Winter maintenance of road bikes
Maintenance of road bikes is certainly a fundamental aspect. There are many little things we should do every day to make sure our bike is always in perfect condition. A bike in perfect condition will always be a more comfortable, safer and faster bike.
Next, we will see what are these small maintenance actions that we have to do at least once a year and that usually coincides with the arrival of autumn-winter, months in which we usually ride less due to bad weather and that will allow us to have the bike at 100% at the beginning of the season.
1. Bottom bracket and headset
Especially at the end of the season, after cycling on bumpy and dirty roads, some annoying sounds appear. More than likely you will need to clean and grease the bottom bracket and headset, but it won’t hurt to check the bearings as well, to see if they need to be replaced or simply cleaned and greased again.
In my experience, 90% of bike noises start right there. Especially if you don’t have Froome’s weight 😉 . The bushings wear out and the weather conditions don’t help, on the contrary.
Good hub maintenance makes the bike ride much smoother and more efficiently and in the long run saves a lot of money by limiting the need to change bearings.
Remember that wheels with hubs and cones need even more careful maintenance. If the bearing base goes bad, you will end up replacing the components, which will increase the cost of bike maintenance when you could have avoided it.
3. Cables and sheaths
Here is another of the basic winter maintenance of road bikes: replace cables and sheaths.
Using the bike in dirty, rainy and damp conditions will cause the cables to rust and the chainstay to wear out, so the sliding will not be smooth. If we wait, the shift will not be precise or we will have to make too much emphasis on the levers.
4. The chain
Periodic checks of chain wear are essential. Not only for the chain itself, but also to keep the cassette and chainrings in the best possible conditionHere are some tips on how to extend the life of your chain.
However, it is important to keep in mind that replacing the chain on a regular basis will allow you to save on much more expensive components. It will therefore be important that you find the balance between maintenance and change
When do you have to change the chain? It’s hard to say, the best way is to have your own chain checking tools at hand.
That said, it is essential to start the season with a clean and checked chain…
At the end of the season we also recommend a check-up of all the fundamental components. Which ones? A complete check-up is highly recommended for everyone, but it is particularly important to check the seat post, saddle, handlebars and stem, as they are the components that are most stressed by our pedalling. All check operations are simple and quick, but essential for our safety.
First of all, check that none of these components have cracks or other special signs of wear: they are components that are subjected to a lot of stress and could even break suddenly. In the event that we detect any strange marks, it is advisable to carry out a more thorough check and replace the affected component.
As far as the seat post is concerned, remember that its maintenance consists of removing it completely, cleaning the tube both inside and out, and replacing it correctly. In this case, you will need specific tools. Correct servicing will prevent wear and tear that is more accelerated than desirable.
Brake pads, whether disc brake pads or normal brake pads, are another component that we definitely need to check, not only at the end of the season but periodically after our rides.
Finally, it is a good idea to check the pedals and their attachment to the bottom bracket. Cleaning and greasing them properly will prevent annoying noises and accelerated wear.
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