All you want to do is ride you bike, but the skies are pouring with rain. While some will don their wet weathers and make the most of it here's a few suggestions for those less inclined to fight but still desiring a profitable bike day.
Clean Up and Lube On
In these conditions your chain is taking a real battering so now is a good time to pull the bike into the garage and administer some TLC. I’ve covered this subject in detail here. But for now just take your time and get it done, what ever you do, don’t forget to re lubricate your freshly cleaned chain and cables.
Allow For A Smooth Ride
If you’ve battled through heavy showers or even the after math of recent storms then the odds are that your mudguards will be filling up with their fair share of road debris. While much of this debris simply falls away some will get lodged, especially if you’re mudguards are running particularly close to your tyres. Take time to remove both wheels and give your mudguards a good wipe through (baby wipes are perfect). Take time to check that all of the fittings are secure and nothing has been loosened in the rain. Refit your wheels, ensuring there is no resistance between tyre and guard.
Wash and Reproof
If your kit has been kind to you now is time for you to return the favor. Over-washing your water proof kit can however damage its technical performance so it’s important you proceed with care. Use a specialist technical wash and never use conditioner or stain remover, wash and then wash-in your DWR water proofing as two separate stages, finally drip dry.
Clean Cleats and Pedals
If you ‘clip in’ then cleaning your pedals and cleats is a must, skip this basic maintenance task and get ready to experience the nightmare of being unable to release your cleats as and when you need to. Begin with soapy water and a tooth brush giving both pedal and cleat a good clean, remove pedals from crank arm, use a spray degreaser to clean the crank arm, re-grease and refit, use a medium weight oil to lube the pedal springs, take time to tighten your cleats into your cycling shoes, adjust springs on your pedals as necessary.
Review and Plan
If there’s no such thing as ‘bad weather’ just ‘bad planning’ then now might be a good time to review your and your bikes needs. While some folks have the luxury of a ‘winter bike’ the rest of us simply need to review whether or not there are any necessary alterations designed to help our one bike keep moving through the winter months. A few gentle suggestions might include, fitting mudguards because a wet ass is no fun, fitting respectable winter tyres to resist the increase in rubbish you’ll be riding through, cleaning or replacing brake blocks because you’ll be needing them and using them a whole lot more and finally installing STRAVA because if you're going to persevere you may as well gain some bragging rights!
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