It’s the Monsoons and riding in the rain can be a ton of fun. Despite water clogged roads & heavy downpour, commuters still prefer biking to work and seasoned cyclists stick to their ride routine. While we need that extra rain gear to ride in wet conditions, our bikes need some extra care and attention too.
Here are some common tips and tricks seasoned cyclists follow during the rains
As roads and trails get slippery in wet conditions, safety and grip are crucial for a safe ride. Check your tires to ensure they are not worn out – this ensures a good grip while your riding in wet conditions and also reduces your chance of having an unfortunate puncture. Correct tire pressures also improve traction as well as give you a bit more suspension. All tires have inflation recommendations imprinted on the tire sidewall. Maintain a few PSI’s lower than the recommended pressure.
The rains always increase the chances of punctures – sharp bits and bobs embedded in dirt get uncovered with the rains and can stick onto wet tires leading to an unfortunate puncture. Make sure you occupy and ride on the left lane and avoid the absolute edges of the roads. Once you finish a ride, check tires thoroughly to remove any embedded bits. While good tires improve puncture protection, getting a good set of tire liners could also give you a second wall of safety. Having a basic puncture kit (and knowing how to use it) is critical.
CLEANING THE BIKE
Cleaning your bicycle after every wet ride is super important. Not only does the ride the next day feel awesome, but removing the grime ensures less wear and tear on the bike and can save you a ton of money. Best done immediately after a wet ride, simply hose down your bike (not a pressure wash please). Ensure you find those tricky nooks and corners which has dirt and mud wedged. Wipe down the bike and store it in a dry place. Letting a wet bike hang around almost certainly accelerates corrosion which cannot be reversed. Good time to also invest in bicycle polish to keep the frame clean.
A CLEAN DRIVE TRAIN (a.k.a Gears!)
A clean bike is a happy bike. Due to rain and mud, all the microparticles penetrate the chain and this damages the chain and cassette over time. Frequent cleaning and re-lubing the drivetrain prevents unexpected chain wear and is especially important in wet weather. It’s a good time to switch to a “wet lube” vs the standard or “dry” lubricant you’ve been using till now.
If your bike has any form of suspension, you got to take care of the stanchions(the silver legs which telescope). Because of constant contact with water and mud the dust seals can become dry over time and worse, can scratch the silver stanchions making your suspension ineffective. It is important to keep them clean and lubricated by wiping down the stanchions post ride. We have dedicated stanchion lubricants which you can spray on the stanchions to help keep them clean and well lubricated.
Store the bicycle in a covered area. This helps the bike to stay rust free and it stays protected from all the other dirt which the rain bring along. Leaving bikes parked in open weather almost certainly accelerates corrosion which cannot be reversed.
Want to learn more? We run monthly Workshops on bicycle maintenance!
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING
I never stopped riding my bike! It all started with me cycling to school. It then became my tool of choice to stay fit, which seeded my passion for long distance cycling. I love the simplicity of cycling as it makes you an integral part of the elements (Rain, Cold, Heat, Climbs, Descends) which in turn makes you value every pedal stroke!
Working as a Bike Specialist allows me to spend my entire day with bicycles and working with other like-minded people.
CURRENT BIKE(S): Scott Aspect 670 & Specialized Allez
DREAM BIKE: S-Works Tarmac
OTHER PASSIONS: Running, Photography, Travelling