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Our Top Winter Bike Maintenance Tips

December 2020

The winter weather shouldn’t deter you from continuing to get out on your bike. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to cycling this year, it’s important to take some extra time during the winter months to ensure your bike stands the test of time. 

Winter causes all sorts of debris from the roads to stick to your bike which builds up over time. So it’s important to give your cycle a little extra TLC during the winter season as well as ensuring your bike is safe to ride during the shorter darker days. 

Before every journey do you consider if your bike is road ready? Follow our top tips to help ensure you’re always riding safely. 

  1. Lights 

Cycling in the dark is inevitable during the winter months, with shorter days and potentially adverse conditions it’s important to stay safe and seen by drivers, pedestrians and other cyclists. If you live or cycle in rural areas where street lights are few and far between you’ll appreciate having a front light powerful enough to light your way. Before every journey give all lights and reflectors a good wipe to ensure they are shining at their brightest. 

  1. Reflective Clothing 

As well as ensuring your bike is equipped with good working lights, it’s a good idea to wear light colours or invest in clothing with reflective panels. Increasing the chances of being seen by other road users is key to safety. As well as being visible, keeping warm and dry makes every journey more enjoyable. 

With the season’s unpredictable nature, wearing layers is key – a base layer should have moisture wicking properties to keep any sweat produced away from the skin. An installation layer to keep warm should be a looser fitting, wool or fleece material and a waterproof layer to defend against wind and rain. 

Don’t forget the extremities, a good pair of gloves is crucial to winter cycles, not only for comfort but should your hands get too cold whilst cycling you may lose control of your bike. 

  1. Mudguards 

If you intend on commuting to work, or cycling to a destination we recommend investing in mudguards. Mudguards can divide opinion, however in winter they become an essential piece of kit.

Wheels can spray up a surprising amount of debris, causing a cold blast to your back as well as an unsightly strip of mud and grime.  Mudguards also help to keep the rest of your bike dry which means less time spent cleaning after your rides. If you need help with fitting, our trained technicians can install whilst giving your bike a free visual health check.

  1. Brakes 

A crucial part of your bike and one that oftens gets forgotten about, until it’s too late. Keeping up with good winter maintenance and having a winter health check will ensure your brakes are in good working order.  

  1. Tyres

As with car tyres it’s important to keep an eye on tyre tread, especially in winter when the likelihood of needing to brake swiftly in wet conditions is far more certain. 

Depending on conditions and style of cycling will determine the need for specific winter tyres. 

We recommend a harder wearing tyre which will offer better puncture protection, winter roads often harbour much more debris leading to a much higher chance of getting a puncture. 

Whilst we always recommend carrying spare tubes, It’s especially important during the colder months when repairing a flat tyre in the cold is a much bigger problem. 

Above all else be prepared and have fun. Winter cycling is just as fun as fair weather cycling as long as you’re prepared. We are open and ready for business should you require any winter essentials and our technicians in the workshop are ready for winter servicing.  Call us today for information 01953 607127. 

Howards Cycles Ltd is registered in England under Company Registration Number 04918609. The registered office is 63 Back Lane, Wymondham, Norfolk, NR18 0LB
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