It's snowing outside today, the perfect time to post a recap on our winter bicycle maintenance and cleaning segment. Thank you for the demonstration and write-up, Shayne!
Winter Bicycle Maintenance and Cleaning Recap
Keeping your bike clean is the key to ensuring your ride doesn’t fall apart before spring and it will save you money on costly repairs. Most people have a “winter shitter” that they use during the snowy months. It’s a good idea to have a second bike for the winter season. But if you don’t, that’s okay. It just means you’ll want to clean and maintain your bike more often and more thoroughly.
Every few days
You want to do a basic cleaning every couple of days to remove all the salt and grime. SALT IS YOUR WORST ENEMY! It will rust and destroy everything. The main things you want to clean are:
1. The frame- Every inch of the frame should be cleaned off to remove the nasty salt. Spray down the whole bike and wipe off with a rag. Handlebars, fork and around the headset, frame, pedals, cranks, wheels. You can purchase a bike cleaner spray from your local bike shop or the Simple Green brand spray works well too.
2. All gears- Remove all the built up grease and grime with a rag. Old toothbrushes and q-tips work well too.
3. The chain- Clean the chain with a rag and degreaser then re-lube it. Running it through all the gears after. If there's a lot of built up gunk on your chain, use q-tips to get in between each link.
4. Wheels- The rims of the wheels need to be scrubbed well. Don't forget to clean your spokes! Keeping the spokes free of salt will extend the life or your wheel set. Putting a drop or two of lube where the nipple meets the rim will also help remove/repel salt. Also, clean the hub with a rag. Shoving a rag inside the spokes works well.
5. The cranks- Be sure to get inside and around the bottom bracket. Again, q-tips work wonders here.
6. Fenders- If you have fenders, clean em. Snow salt and grime get built up underneath.
Every two weeks
Every two weeks or so you want to do a more thorough cleaning. Start by doing the basic cleaning steps above.
1. Remove the stem, clean off old grease and apply new grease.
2. Remove the seat post, clean off old grease on the post and inside the frame. Apply new grease to the inside of the frame.
3. Remove the cranks if you have a crank puller, reapply grease and reattach the cranks. If you don’t have a crank puller, no worries. This will be done when you bring your bike in for a spring over-haul.
End of the season
Once the snow stops falling, bring your bike in for an over-haul!
There you have it. The longer your bike stays clean, the longer life it will have. A well-maintained bike also means a smoother ride for you.