Your bike needs love.
Bike repair and maintenance. It might sound scary, or boring. But it doesn’t have to be.
Firstly, clean your bike. This is the easiest way to keep your wonderful steed running smoothly. And it’s especially important during the winter months after you’ve been ripping through mud puddles. Ideally use a bike wash from your local bike shop, but soapy water with a rag is fine. An old toothbrush is perfect for getting the grit and grime out of the tricky corners.
DO NOT take a high pressure hose or water blaster to your bike. It might appear to be a highly effective way to rid your bike of dirt, but it can force water into the bearing and hubs – both are places we don’t want water to be. Follow up the wash and rinse process with chain lube application. There are different types of chain lube – wet, dry, ceramic… check with your local bike store which one you should be using for the conditions you ride in.
Click here for more on bike cleaning and maintenance from Outside Sports.
All The Skills
Here are two key skills that are guaranteed to save your bacon one day.
1. Change a Flattie
If you can’t change your bike tyre then the next few months are a great opportunity to learn and practise how.
2. Fix a Broken Chain
Get yourself a chain breaker (and maybe find out what one is), a spare chain link, and an old chain (ask at your local bike shop) and practise, practise, practise. This can be a bit fiddly and is best learned in the shelter of your home, instead of in the field with numb fingers and an icy wind biting at your cheeks.
It’s pretty empowering stuff if something breaks while you’re out in the wops and you can say, “It’s all good folks, I got this!”
And one more thing...
Book your bike in for a service for early to mid September. Just pick up the phone and book it today. It might be 4 months away but this isn’t something you want to forget and have to arrange at the last minute.