Guest post by: Keindl-sport
Cold weather is not something that should worry us when it comes to riding a bicycle in the winter. We just need to dress for winter cycling. Besides that, we should make sure to have good winter bicycle tyres, make sure that brakes are good and the chain is lubricated regularly (how to prepare a bicycle for winter cycling). Still, if we wish to store a bicycle over the winter, the story is a bit different. Let us begin.
1. Preparing a bicycle for winter storage
Many people hang the bicycle over the winter. Which is not a bad idea. If the bicycle is stored on wheels, make sure that the tyres are inflated. Deflated tyres, with bicycle’s weight pressing them, can develop side-wall cracks. Too high a pressure also stresses the side-walls needlessly. See about optimal bicycle tyre pressure. So, before storing a bicycle, pump up the tyres and check the pressure once a month – top up if needed, since they might deflate over time, especially in cold rooms.
After that, check the brakes and shifers. See if the brake pads are worn. If they are, replace them with new ones. Also check the chain and see if it should be replaced (how to check whether bicycle chain is worn). Winter, if a bicycle isn’t ridden, is a good time to do all the needed maintenance.
Remember when you bought the bicycle? How it was all shiny? So, before storing it over the winter, clean it thoroughly so it is ready for the spring. Use either “special bicycle/car” washing detergent, or a simple dish-washing detergent (I like fairy – Amazon affiliate link). Warm water, spunge and/or cloth and clean everything: the frame, saddle, wheels. It is also good to clean bicycle chain and chainrings. Finally, rinse it with clean water and dry it with a cloth.
After all is nicely dry, lubricate the bicycle’s chain. Lubrication prevents corrosion and protects the moving parts from wear, so it is important. You can also use “thin” lubricant on the cables, to keep them from rusting. Thick lubes attract too much dust and dirt. Explanation of (bicycle chain) lubricants.
We are near the end of the bicycle winter storage preparation. Now you just need to cover the bicycle to prevent it from gathering dust and dirt. Materials that don’t let water vapour come through, like nylon, are not a very good choice – because of condensation (and rust) – especially if the bicycle is completely wrapped.
2. How to prepare the bicycle in the spring?
After all noted above, the logical question is how to prepare the bike for the spring, so that the ride is nice and safe. Clear sky and warm weather are perfect for cycling. It is time to get the bicycle out of storage and prepare it for the coming season. First clean any dirt. Wipe it with a spunge, or cloth. Then check the tyre pressure. It is good to have a pump with a pressure gauge. Maximum allowed pressure is usually noted on tyre side-walls, while a separate post explains the optimal bicycle tyre pressure.
Before you start riding, check the bicycle saddle height and tighten the saddle. Loose saddle can cause problems and discomfort. Finally, check if you have all the needed cycling equipment: lights, locks, gloves etc.