HOW CAN I WINTERPROOF MY BIKE?

220 Triathlon Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Get through win­ter in one piece with this handy DIY guide

Win­ter can be a wor­ry­ing time for your bike. Spray from wet roads can be par­tic­u­larly cor­ro­sive, es­pe­cially if salt has been spread to pre­vent ice. Punc­tures are a big prob­lem, too – re­plac­ing an in­ner tube on the road­side is much less fun in the cold. But, if you fol­low our plan to pro­tect you and your bike, you’ll storm through au­tumn/win­ter with plenty of miles in your legs ready for a sum­mer of rac­ing.

FIT MUDGUARDS

Step one Mudguards cut down the amount of spray that hits you and your bike when rid­ing on wet roads. There are sev­eral types that can be fit­ted quickly and eas­ily to a race bike, but al­ways fol­low the man­u­fac­turer’s in­struc­tions to as­sem­ble the mudguards.

Step two Best for a road bike are mudguards that at­tach to the brake area and onto the seat­stays and forks. The set pic­tured above at­taches to the brake piv­ots with zip ties. Thread each mud­guard un­der the brakes and se­cure tightly. Ro­tate the wheels to check that the tyres don’t rub on the mudguards.

Step three Line up the mud­guard stays and frame at­tach­ments so that the wheels ro­tate with­out catch­ing on the mudguards, then se­cure them in place.

FIT WIDER TYRES

Step one If pos­si­ble, buy a set of wheels for win­ter rid­ing, es­pe­cially if your bike has ex­pen­sive race wheels. Look for ones with stan­dard spok­ing and wide rims so you can fit wider tyres, which give good grip. Ce­ramic-coated rims are most durable and with­stand salt wa­ter but re­quire ded­i­cated brake blocks and are quite ex­pen­sive.

Step two Fit wider and heav­ier tyres. Soft com­pounds grip bet­ter but wear quicker. Use tyres with some kind of punc­ture-pre­ven­tion strip in them, like Kevlar. Also use stan­dard, not light­weight, in­ner tubes. Worn tyres punc­ture more eas­ily so check reg­u­larly and re­place them.

Step three In­flate the tyres af­ter fit­ting, but not to as high a pres­sure as you would use in sum­mer. Lower tyre pres­sures give ex­tra grip and im­prove trac­tion – 80psi is a good win­ter pres­sure for a 70kg rider. Fit valve caps in win­ter to pre­vent salt wa­ter get­ting in, ox­i­dis­ing the metal and caus­ing them to stick shut.

PRO­TECT YOUR DRIV­E­TRAIN

Step one Not only are the ex­posed parts of your driv­e­train (chain, chain­set and sprock­ets) at­tacked by wa­ter (and ul­ti­mately cor­roded), dirt can also stick to the lu­bri­cant and form a grind­ing paste that wears out these com­po­nents. De­grease the whole driv­e­train by spray­ing it with de-greaser and leav­ing it to soak in.

Step two Wash off with hot, soapy wa­ter. Use a sponge on the chain, and brushes to clean the sprock­ets and chain­set. Work the brushes hard be­tween the sprock­ets. You can buy bike-spe­cific brushes but clean paint­brushes will do.

Step three Ap­ply heav­ier lu­bri­cant than you would use in sum­mer so it doesn’t wash off quickly in wet weather. But re­mem­ber that heavy lu­bri­cant isn’t an all-win­ter fix. It still col­lects dirt, so this process – all three steps – must be re­peated of­ten.

“Iff pos­si­ble, buy a set off wheels ffor win­ter rid­ing, es­pe­cially if f your bike has ex­pen­sive wheels”

CHRIS SIDWELLS

CHRIS SIDWELLS

CHRIS SIDWELLS

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