When the nights draw in, and the days get shorter. The rain becomes more regular, and pierces your soul like the words said back in high school. Greasy, gravel-coated and wet roads are commonplace – when going in the lanes means dodging pieces of hedge sticking out at you. These are the sure signs that we are rolling into the season that can end bikes.
But there is no need to fear – with a little more loving care than usual and the right equipment, your bike doesn’t need to suffer. Here is my list of the potions, lotions and tools to keep your bike at its best over autumn and winter.
Combine this with spare tubes for quick roadside puncture repairs when the weather stiffens your hands to the point that fiddly puncture repair isn’t possible. From completely flat on a 25mm 700c tyre, this can get you up to the 80-100PSI mark. Be sure to order extra CO2 cartridges and take tyre levers out with you. For £17, I think it is a must have.
Having used this lube for years, for both mountain bike and road, it is definitely my favourite wet lube. It drops dirt well and stays put even through the wettest conditions – you can count on it to keep your drive chain running smoothly.
Your drive chain getting dirty is an inevitability, and not cleaning it can lead to failures, leading to ouchies to your body as well as wallet. The foaming action of this cleaner is great for getting into the nitty gritty areas, and when agitated with brushes (below) leaves components looking as good as new.
With the drive chain looking as good as new, the rest of your bike needs some care too. I’ve used Muc-Off for as long as I can remember, and it does a smashing job.
No longer will old toothbrushes cut it – this kit has a brush for everything. Although not necessary, they make bike cleaning a much easier and more satisfying job.
Would you add anything or take anything away? Perhaps you have some tips or tricks for keeping your bike at the best over the dirty and cold months? Drop a line in the comments to let us know!