It's that time of year when falling temperatures and short days give us the opportunity to prepare our bike for next season. Oftentimes we just leave it in the garage and keep saying we'll get it done, but by the first ride in May it's clear we never got to it, with rusty chains and loud brakes.
Here are a few preventive measures to keep your bike in better condition and ready for next season.
- Wash the whole bike down with soap and water.
- Use degreaser to get to those very dirty areas like derailleurs and brakes.
- Remove the wheels and clean the tires and rims as well as the cassette with degreaser.
- Use an emory cloth or sand paper to lightly clean the brake pads and rims.
- Check all bottom bracket and headset to evaluate bearings. If they're bad, this is best remedied by a bicycle shop.
- Check brakes and gears for smoothness.
- Lastly, change your chain to make sure you don't wear out your cassette.
These pointers should not only lengthen the life of your bike but should help you save money on maintenance in the long run and make your first ride of the new year much more enjoyable.