Winterize Your Bike

Winter is coming in most parts of the country. But even though it is winter does not mean that you have to give up riding. It usually takes more motivation to get out and ride when it is cold and gray, but a good ride always does the body and mind good.

Getting your bike ready for winter is critical to successful rides, especially when you’re riding in cold temperatures and rainy or snowy weather. Winterizing your bike is one of those important maintenance steps and it takes just a few minutes and helps ensure you won’t end up stranded. During winter, it is important that your bike be in good condition, more so than in the summer. With snow, rain and mud, you bike will get much dirtier so be sure to clean the bike after each ride.

It is important to keep or bike well lubed. Areas to focus on are the chain, wheel bearings, cables, derailleurs, and brake levers.

Maintain good tires are a must for winter riding. If you live in a wet climate, narrow tires with widely spaced knobs are best. In the snow, a wide tire with widely spaced knobs is recommended. Studded tires are ideal if you intend to be riding in snow or ice exclusively. In snow, use a lower tire pressure between 30-40 PSI is fine for mountain bikes.

Fenders will help greatly in winter riding. They keep much of the mud, snow or water off of your bike and your body. Plastic fenders can crack in extreme cold so aluminum or steel is the best material for those in extremely cold climates.

With proper maintenance and a little luck, your bike should get you safely home every time.

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