Winter Biking 101 – Tips to get your mountain bike ready as the Temperature Drops

mountain bicycle

Not sure whether you can continue your favourite hobby during the cold months ahead? Worry not, use these simple tips and tricks and get your bike winter-proof and enjoy thrilling and chilly rides!

Winter is coming! While the temperatures in many parts of the country have not chilled down yet, there’s a certain nip in the year, and the first signs of a cold, frosty winter can be spotted. And hobby cyclists know how much fun it is to go out for cycling during the winters. Nothing beats the thrill you get while sailing through your favourite paths on your MTB, with the cold wind playing a refreshing beat around you!

However, it is also the time when bike issues are at its peak. But, that need not be the case. With a few simple maintenance tips, you can get your bike (and yourself) prepared for winter riding.

Here are a few quick tips and tricks to get your bike ready for winter:

  • Keep your Brakes in Perfect Condition

Brake pads are more likely to wear out faster in the wet, grimy conditions of winter, compared to summer. So make sure to check your brakes frequently in winter. If brake pads show signs of wear and tear, then it’s better to get them replaced.

Don’t just inspect your brake pads by touching them. Instead, use a torch to spot even the tiny signs of wear and tear. Use an old toothbrush to dislodge the dirt and grime stuck between the brake pads and the wheel rims.

Even if your brakes seem to be working fine, re-greasing the brake cables regularly, goes a long way in keeping them in perfect condition during this cold season.

  1. Protect Your Tyres

As a cyclist, you may already know the tyre issues that come with the season. Two major problems that cyclists encounter; low grip issue due to dew/snow on the roads/trails and very low bike pressure as the air contracts during winters leading to increased chances of a puncture. Thus, it is essential to maintain just the right pressure on your tyres. Too low and you stand the chance of puncturing your tyres too often and extremely high pressure could lead to gripping issues which could make you fall.

Another thing you could do is opt for puncture protected tyres with deep plastic treads. This tyre has deep treads that give you a better grip on slushy and gritty roads and are perfect for winter riding. And most importantly, carry a puncture kit along with spare tubes and hand air-pump to ensure you do not get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

  1. Wipe Down your Bike after a Ride

Yes. You have to do this every single time you take out your mountain bike for a ride in the winter. Don’t store your wet bike as it is. Always wipe down your bike – the frame, spokes, rims, brake cables, cogset, cranks, chainrings – with an old towel, as soon as you come home after your thrilling ride up and down your favourite trails. And don’t forget to apply some chain lubricant once you are done cleaning your bike.

The five minutes you spend on this goes a long way, in keeping rust away from your bike.

Bonus Tip: Take Care of Visibility

Winters also brings with it visibility issues especially during the early morning hours. Fog is a common condition during the season which reduces visibility. Thus, it is vital to invest in accessories that not only helps you see clearly but also helps others on the road to spot you. Front lights, tyre reflector tapes, cycling jerseys with reflectors and backlights are some of the essentials that you must get for your bike before the onset of winters.

Stay warm, ride to your heart’s content and above all, don’t forget to have fun! Lastly, don’t forget to get your mountain bicycle serviced from a reliable cycle garage before the onset of winters.