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Winterising your bike properly

Tips and Tricks for the end of the cycling season

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With a heavy heart, sooner or later the day will come when the cycling season comes to an end. Temperatures drop, precipitation accumulates and the first snow falls. Not good conditions for a cycle tour. This means your beloved bike should now be winterised. However, before you send your bike into hibernation, you should give it some care. On the one hand, this promotes longevity, and on the other hand, there is nothing better than having your bike ready to go again for the start of the season in spring.

To do's for winterising your bike

  1. Wash and clean
  2. Lubricate bike parts
  3. Adjust tyre pressure
  4. Winterise electric bikes
  5. Store correctly
  6. Move your bike in winter
  7. Service your bike

Tip 1: Wash and clean properly

Your bike has been through a lot during your cycle tours during the year and is therefore all the more pleased to have a thorough cleaning at the end of the season. Dust, mud and dirt can cause your bike to rust and the brakes and gears to break down more quickly. To continue having fun with your bike in spring, it is best to clean it with warm water, a soft brush and a cloth to avoid scratches. For stubborn dirt, you can also use a little car shampoo. If you prefer to clean your bike with a high-pressure cleaner, make sure you leave enough space between the cleaner and the bike to avoid damaging the paintwork and small parts. After a thorough cleaning, it is best to place the bike in the autumn sun to dry.

Fahrrad am Steg beim Haidersee

Tip 2: Lubricate individual bike parts

As soon as your bike is dry again, the next step in the winterisation process is to lubricate it. Pay particular attention to the chain and gears. The bike chain is exposed to all kinds of dirt and weather conditions. That is why regular lubrication is all the more important. Clean the chain with a cloth, a chain cleaner and a brush, because lubricating a dirty or wet chain is not effective. Now grease the small joints between the chain links and coat the surface with a very thin layer of chain oil. Use the same procedure to lubricate the rear derailleur. It is best to use a thin spray oil for this. But be careful, not all bike parts should be oiled. Therefore, when winterising your bike, make sure that the brakes, rims and brake discs do not come into contact with the oil. Otherwise the braking effect will be reduced and the brake pads will become unusable while riding.

Wartung der Leihräder

Tip 3: Adjust tyre pressure

Depending on how you store your bike, you should adjust the tyre pressure over the winter. For suspended storage, reduce the tyre pressure to approx. 1 bar for trekking and mountain bikes and to approx. 2 bar for road bikes. This option is not only space-saving, but also saves you having to check the tyre pressure regularly. This is namely the case with upright storage. The tyre loses air from time to time. If it goes flat, the rim, inner tube and tyre will be damaged. Therefore, when winterising the wheel, the tyre should be well inflated to avoid such damage. About once a month you should check the tyre pressure to see if there is still enough air.

Tip 4: Winterising electric bikes

Winterising electric bikes differs somewhat from normal bicycles. To enjoy your electric bike for a long time, you should also remove the battery and spray the base and plug with penetrating oil (MoS2).

Do not fully charge the battery and do not completely empty it. A guideline value of approx. 75% of the battery charge is suitable for storage. This increases the durability of the batteries. If it is possible, you should also remove the display and store it at room temperature.

Tip 5: Correct storage

Whether hanging, standing, in the garage, cellar or carport, there are plenty of ways to store your bike in winter. But how or where does your bike like it best? If you store your bike together with your car in the garage, salt vapours can develop and settle on your bike, which can lead to rust damage. Therefore, it is recommended to store it in the cellar or in an area separate from the car. To keep the dust off the bike, you should cover it with a tarpaulin. Whether hanging or standing storage is preferred often depends on the space available. If this is limited, hanging wheel storage is a good option. Otherwise, there is nothing to be said against standing storage.

Tip 6: Move your bike in winter

The winter can be long, so the start of the cycling season is often postponed. Nevertheless, you should never forget your beloved bike while it is in hibernation. Out of sight out of mind would be the wrong approach here, because if you want your bike to survive the winter well, you should check and move it every one to two months. As mentioned above, check the tyre pressure to avoid a flat. Pull the brake levers every now and then to keep the brake fluid in the brake seals. Do the same with the suspension elements. By gently compressing the springs, they will also get the oil they need back into the seals.

Tip 7: Have a service done

Who hasn't experienced this: spring is finally here, and you are full of motivation to start the cycling season, but your bike is not yet ready? That's why you should use the time before you go into winter to treat your bike to another service by a professional. You can usually get an appointment faster during this time than at the beginning of the next season. So be one step ahead of everyone else and make an appointment for a service in autumn. In addition, the first bike tour with a newly serviced bike is much more fun in spring.

When the winter break is over again, there are also a few things to keep in mind. You can read more about these in our blog post "Spring cycling start".

If you still use your bike in the winter, give it much more attention than in summer for maintenance and cleaning. The salt on the roads bikes your bike more susceptible to rust in all places.