For many cyclists the weather at this time of year, can be very hit and miss.
And motivation can be hard to find.
A bike that’s running smoothly is always a good motivation to get out and log some miles.
But more importantly is that a neglected bike can cause some potentially serious issues.
Clean the drivetrain regularly, to keep the gears running smoother, longer.
Use a citrus degreaser.
Spray onto an old rag, and wipe any grime away.
Use a proper chain lube and make sure any excess is wiped off.
Small stones and shards of glass can embed themselves into the tyre, so look for small pieces in the rubber.
For any cuts, superglue can seal them up effectively. If you’re regularly getting punctures, it’s either a sign that a small object has been missed, or that your tyres are wearing thin, and it’s time to replace them.
If your gear cables run underneath the bottom bracket. It’s a magnet for the worst of the road grime.
Wash away any grime, and apply some grease to keep the cables running smoothly.
Check your wheel bearings: check for sideways movement as this means the bearings need attention. It may take a small adjustment, however, you may find the bearings need to be replaced.
Check the headset by lifting the front wheel off the floor, and turn the bars.
If it feels nice and smooth then all is good.
If it feels rough and notchy, they may need replacing.
If you have a bike with disc brakes, check the pad wear periodically.
When cleaning the bike, be careful not to get any cleaning products on the disc itself. This can contaminate the pads, causing poor braking performance.
If you have rim brakes, check pads and cables regularly, for wear and corrosion.
Clean the rim surface regularly by spraying a rag with a citrus based degreaser, and wipe the braking surface clean.
If you can create a regular maintenance schedule, then it will make getting out at this time of year, safer and much more enjoyable.