November's the time to schedule your off-season bicycle maintenance
Bicycle maintenance is often overlooked. Cyclists of all levels need to pay attention because these days bikes are very complex and need to be looked at carefully for optimal performance and safety. Road and mountain bikes are equally at risk of overuse, but each type has unique requirements to keep them in top form.
By addressing major mechanical issues now rather than continuing to ride on worn or damaged parts throughout the winter, chances are you'll save yourself a lot of hassle -- and cash. Particularly with higher-end bikes, repairs to components like disc brakes, electronic shifting system and advanced suspension systems can get pretty costly. Carbon wheels are another significant investment that shouldn't be neglected regarding maintenance.
Chris Carmichael of CTS Coaching in Colorado did a great job with this subject recently on his blog. We really liked his points and have a few of our own to add that are specific to cycling down here in South Florida. We'll cover a few key areas today and hit the rest in part two of this blog series:
Derailleur Maintenance (both the housing and cables)
Dirt, sand and grime in your cable housing is a recipe for disaster. Poor performance secondary to drag and increased pressure on your shifters can drastically affect the whole ride experience. For bikes with electronic shifting mechanisms, you'll need to look extra close at your wires and connections for damage. And here in Florida, don't underestimate the effect that saltwater can have on all our bike's components.
Drivetrain and Chain Maintenance
Sand, grit and saltwater are huge factors here again as the breakdown of these cause your chain to stretch and ride up, leading to greater spaces between the teeth. Especially for our off-road cyclists riding frequently on dirt trails as well as those with gravel, chains have a much shorter life span. A damaged chain leads to a messed-up cassette, and that can mean major expense to you. Don't let this go!
Brakes and Wheels
It's crucial to inspect your brake pads for excess wear. Lots of materials can get embedded in your brake pads (again think gravel, sand, debris) that can wear down your braking surface. If you don't catch this area early--look out -- especially if you are riding on expensive carbon rims.
Check back soon for part two of this series. Give us a call today. We'll get you all checked out this winter and ready in plenty of time for next season's events!
Love, Peace and Bicycle Grease,
Matt & Julie
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!
If you're local, join us at the shop for "Matt & Julie's Annual Turkey Day Ride" starting at 8 a.m. Stay afterwards for fun and mimosas!