Bicycle Maintenance in Cold Weather

By Sarah – December 30, 2011

Keeping one’s bicycle functioning and clean in the winter can require more attention than usual, but can also help avoid injury or costly repairs later on. Here are a few tips on how to keep your set of wheels clean and smooth:

1) Start the season with a thorough cleaning and wax – Use a small stiff-bristle brush to rid your bike of all the grime buildup from the fall. Remove the chain and let it soak in a solvent, brushing away any grit that loosens, and hang it up to dry. Lastly wax the frame (this can be bicycle wax or car wax).

2) Every few days – wipe down the frame of any salt, dirt, etc., clean the gears, clean and degrease the chain, then re-lube it, clean the wheel rims and spokes, clean the cranks (q-tips work well). Also, keep a constant look out for cracks in cable housing, which can happen during any season, but when it gets freezing or below it’s even more likely.

3) Every two weeks – Clean and re-grease the stem, seat post and (if you have a crank puller) cranks.

4) At the end of the season – Take your bicycle in for a general tune-up to ensure it continues to get you from point A to point B smoothly.

*Note: The maintenance is even more important if you’re biking through a lot of snow, ice and salt. Luckily we live in Austin!


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