend is ready to ride when the warmer weather comes back around.
Make Sure your Tyres are Inflated
If you own a hoist or a rack and plan to suspend your bike from the ceiling, then this tip won’t apply to you. However, if it’ll be resting on its tyres, then you’ll want to make sure your bike’s tyres are inflated.
The weight of your bike presses down through the rims on the rubber when positioned upright on the floor, meaning that the quality of your tyres will gradually deteriorate as the rubber can become distorted if tyres are flat. It may also develop a weak spot in the side wall.
One of our top tips is to therefore inflate your tyres before you put your bike into hibernation. It’s also advised that you check them every now and again as you may find they lose pressure. If they do deflate in the cold conditions, the sidewalls risk cracking when you pump them back up.
Show your Bike Some TLC
Your bike is likely to have acquired a whole host of dirt, mud, grime and road salt throughout the riding season. These can cause corrosion on your bike’s frame, especially if the bike is going to be sitting dirty and untouched for weeks to come.
It’s recommended you thoroughly wash the entire bike before you put it away, so that it’s squeaky clean and shiny when you get it back out. From the frame to the chain, saddle, and handlebars, be sure to wipe everything down.
Inspect for Damage
There’s no better time to inspect your bike for damage than when it’s dirt free. It doesn’t have to take you too long, just a few quick checks.
For example, take a quick glance at the frame and look for any signs of cracks. You should also check the efficiency of your brake pads (ensuring they’re aligned properly and with no excessive wear) and wheels (keeping a close eye out for any loose or broken spokes).
Lubricate your Chain
Lubricating your chain is an essential part of maintaining your bike. Not only does it prevent corrosion and protect moving parts from excessive wear, it is also instrumental to the bike’s performance in the long run.
Unlike other conventional lubricants, the BananaSlip All Weather Lube is resistant to water and dirt ingress and completely stops dirt building up into a grinding paste.
Cover your Bike
Another top recommendation for winter storage is to protect your bike with a fitted bicycle cover. As well as helping to prevent marks and scratches from occurring, it will also protect your bike from dust, grime and moisture.
Winter Cycling Tips
However, not all riders put their bike into hibernation during winter. So, if you are planning on getting on the saddle in the colder months, there are a few steps you can take to ensure it’s ready to survive winter…
- Mudguards – Fitting mudguards to both your front and rear wheel will help to protect you bike and reduce the amount of dirty water spraying on your chain and brake/gear cables.
- Winter Tyres – With higher amounts of debris on the roads in the winter, punctures are much more likely to occur. We therefore advise purchasing some winter-specific tyres as they’re much more durable and offer increased puncture resistance.
- Lights – Having good lights on your bike is a must. We recommend keeping them on your bike throughout the winter season as it can remain dull even in the middle of the day.
- Keep your Bike Clean – Your bike will inevitably get dirty in the winter which means corrosion is likely to occur if you’re not regularly cleaning it. Utilise bike-specific cleaning products to make short work of mucky components.
Bicycle Maintenance with Tru-Tension
Here at Tru-Tension, we specialise in manufacturing a wide range of high-quality bicycle maintenance and cleaning products. They are designed for all levels of cyclists and are perfect for helping to keep your bike in tip-top condition during winter.