There’s little worse than standing at the roadside on a winter’s ride fixing a mechanical. In fact, there is. Fumbling in the pitch black on a winter’s night ride fixing a mechanical. You should look after your bike year round but not least in winter and particularly when riding at night.
It easy to be hit by a severe case of ‘can’t-be-arsed-itus’ when it comes to winter maintenance but it pays to be prepared. Prevention is better than cure and there are simple steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of a stress-free ride.
Fit winter tyres to reduce the likelihood of punctures (here’s our winter tyres buyer’s guide) and check them regularly for cuts, flints and any other road debris that may have lodged in the rubber, ready to slice the inner tube. Check your brake pads regularly for wear and replace them if necessary. Clean your bike regularly and make sure the chain is well-lubed. Here are our five essential pre-ride checks.
Stay out of the gutter, where debris is most likely to lie and make sure you carry the essentials when you ride, ideally in a small but well-stocked saddlebag, in case you do suffer a mechanical. In the worst case scenario, ensure you have a mobile phone to call for help and a lift home.