Summer Cycling: Keeping Your Bike in Shape for Sportives

Monday, May 13th, 2024

Thanks to our friends at Cycle Superstore for these great tips to keep your bike in shape.

Are you gearing up for a couple of Sportives in the near future? The friendly, albeit slightly grubby, crew from the Cycle Superstore workshop has some top-notch tips to help you keep your bike in tip-top shape this summer. Most of the mechanical mishaps encountered can be easily prevented with some simple bicycle maintenance.

Keep It Clean

Keeping your bike and drive train clean is crucial for successfully completing your event. Dirt and grime buildup can accelerate chain wear and reduce efficiency. Invest in a chain cleaner or a basic cleaning sponge. You can find Cycle Superstore chain cleaners HERE   plus a guide to cleaning your bike HERE

Once your chain is sparkling clean, it’s time to apply chain lube. You have two options: wet or dry lube. Wet lube is ideal for wet conditions, as it repels water effectively. However, its sticky nature means it attracts dust in drier conditions. Dry lube, on the other hand, is less sticky and attracts less dirt. However, it can be easily washed off in wet conditions. For more information on different lubes, click HERE

Fresh Tyres

Your tyres are your lifeline during any event. They’re your point of contact with the ground, so it’s crucial to ensure they’re in top condition. Poor tyre pressure or tread can lead to punctures or even blowouts.

Start by checking the recommended tyre pressure, usually indicated on the tyre sidewall. This will specify the maximum and minimum pressure. Pump your tyres the night before to rule out any slow leaks. Additionally, make it a habit to check and adjust your tyre pressure at least once a month using a pressure gauge. Always carry a handheld pump on your bike (never in your back pocket). You can check out Cycle Superstore’s range of track pumps HERE and their selection of mini pumps HERE

But how do you know when it’s time to replace your tyre? Some manufacturers include tread indicators on their tyres. For example, Continental Road tyres feature two “tread holes” in the centre. Once these disappear, it’s time for a new tyre. For mountain bike or off-road tyres, if the tyre blocks are no longer sharp and have become rounded off, it’s time for a change.