Winter is here and it's never easy for cyclists. However, Handlebars (now called Fettle) can make it easier!
As commuters ourselves we understand the struggle cycling to work during the cold months. The last thing you need on top of freezing fingers is for your bike to fail on you. We’ve put together some handy tips for how to make sure you can keep riding throughout winter.
Keep it clean! A clean bicycle is a happy bicycle. All that road grime and grease collected during your daily ride builds up over time causing avoidable damage - especially to your drive train and brake pads. It may sound simple but it’s honestly amazing what a proper clean can do for your ride. To clean your bike - 1. First rinse your bike down with clean water! This will dislodge any major builds ups of unwanted passengers
2. Use a bicycle specific cleaner such as Fenwicks. Fenwicks is biodegradable and solvent free (always looking out for the environment!). Allow the bike cleaner to work its magic and use a soft bristled brush to start displacing all the grime and grease in areas of heavy build ups, giving particular love & attention to your drivetrain. 3. After you’ve given the bicycle a good scrub it's now time to give everything a final spray down! Be sure to remove all soaps suds to avoid streaks on the paint work of your frame
4. It’s paramount to dry your bicycle to remove all water & cleaner so your bike remains rust free & riding smoothly!
5. Lubricate - in winter we suggest using a wet lube which will last longer than a standard dry weather lube. Top trick - use the lube sparingly as it attracts road grease & grime!
Rubber is the Name, Punctures are the Game
With wet and windy weather comes spreading of debris on our roads putting you at risk of punctures - and trust me when I say there is nothing worse than being stuck roadside halfway through your commute with a flat! There are several ways to avoid flats during the winter season.
Check your tyres frequently! The main cause of punctures is due to an aged tyre! With an aged tyre comes flat spots, holes and slices - these imperfections allow sharp objects to work their way in to puncture your tube! If you can see any flat spots, holes or slices we recommend to replace your tyres immediately to avoid punctures!
Replacing your tyres! If you have checked your tyres and have come to realise that you need them to be replaced, swap them with a puncture resistant option! See the below image, the blue band is a protective strip that is 5mm deep. This will protect the tube from any external penetration! Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres with ‘Smartguard’ - available in all Handlebars (now called Fettle) locations.
Don’t leave me like this!
This is what your bicycle says every time you walk inside and leave it sitting in the rain! One winter outside is enough to start the metal corroding & turn your shiny new bike into more of a scruffy sidekick. The best way to avoid this is to try storing your bicycle inside where you can. If this is not an option for you - try a bicycle cover.
Get a Check-Up
Of course, there’s nothing quite like an experienced mechanic giving your ride a full check and ensuring you can cycle off safely. We’re offering free winter safety checks at both of our Monument & Shoreditch workshops plus we’re taking bookings at local offices. We love meeting fellow cyclists continuing to brave the roads over winter so book in online & we’d be happy to give your bicycle a full safety check & fix up any major issues.