By Anna S.
Winter biking can feel like it comes with a lot of “have tos.” You HAVE TO get a bike with fat tires. You HAVE TO ride a mountain bike. You HAVE TO get a studded tire. You HAVE TO ride a single speed.
This year’s skillshare session did the much-needed work of demoting some of those “have tos” to “can dos.” Janni led the half of the session focused on finding the right bike, and she underlined the fact that every bike option you choose from will have pros and cons. Fat tires can provide more stability and ability to roll on snow… but you lose some speed. Riding single speed will mean less maintenance… but you might miss your gears when you’re powering up a hill.
Check out her amazing flier for more of the nitty-gritty details of upsides and drawbacks of various approaches! Putting the Bike in Winter Biking by Janni
Tina took the lead for the second half of the session, and talked about setting up a regular maintenance schedule for your winter ride. Most of the maintenance that she recommends can be done on a speedy daily/weekly/monthly season–all of which can be made even easier by coordinating your maintenance needs with the Grease Rag open shop calendar.
Here’s Tina’s flier with the full details of what you can be doing to maintain your bike throughout the year. Winter Bicycle Maintenance by Tina Cho
Tina also shared the contents of her travel tool bag and her home tool bag. In her travel tool bag, she keeps: a multitool, and a flat fix kit. In her home tool bag, she keeps: a multitool, and flat fix kit, and degreaser, chain lube, two toothbrushes (taped together to makes a chain cleaning scrubby tool), a paintbrush, Windex, and T-9 bike lube.
Tina also had some amazing BIKE HACKS! Photos and descriptions below.
Bike carrying strap: Tina created this strap from an extra camera strap that she had lying around the house. You can use it by grabbing the strap and easily hauling your bike from place to place.
Pill bottle light mount: Want to light up the path in front of you without blinding passing bikers? Tina mounted a pill bottle to her front fork with zip-ties. She then mounted her front light to the pill bottle. That meant that the beam of light is low enough to avoid the eyes of passerbys, and also focused more directly on the path ahead of her.