With the thermometers higher than usual this winter, you may not have gotten around to winterizing your bike. Winter weather will inevitably arrive soon, and the cold, ice and salt can erode your ride, so here are a few tips for how to winterize your bike so you can stay active this winter on the Circuit Trails.
1. Lube Up
It’s always important to make sure your bike chain stays lubricated and running smoothly, but winter weather can really take a toll on your chain’s condition, causing it to wear down and rust more quickly. For rain and mild snow, using normal bike lube is appropriate, but during extreme weather, you might need to kick it up a notch. Bicycling.com recommends bar and chain lube designed for chain saws, but only in the most extreme winter weather conditions.
2. Fend Off
Fenders will help keep you, your bike and other riders dry and happy. This is a must for riding in winter weather, especially if you are commuting on the Circuit Trails. Try a clip-on fender for snowy weather, or just rig up a new fender out of cardboard if you’re feeling creative.
3. Scrub a Dub Dub
Riding through salt and slush can really damage your favorite set of wheels. Washing your bike after each winter outing will keep it working properly and help you delay a professional tune-up. Be sure to dry the bike after and give special attention to your saddle and handle bars, which are extra vulnerable during winter months.
4. Get Tired
Studded tires might be necessary for extreme weather, but for everyday winter riding consider on road tires with a winter thread to give you that extra grip you need. Also, pay attention to your tire pressure. By reducing your tire pressure to the lower end of the suggested range, your bike will be able to grip the slick and frozen surfaces more easily, keeping you upright on your winter rides.
It may be “warm” today, but winter weather is likely coming soon. Don’t wait until the forecast is calling for snow to prep your bike – take advantage of these tips now to be prepared to navigate you rough winter rides in the coming months!