Friday, November 30, 2012
- Discuss Comment
Most serious cyclists in Chattanooga are year round riders, and our relatively temperate climate makes it easy to keep riding through the winter. However, there still are some casual riders who put the bike away for a few months in the dead of winter. But just because the bike will be out of use for a few weeks or months, proper bike care is still important to protect your investment and keep you ready for the spring.
“With our climate here, our winters are cold but they’re not that cold,” says Chris Dodd, sales manager at East Ridge Bicycles. “We get temperature swings throughout the day, and that can kind of wreak havoc isn’t taken care of properly.”
Dodd offers these tips for proper short- to long-term storage of the bike during the winter:
Keep the bike in an indoor setting away from the elements during the winter. A secure garage is fine, but a more climate-controlled area such as a basement is even better for your bike when it’s not in use.
Pump it up
Keep your tires fully inflated and re-inflate them occasionally. This will reduce the risk of dry rot on your tires and tubes.
Keep it clean
Before putting your bike away for the winter, degrease the chain and lubricate the chain and cables to make sure all the moving parts keep from rusting or jamming up.
While these tips will protect your bike when it’s not being used as much, Dodd says there’s really no need to stop riding in the winter. He suggests even casual riders should visit their local bike shop to learn about proper layering and cold-weather gear that can make riding enjoyable for anyone regardless of the temperature or time of year.
With PrimaLoft synthetic microfiber insulation and a soft shell fabric to resist water, Pearl’s Izumi Pro lobster gloves are worth getting your hands on, or in, for a winter ride. $75
Don’t let darkness slow you down with Planet Bike’s Blaze front light and Superflash taillight. Both offer bright, white LED light, an array of flash patterns for safety and easy mounting options. $70
SmartWool PhD HyFi arm warmers offer stretch-knit fabric and fine merino wool to provide warmth and wind resistance while pedaling this winter. $40