If you remember Alan's top 5 tips for cycling in winter, you'll understand that it's important to keep your bike in good working order throughout the winter. In order to do so, we still have a number of spaces left in our Scottish Stores for the Scottish Cycle Repair Scheme from Cycling UK Scot. If you're struggling with the cost of repairs and servicing, the scheme gives you £50 towards the cost. Just like with any machine, a bicycle will last longer and work more effectively if you take good care of it, especially in the winter months when the UK weather can be at its harshest. Here are the checks we carry out to make sure your bike is performing to its max:
So that you can enjoy some smooth hassle-free riding for years to come, there are a few essential checks you can carry out at home to make sure your bkke is winter road ready.
Ensure that your wheel is tightly fitted and that the quick-release lever is securely closed. This will ensure that your wheel stays secure throughout your journey. Next would be to check the tyre pressure and for any signs of wear and tear across the tyre itself.
Chain and Pedals
Essentially, your chain should be cleaned and free of any debris or buildup of dirt. It is also important to keep the chain oiled as it is important to make sure your bike runs smoothly. There is a fine line between oiling the chain and over-oiling, as over-oiling can lead to picking up more dirt! Once you think you are good to go, spin the pedals just to make sure they are turning smoothly.
If you want to go fast, you'll need to be able to stop fast as well! It goes without saying that the brakes are one of the most important components on your bike. At the bare minimum, you should check that your front and rear brakes are working properly before every ride.
Another essential piece of kit to keep you comfortable and in control of your bike, it's important that your saddle is set-up properly or else you may be in for some uncomfortable rides. Grabbing the saddle at the front and rear and trying to twist it from side to side may mean you need to tighten it up. Then it's a case of adjusting to a height you are most comfortable with.
The headset is where the forks and the frame of the bike meet. It holds them securely in place while allowing them to rotate and steer. Within the headset, the bearings can, over time, perish, so check whether the headset is rotating freely by lifting the bike up by the frame so that the front wheel is off the ground and turning the handlebars left and right. If it is rotating smoothly in both directions with no clicking, then you are good to go. If you detect any issues with the headset, then get your bike booked in for a service through the Scottish Cycle Repair Scheme.