The temperature is dropping, and here in Wisconsin winter will be here before we know it. For
those of us who tr
y to stay in the saddle all year round we have put together a little guide on how to get your bike prepped for these rough winter months.
|Don’t Forget the Lube
There isn’t much to a fixed gear drivetrain but that doesn’t mean it won’t need attention. Water, snow, and dirt can dry out your chain pretty fast. Make sure you keep an eye on it and grease it as necessary. If you run brakes then you want to make sure the pivot points are lubed too.
|Save your Frame
If you have a steel frame then Frame Saver will help protect it from any internal damage. The paint and clearcoat will help protect the tubing from the outside but once a little moisture and grime makes it into the frame it can start rusting it from the inside out. To apply the Frame Saver you’ll need to take all the parts off your frame and spray it into the tubing. Once you have a good amount in, make sure all the holes in your frame are sealed, then rotate and flip the frame to get the protectant to coat the inside of the tubing. This work is well worth it to extend the life of your frame.
|Plug It Up
To ensure your frame stays clean inside and out seal any open holes. That means holes drilled for bottle cages, fenders, or racks. Stainless steel bolts are the best choice but anything that keeps water, salt, and grime from getting into the frame will work.
|Wax On, Wax Off
Putting a coat of wax on your frame not only gives an extra layer of protection from the elements, it also keeps snow and dirt from sticking if you are riding in bad weather or through mud.
It gets dark early in winter and most drivers aren’t expecting to see cyclists out in the cold. A good set of lights will help keep you safe when the sun goes down. Some lights are harder than others to turn on and off with gloves, keep this in mind.
When it comes to tires we are split, in the end it comes down to personal preference. If you run a typical 23c tire it will probably work fine for you. A 23c actually cuts through snow which can be easier than trying to ride on top of it. You do lose a little stability in cornering, slow down and you should be fine. If you can fit a larger tire, then a 28c with a little bit of tread can help
give you more grip. Running at a lower PSI helps give you good stability and more confidence in the corners.
Fenders help keep salt and dirt off you and your frame. If your frame doesn’t have fender mounts there are some great alternatives like seatpost mounted fenders or mudflaps that mount to your downtube. Remember, if you can stay dry you can stay warm.