Winter Bike Maintenance

We all like to ride our bikes.  I am making an assumption here but lets go with it.  I think it is a fairly safe one to make.  However, I don't think we all like to take care of our bikes.  That is never more important than during the winter riding months.  The amount of salt and sand that gets sloshed onto our bikes and wrung through our drivetrains and bearings is enough to make the Dead Sea jealous.  There are a few quick things that you can do after each ride to keep your bike from falling victim to the premature damage and wear caused by these necessary evils.


You've had your fun now its time to get to work.

  • First, give your bike a warm soapy rinse.  Starting at the top of the bike and working your way down: saddle, top tube, handle bars, down tube, seat tube, seat stays, fork and chain stays.  Back pedal the bike and spray the chain, cassette, and chainrings.  Spray the crank and pedals as well.  Finally spray the wheels and the brake calipers (disc or rim brake).
  • Wipe down the frame using a clean rag.  You'll want to be sure not to scratch any paint with a dirty rag.  As you wipe the frame down, you may collect some leftover dirt and sand and salt which will scratch the frame.  Change rags if necessary.  This is also a good time to inspect your bike for any damage: scratches, dents, dings or even cracks.
  • Then inspect wear items, such as brake pads, braking surfaces (rims and rotors), chain, cassette, chainrings and tires
  • Apply some chain lube to your chain.  We prefer Pedro's Syn lube for the harsh winter conditions.

Following these simple steps after each winter ride will save you money and lost time when the bike is in for repairs.  It could even save you from having a costly mechanical during a ride.

We hope to see you at the upcoming Wintertide Ride after which we can help you through these simple steps.


Photo courtesy of Cal G.