How to get your bike ready for salty and wet roads? To find the right answer to this question, you should keep reading this article, and you’ll be guided correctly. Basically, you need a range of tools and kit elements to achieve this goal and end up with the road bike that is ready for the next winter. You should get the best from winter cycling and ensure that your road bike will survive, and this is when these important tips will come in handy. That’s because they can help you prepare your bike for all salty and wet roads.
When the wind turns to chilly and cold and darkness starts overpowering daylight, people understand that it won’t take a lot of time for more rains, snow and cold temperatures to arrive. Besides, they inevitably bring out winter! This is when you need to make your road bike winter-proof. You may have tried different methods with no results, and they range from quite obvious procedures and old-timer tricks. If you think that you’re prepared to do something more to protect your bike, be sure to take all of these steps to prolong its service life considerably, and you will never regret that. Overall, using only a few of these effective methods can provide you with more safety and enjoyment.
Most of these tips are often without the reach of confident and experienced DIY cyclists, and all of the required tools are quite straightforward. However, if you have any doubts, contact a qualified shop mechanic who can do wonders with close-fitting mudguards and seized bottom brackets. This is what will help you get ready for the next winter cycling season!
List of Important Tools
There are certain tools required to achieve this goal, such as:
- For such components as fasteners and others you will need special Allen keys and standard spanners, pliers, flat screwdrivers and small hacksaws;
- When it comes to the bottom bracket removal, you require external cup splined-type spanners, sockets for any crank arm bolt, splined sockets, crank extractors and pin spanners;
- Frame savers;
- Quality car wax;
- Cable wiper seals and slime tubes;
- Rustless chains and mudguard flaps;
- Mudguards, reliable tyres and stainless fasteners that are easy to find in any local bike store.
Now, we will discuss the most effective ways to get a road bike ready for the next winter season.
First of all, you need to remove wheels, bottom brackets and cranks. Another important thing that should be done is getting a frame saver and spraying it inside your bike frame.
Keep in mind that aluminum and steel frame may corrode, so the process of oxidation often spreads from eyelets and scratched braze-ons. Frame saver is one of the best products available in the market, and it’s all about a small can with pipettes that can help riders treat 2 bike frames. When using it, you need to have special protective eyewear, especially if this item blows back when spraying. It’s advisable to use a special thick chain or oil lube to help it spread around correctly. Besides, you should make an access and proper handling easier if you remove bottom brackets, cranks and wheels.
After that, it’s possible to spray or dribble this fluid into a tube and plug a seat tube with paper or rags. The last step that should be taken is gently moving your road bike around to coat its inside evenly. You also need to let it settle before wiping off completely.
2. Adding mudguards
Fitting high-quality mudguards is another effective and simple thing that you can do to prepare your road bike for winter season. The main reason is that they prolong the service life of bikes, its clothing and basic elements. It’s no wonder mudguards are the most essential winter cycling accessories out there because they can prolong the service life of any road bike and its elements in addition to improving people’s comfort levels.
You should check clearances because you may need to make a small cutaway to clear your brakes. Besides, you need to mark and cut quite carefully by using some small hacksaw. When dealing with tight clearance, you can use more advanced tools, including special P-clips if any eyelets are not available.
You shouldn’t forget about mud flaps because these simple items can help your feet stay drier, and they are also quite useful as a courtesy to other riders behind you, especially when it comes to group rides. There are some reliable brands that attack simply through a couple of bendy tabs, while others require drilling holes and installing by using nuts and screws.
3. Preventing punctures
It’s also necessary to make certain steps to prevent accidental punctures. That’s why you should think about fitting special filled inner tubes and other essential elements, such as belted tyres, reliable protective strips, etc. For instance, getting a flat on your way home during dark, cold and rainy nights is not exciting, but repairing your road bike can become even harder with a dynamo hub and a multispeed hub. It’s obvious that winters usually bring sharp road grits and thorny hedge clippings, and this is what makes considering efficient puncture protection a must.
You need to install special tubes, belted tyres and protective strips of the best quality, because it’s just a small sacrifice in the ride weight and quality that is definitely worth making it. You should remove wheels, old tubes and tyres to carefully inspect rim strips for wear and tear. This simple step will help you ensure that all of these bike elements cover spoke holes adequately. Another important tip is to inspect bike tyres for glass and thorns if you want to reuse them in the winter. Be sure to reinstall them with the most effective protection to confirm proper bead seating while inflating them, especially in terms of valves.
4. Looking after expensive leather parts
If your road bike has a leather saddle, it should be maintained regularly and properly. That’s why you need to clean it and rub in suitable saddle dressing. Basically, saddles take their real beating during the winter cycling season, especially if they are made from leather and if you prefer to ride without any mudguards. That’s because back wheels may take their toll on the shape and finish of your expensive leather saddle. So, you risk ending up with scuffed surface polishing and washed out natural protective oils.
The good news is that this damage can be fixed if you start with cleaning its underside with any stiff toothbrush and its rag to remove and loosen dirt. You need to grab quality leather saddle dressing while applying the right coating to its underside.
This is how you will easily seal it from harsh weather elements and prolong its service life. Besides, after very wet winter rides, soaked leather may lose its initial form but it can become reshaped with firm thumb and hand pressure before you allow it to dry in a natural manner.
5. Sealing cables
To protect your road bike from unwanted weather conditions and regular wear and tear, you need to seal cables with fresh end caps.
Remember that cable seals and wipers offer quite an easy way to keep your shifting slick and smooth, regardless of existing weather conditions.
Ensure that all end caps match your outer cables and their diameter before you snip off them and loosen anchor bolts that hold these cables. Your next step is withdrawing them and sliding off outers in question. It’s necessary to replace standard end caps with the newer ones and slide your rubber wiper on cables before you thread it back into your outers by using several oil drops. You only need to anchor and adjust it to finish this process successfully. However, there is a high chance that you may need to replace all cables as they might be damaged by anchor bolts and were frayed, so you should inspect them very carefully. If it seems that they shouldn’t be replaced, just pick the right cables that can withstand any winter weather.
6. Using stainless steel parts
To get your road bike ready for winter conditions, make sure that you use stainless steel parts whenever you can. As an example, they include brake and gear cables, fasteners, chains and ball bearings, and their basic purpose is to keep road bikes look good and rust-free.
There are many specialized bike shops that stock a good choice of quality stainless steel fasteners in different sizes in addition with standard and Allen version, nuts, washers and other important bike parts. It’s advisable to grease them very well and replace according to basic instructions. Take into account that buying a durable stainless steel chain is a wise move if it fits your available budget.
If you want to replace your old bike chain, don’t forget to include a special powerful connector to make it much easier to clean and remove in the future. Think about installing stainless cables on derailleurs and brakes to prolong their service life, especially if you want to add little wipers and new outers. Add some oil because this step is important to decrease possible friction wherever you deal with any metal.
7. Adding reflective aids
Fitting some quality connectors is a brilliant idea, and many modern bike shops sell spare ones at quite affordable prices. This tip is a bit unpopular among racier riders, but when the winter season starts, so does early nightfall.
That’s why this simple method can be a real lifesaver when your batteries run out unexpectedly or you understand that it’s already too late to come back home because of the night. You should shop for these quality reflectors because they’re easily available both online and offline.
If you’re interested in pedal reflectors, they are very visible, while special adhesive patches offer a great alternative if you decide to preserve the clean lines of your road bike. It’s easy to install them on such parts as fork blades, seatstays, rims, rucksacks, helmets and so on.
8. Applying the best car wax
To protect your road bike in winter, you should apply the best car silicone spray or wax to help mud always slide off, but make sure that you keep it away from your bike disc brake rotors to avoid damaging them.
This old-fashioned trick is still quite effective, so you need to apply a good layer of car wax to your road bike, especially in its bottom bracket area and under its down tube.