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Everyone enjoys the bicycle in sunny weather. What about cold, rain, snow? Below are winter bicycle maintenance tips for real bicycle enthusiasts.
Numbers of users on both motorcycles and bicycles in summer months declines significantly in winter. In spite of this situation, some do not give up their bicycles even in snow, winter and cold rain. Even if the weather is rainy or cold, cycling deserves good care and maintenance.
The bicycle maintenance procedures you need to pay attention to in order not to interrupt your bicycle experience, especially with the approach of the winter months are very important.
Here are some important points to take care of your bicycle in order not to be in trouble:
Be your own ‘bicycler’
Although things like bicycle maintenance and repair may seem annoying and drudgery, they can become very enjoyable when it is your hobbies. Instead of visiting the bicycle mechanic each time, you will be able to do things like maintenance and repair yourself, which will put you in a much better position both economically and for long-term trips.
For example, if you encounter any malfunction in the middle of a 50-kilometre mountain route, the cycle repair guy you are looking for maybe too far away. You should learn to use your toolbox as soon as possible to get out of such surprise situations and to ensure the quality of maintenance and repair.
There is a huge resource for those who say how to do it on Internet!
Cleanliness always important
It doesn’t matter in summer or winter; keeping the tool clean allows you to get the most out of it. You should always keep all parts of your bicycle clean, regardless of chains, brakes, tires or squares, and avoid leaving your bicycle dirty after wet and muddy driving.
Dirt, mud, water and other external factors accumulated on the parts may harm your bicycle over time. Make it a habit to keep your bicycle clean, both for good performance and to prevent your clothing from getting dirty over and over again.
You can use long-lasting plastic and metal preservatives for both cleaning and bicycle maintenance. Especially in winter months; water-repellent polish and cleaning materials that can be applied to the frame make it easy to keep your bicycle clean.
General-purpose cleaners, lubricants and preservatives such as WD40 should be included in your toolbox, along with different products available on the market; the most rusted parts should be prevented from remaining wet, and WD40 and similar materials should be applied to the parts showing signs of corrosion.
One of the main parts of the bicycle is undoubtedly the chain. It is also of great importance to keep the chain clean and greasy. Unlike the summer months, your chain, which is exposed to more foreign matter in winter, should be cleaned and lubricated more frequently.
The extended chain may cause premature wear of the gears. You should check for wear during the chain check, use chain cleaning tools or paint brushes instead of cloths for cleaning. Use chain cleaners instead of materials such as gasoline and diesel during the cleaning process, avoid excessive lubrication so that you do not pick up more dirt and contaminate while driving.
I wish everyone could ride bicycles on smooth roads but unfortunately, this is not possible in our country. Although the adjustment of the spokes is not easily broken, increasing ground defects with the winter months means you should have more frequent checks and a strict adjustment before winter. Let’s face it, you will need a bit of expertise for a good wheel adjustment.
There is also a chance to gain this expertise through trial and error without being afraid to disrupt your bicycle’s wheel alignment. The tightness of the wires on the rim and the sound they make may give you a clue.
At the same time, when you adjust the wire, you will be assisted by the defects in the idle rotation axis of your wheel. With the wheel wrench, you can tighten or loosen the screws on the rim. Note, however, that during this adjustment, the screws are loosened clockwise and tightened in the opposite direction.
Middle hub, foreshaft, shock absorbers
Sections such as the bottom of the bicycle body are also included in the overall control in bicycle maintenance. You should check these sections one by one and make sure that they work without problems.
You can move the pedals back and forth by grasping the pedals at the end for middle hub control. If there is any space, then you should replace the bearing in the middle core.
It may use the same control method for the furrow bearing and hubs; If there is an unusual gap and the body integrity deteriorates when you brake, you may have time to replace some basic parts.
Tyre air and control
One of the worst aspects of the winter months is the decrease in grip efficiency on the wheels due to rain and other external factors. It is important to checking the general condition of your tyre before the start of the autumn rains. Replacing the tyre with new ones and applying appropriate air pressure in low temperatures are essential for winter bicycle maintenance.
It is useful to follow the tyre pressures recommended by the tyre manufacturer to avoid bursting and sticking problems. Using a pump with a pressure gauge will make your job easier. If the tire air is insufficient or too high, it may cause explosions and accidents. Also, remember that cycling with low air pressure will make you more tired.
Transmission and brake cables
Although the gears and brake systems are serviced separately, the cable and wire harnesses that operate these systems are often forgotten. These plastic cable systems with wires must also be serviced to ensure that gear and brake interactions can healthily take place.
Water and similar liquids entering the interior may cause the wires in the cable to corrode over time. These rusts may also be the source of the noise during brake and gear change. In such cases, you can still use a rust remover, such as WD40, or replace these cables and wires for better results.
Remember the brakes
Stopping is as important as going. Especially in winter conditions where stopping is difficult, good brake maintenance and adjustment is essential. A very hard or too soft brake lever feel means the need for a good brake adjustment, adjusting to your braking habits results in much better results.
You should start by replacing worn brake pads and brake discs that have lost their smooth structure. In the brake assembly, which is relatively easy to dismantle and mount compared to many parts, it is important to use quality materials.
For hydraulic systems, there is also a need for specific experience and equipment. It may be a good idea to get help with hydraulic systems to avoid potential problems with the brake system.
Most winter cycling accidents occur when the front brake is suddenly applied and the tire does not provide the necessary grip. To avoid such situations on wet surfaces, you should become accustomed to using the brakes in combination, and in an emergency, you should first avoid applying the front brake.
You can build up your muscle memory by practising braking on the right time and ground.
NOTE: Appropriate equipment and materials are needed to perform most of the bicycle maintenance and repair activities. Also, the factor of experience should not be ignored.
If you have any doubts about the result of any bicycle maintenance and repair activities that you will perform on your bicycle, it would be more helpful to get help from the bicycle mechanic for these activities.