Editorial

How To Look After Your Bike This Winter

As the cost of living continues to increase at an almost alarming rate, now might be a great time to think about getting on your bike. Even if you just took your bike for short journeys, you could save yourself around £104 per year. But with spring still a long way off, you might be wondering how to look after your bike this winter.

Clean it regularly

The winter months often see a build-up of dirt and debris on the road, which if left unchecked can cause serious damage to your bike. Once a week you should thoroughly clean your chain, spokes, and mud flaps to get rid of winter build-up. An old toothbrush is great for getting into those small spaces. Once clean, re-grease the chain and shift through the gears.

Check the brakes

In the winter months, brake pads tend to wear out much more quickly because of the gritty conditions of the roads. Before a big ride, you should check the condition of your brakes against the wear line indicator.

After every ride, you should take your cleaning toothbrush and get in between the brake blocks and rims. This will help remove any bits of grime, especially any salt grit which could impact performance.

Have the right tyres

Tyre pressure and wear are both crucial to keeping you safe while out riding. Check them before and after every ride just to be sure. Tyre tread is especially important during winter months as surface water impacts stopping distances and control. In the same way a car with bald tyres loses its grip on the road, so too do bike tyres.

If you haven’t already, you might want to think about investing in mudguards. Helping to keep your bike – and you (!) – dry and relatively clean, they also help protect your tyres from all the road sludge too.

Use lights

With just under five hours of daylight in the winter, installing lights on the front and rear of your bike is a must. With the highway code changing to give cyclists greater right of way, ensuring you’re visible to all road users is a must.

Invest in an e-bike

If you’re new to cycling, a hybrid bike might be the solution you’ve been looking for.

An entry-level road bike could set you back a few hundred pounds, whilst an electric bike could cost upwards of £1,000. It’s always worth considering your budget if you plan on making any big purchases.

Whether you go partly electric or rely on pedal power alone, in the long run, the savings you make could be huge.

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