There’s nothing quite like a new bike – everything is clean and shiny, the gears shift so smoothly and the drivetrain is silent. Here are a few pre-event bike maintenance tips to keep it that way:
Take the time to clean your bike after every ride, especially if you ride in wet conditions. After inclement weather, the peloton is full of squeaky bikes and a dry, rusty chain is more likely to drop when you change between the large and small chain rings. At the very least, you should ensure that your chain is clean and well lubed and clean your cassette and derailleur jockey wheels. This will make riding more efficient, help the smoothness of your gear shifting and slow the wear on your cassette and chain rings.
Before riding a big event, it is worthwhile booking your bike in for a service. The Hotchillee mechanics can work miracles on the road, but you should always start an event with your bike in good condition.
It’s also a good idea to put new tyres on before an event to reduce the risk of puncturing. Wheel changes on an event can be pretty quick, but no one needs the extra stress of having to chase back onto the group after a wheel change. If the tyres that you have on have some life left in them then maybe keep them and put them back on later as training tyres.
Always check your tyres before you set off at the start of the day and after lunch to ensure that there are no flints or glass splinters embedded in your tyres that could eventually result in punctures. Make sure that your tyres are still at your preferred pressure. It’s amazing how many people have to stop for a puncture shortly after setting off – more often than not, his will have been a slow puncture caused by something that was picked up before the stop.
As Ride Captains, we always start each day of an event with a clean bike. Wet wipes are useful for removing the grime after a wet stage and if you take a bottle of chain lube and a cloth you can keep your chain well oiled.
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