You Obtained a Bicycle, Now You Must Take Care of It

You Got a Bicycle, Now You Have to Take Care of It

If you do not plan to ride in winter or if you plan to ride infrequently, be sure to remove lights, water bottles and GPS bike computers, especially if the bike is stored in a shared storage room or in a refrigerated garage. Clean your water bottles and let them dry completely before storing them so that old water, dirt, or energy powders don't turn into mold and bacteria. To avoid rust and corrosion, make sure your chain is lubricated with bike-specific lubricant or wax.

Jeff Underwood, founder of Continuum Cycles and CC Cyclery in the East Village, suggested scheduling an annual tuning before storing your bike for the winter. "This not only puts you ahead of the majority of riders struggling with long spring waits, but also your smaller neighborhood bike shop by doing business in the off-season."

If you choose not to get tuning, or if your bike doesn't need tuning just yet, Mr. Underwood said to make sure the chain was properly lubricated and that the tires were adequately pressurized before the bike was parked. "If the air slowly loosens over time," he said, "the weight of the bike can cause the tires to become misshapen."

For cyclists who want to ride in the winter, Anna Maria Wolf, owner of Sun and Air and King Kog bike shops in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, also suggested doing a bike tuning to avoid mechanical problems when it is cold and dark and you I'm not home.

"Be sure to wash the salt and sand off your drivetrain (chainring, chain, cassette (gears) and derailleur) and re-lubricate the parts to keep them in good condition."

She advised putting old newspapers in the hallway when cleaning your bike. Old newspapers or flattened cardboard boxes are also great for collecting dirty water or grease that may drip off your bike after a ride in the rain or snow.

When I started riding, I never imagined I would be riding in winter. However, as the weather gradually got colder, my body adjusted and I learned what clothes to wear at different temperatures. In January, I even asked my local bike shop to swap out my thin tires for sturdy tires that are suitable for snow riding. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment.


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