It’s that time of the year when road rides alternate between dry pavement and sloppy slush. And, with the warmer temperatures gracing the Front Range, riding MTB trails is a treat but there is the complication of dealing with mud, slush and a mixture of dry trail. What does this mean to cyclists? it means your bike needs some TLC. Bike maintenance isn’t always fun to do, but obviously, it is a necessity.
While there are countless recommendations on keeping your road bike or mountain bike in good, working order, these are our top 3 picks for bike maintenance during this transitional season.
- Pay Attention to Your Chain. If you’ve been training regularly then no doubt your chain is showing some wear and tear. Take time to actually clean your chain. For an easy clean, scrub your drivetrain parts with a brush and eco-friendly degreaser and re-lubricate the chain when you are done. For something more thorough, you could buy a chain cleaner like Park Tool’s Cyclone Chain Scrubber, fill it with a non-aerosol degreaser like Pedros Oranj Peelz, turn your crank 15-20 revolutions and let your scrubber do the job for you. As for the best chain lube, check out our post, Dry Pavement, Sloppy Slush, and A Muddy Trail: Which Chain Lube Works Best? for options.
- Check your Wheels and Tires. Both your wheels and tires are essential for bike safety. Accompanying the snow and wet riding conditions are salt, debris, and miscellaneous items found in the cycling lanes and roads. Have you checked your tires lately? They may actually need replacing. Begin by cleaning the wheels with rubbing alcohol and dry with a cloth. Check the rims for damage and examine for loose spokes. Your wheel should run smoothly without any side-to-side wobble. Next, replace your tires. If you aren’t up for doing this yourself, let us help you. For the month of March, receive 20% off any tire with the purchase of installation in the shop!
- Inspect Your Brakes. When you are shredding down a long, winding road or a steep trail grade, what’s going to stop you? Your brakes! Bike brakes use brake pads to stop your wheels from turning. Brake pads wear down over time and especially so under wet and grimy conditions. Be mindful to examine your brake pads for any uneven or extensive wear. If you do find uneven abrasions, you probably need to get your brakes adjusted and/or replaced.
As you ride more through the early season, some worn bike parts that weren’t visible upon your first bike inspection may become apparent as the season progresses. Regular maintenance is essential. Preseason bike maintenance and training paves the way for a long, healthy, and enjoyable cycling season. Stop by the Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to pick up the cycling accessories you need to maintain your bike or let us help you!