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1. Hose your bike down post ride
Grit is your bikes’ worst enemy. Wash down your bike after wet and soggy days, ensuring dirt is removed off all moving parts, in particular. This will help to keep your bike running smoothly, every day. If you don’t have access to a hose, we’ve seen some people stand their bike in their shower as part of their get-home ritual.
2. Check your tyres and brakes
Poor conditions can quickly wither away your braking surface, particularly if you’re running carbon wheels. Cheaper, alloy wheels can provide a better braking surface (also see disc-brakes). To complement this, always ensure your tyres are in excellent condition, looking for wear on the sidewalls and through the centre of the tyre. Thicker tyres with more tread will help you maximise grip on the road, with longer tyre life.
3. Clean your chain
The better you care for your bike, the less you’ll have to strip your bike back. Chain maintenance is a key component of bike health. Using a quality degreaser, a quick solution is to use a rag and wrap the chain with your cloth (lint-free), moving the chain backwards (using your hands), to wipe off the grit collected from your ride. Once the chain is clean, apply your chain lube and repeat the process until the chain is clean. For a more thorough clean, remove the rear wheel from the hosed bike and, using a paintbrush, brush degreaser over the chainrings, the derailleur, the chain and finally, the cassette. Follow this by rinsing the parts with a low-pressure hose (don't spray water into the bearings), then dry thoroughly with a clean rag. Finally, apply lubricant and reassemble your bike.
4. Say hi to your local bike shop
If something isn’t right, see the experts. Your LBS are experts in everything bike. It’s well worth the investment to have your bike stripped and cleaned regularly, more so in winter. They will often be able to pick up potential risks before they get to a far more expensive and dangerous point.
5. Quick tip: mudguards
If you want to keep your riding apparel clean, look at investing in mudguards. Most are easy to fit, and can sit on any bike; road or commuter. They can be taken off when Autumn swings around and kept for the following winter.