“The nights are fair drawin’ in,” goes the cry! And in a shameless Game of Thrones reference, it is true that winter is coming. But the dark nights and cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean an end to a plethora of cycling fun. Yes the light may be low and you might need to wrap up a bit better but never fear, we’re here to give you a few tips on how to keep on going through to spring.
Wash yer bike!
The winter is a more important time than any to keep your bike clean. As gritters start to spit salt on to the road, you’ve got to make sure you wash it off your bike. Salt makes rust form miles quicker than just water or air alone.
Keeping your frame and wheels is important enough, but you’ve just go to look after your drivetrain (chain and gear parts). Rust kills them. Get yourself some sort of drivetrain or chain cleaner and spray some on your working parts, if you irritate it a bit with a brush of some sort (cheap paint brushes are good!) and leave it for a bit then wash it off, and when it’s clean and dry you need to recoat your chain with lubricant.
Regular bike maintenance
Keeping your bike running smoothly might require more than just keeping it clean. The wet and gritty roads can cause undue stress to many parts of your bike, from brake pads and rims to cables and chains. If you feel your bike is underperforming during the winter months, then seek some mechanical advice. A bike shop will be happy to advise you on issues and if you’re lucky it won’t cost you much time or money. Be vigilant though, if you think there’s an issue get it looked at quick, things can deteriorate quite quickly if you ignore a problem.
Mudguards and lights – accessories galore!
Yes, yes, it’s time to load up with add ons. Mudguards are great at keeping the filth off you in the winter, and if they’re good enough they’ll even protect those around you, if you’re riding in a ggroup. Although full mudguards are the best, those are the ones that attach to the frame and the fork via mudguard bosses (not all bikes are compatible), there is a wide range of clip on mudguards that are able to give some coverage to those bikes that don’t accept full guards.
If you’re planning on going out a long one in the winter, lights are an essential. Light disappears at an alarming rate in the winter, and if you get caught out without decent lights it can problematic to say the least. Lights are pretty cheap to buy therefore the benefits of having them far outweigh the cost, and nowadays there are lights that can fit on almost and bike with ease.
Small lights that are enough to make sure that people behind you, and coming toward you are fine for better lit areas, but if you are a hardy soul intent on putting the miles in during the evening, then you’ll need a front light that packs a high lumen count that will help you see whats in front of you. Wearing hi-visibility clothing, doesn’t hurt either, but we’ll talk about that a bit more next week.
CamGlen Bike Town is offering a winter service presently. It is a regular silver service, but we fit any accessories, like mudguards and lights within the service at no extra cost.
If you need any more advice on keeping the bike running smoothly throughout the winter months, or even need some more pointers on staying safe in the winter, stay tuned to the blog, or pop in and see us at Thomson Court, Rutherglen.