Blink and you’ll miss it.
Do you recall that little blip in the middle of the year last year? It very rarely happens in the UK it is some sort of phenomenon to cyclists up and down the country. To some it’s merely a legend called ‘summer’. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Getting the most out of your bike in the summer is all in the preparation. It’s worth getting your bike ready before you need to use your bike. There is nothing worse than getting round to summer and having to order a replacement part that cuts into precious riding time.
Over time Rubber can split and cracks and I’s structure deteriorates. This process is sped up by damp conditions and varied temperatures. If you keep your bike in the garage or shed over winter, which a lot of riders do, you should check your tyres and tubes before you get out for that first ride.
If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while there is a high likelihood that the pressure in your tyres and suspension will have dropped. This is more apparent on road and hybrid bike tyres where there is less air volume and higher pressures. The same amount of air escapes but the percentage loss is greater which lowers pressure more dramatically.
The same applies to air suspension components. There will be a slight pressure drop. Sometimes this drop isn’t too noticeable but you’ll probably need to re-adjust to get the most from your suspension If the last time you rode your bike you were a few pounds lighter at the end of summer spending a few minutes re-setting your suspension will do you a world of favors.
The same lubricant that keeps your drive train running smoothly attracts dust and dirt. We recommend cleaning your drive train after each ride. Degreasing the chain and re-applying fresh lubricant. Cleaning other major drive components as frequently as possible.
Change your Lube
There are lubricants designed for use in both summer and winter and it’s important that you use the right lube in the right conditions.
- -Winter lube is thicker and more tenacious than summer lubricants, which make it perfect for cold wet and muddy conditions. The winter isn’t washed of easily so it will keep your components running smooth in adverse conditions.
- -Summer lube is thinner and is usually teflon based which make it perfect for dry warm days. The formulation is light and thin which minimizes the additional drag on drive components. Summer lube attracts less dust than winter lube, which means you can spend less time in the saddle and less time cleaning.
New cables can make a bike feel brand new. The reduced drag in the cable housing will make your shifting pin point accurate. If you’re intending on keeping the outer cables then use a nozzle to spray PTFE degreaser such as GT85 through the inner cable to clean It out.
One of the first checks we make on any bike that comes through our workshop for a service is on the brake pads. This vital component is tucked away in your brake caliper and at a glance it isn’t obvious when you should have to replace them.
Check rim brake pads for wear marks and if in doubt look to see if the ridges in the pad surface are disappearing these ridges help bead water away from the surface of the pad in wet conditions. If they’ve faded away you’re ready for a new set of brake pads.
Check disc brake pads as often as possible. There is a variation of opinion as when you should replace these pads but we recommend changing the pads when there is less than 1.5mm of material left on the pad.