Just because the weather has turned bad doesn't mean you should let your bike go the same way. Follow our maintenance checklist to get your bike ready for winter!
Switch from dry to wet lube
Clean and re-oil chain
Check brake pads for wear
Switch your bar tape
De-gunk and re-grease chainset and bottom bracket
Check and re-grease hubs
Fit winter tyres
A summer of riding wears down your bike's defences against the worst of the winter weather. Salt, slush and ice can destroy your chain, wreck your shifting, and even corrode your frame. Making sure your bike is thoroughly de-greased and re-lubed before winter will save you time and energy.
If you would rather leave the hard work to us, book a general service in our workshop.
Switch your oils
Chain oil or lube fills the gaps in the chain links, that would otherwise be filled by dirt and grime — which increase friction, make your chain feel crunchy, and decrease efficiency.
"Keeping your drivetrain clean is important for a smooth riding experience, but you need to make sure that you use the right oil for the conditions", says Fenwick's co-founder, John Smith.
A quick glance on the shelves at Condor or any independent bike shop will reveal a huge range of oils. Wet, dry, wax, ceramic — actually, chain lube falls into two simple categories: wet and dry.
Dry lubes are waxed-based and perfect for summer riding. They are light and repel dirt. However, in light rain, a dry lube will wash off and is much less durable.
Wet lube can withstand wet weather much better. Even if you don't ride in the rain during autumn and winter, road spray will splash up on to the chain. However, wet lube will turn thick and gunky if used in dry conditions as it attracts dust.
Clean your chain
Changing oil? Clean your chain first. Mixing oils is likely to end up a dirty mess. Dirt that is on your chain after a summer of riding will get sealed under the oil. Cleaning your chain ready for the onslaught of winter will not only make it ride smoothly, but also increase the longevity.
The best way to clean a chain at home is using a chain cleaning device that dips the chain in concentrated de-greaser. You can also spray de-greaser onto the chain and scrub it with a cleaning sponge.
Get new brake pads
Check the condition of your brake pads. Check if the rubber or pad is worn close to the wear mark. Dig out any grit or glass that has lodged in the pad. If you use rim brakes, wipe the pad with a cloth to remove any grime that will affect your braking.
Check the condition of your bar tape
Sweat, heat and rain can work to loosen the adhesive on your bar tape, especially if it has been on your bike for a year. When winter weather hits, the wet will unravel bar tape quicker than spaghetti on a fork. Replace your bar tape and choose a grippy finish for a better hold in cold and wet conditions.
De-grease and re-grease drivetrain and hubs
Grease is one of the best defences against dirty water that will corrode and wear your bicycle parts. The chainset, bottom bracket and wheels should rotate freely. Corrosion from water and salt will eventually cause some of the most important components of your bike to seize, and pedalling will be harder!
To protect your drivetrain, remove your chainset and bottom bracket cups. Fish out dirt and gunk that has built up on the threads and let any sitting water disperse. Re-grease the threads using Condor Professional Grade Multi-Purpose Grease to prolong the life of the component and guard against water ingress.
Fit winter tyres
No one wants to be stuck repairing a puncture on a cold damp evening. Don't waste your best race tyres in bad weather. Switch to a burly rubber with added puncture protection, or reflective detailing on the sidewall, which will provide more visibility at night.