A Brief Guide to Protecting Your Bike from Salt
Winter comes with many worries for your bike. While some are oblivious to performing routine maintenance, others are probably doing more than the required maintenance. Either way, this guide will address your worries.
During winter, it is normal for salt to be applied to roads in order to break up layers of ice. Those who ride on roads regularly would encounter lots of road salt in winter, which can be very corrosive.
This is one of the most common concerns among bikers, followed by the likelihood of reduced performance on your bike.
How to Protect Your Bike from Salt
This video has a good summary about winter-proofing your bike (Courtesy of Global Cycling Network):
Here we have compiled a list of things you can do to protect your bike from salt:
Time for some mudguards
It will do you and your bike some good if you get mudguards. They’d restrict the splash that gets to you, and other parts of the bike. There are mudguards designed to suit every bike, and you should be able to find one easily, irrespective of whether your bike comes with frame mounts or without.
Do some work on your tires
It is best to have your tires at lower pressure during winter. As a rule of thumb, the wetter it is, the lesser the pressure of your tires should be (80-90 psi).
Aside from pressure, you’d either be needing a new bike with fatter tires for winter or a different set of tires for winter. The latter is a better option. All you have to do is buy a tire with a reinforced breaker belt. The breaker belt is usually that part of the tire between the rubber tread and the carcass.
Why this modification? These would make your tires more resistant to punctures that may affect the inner tubes of the bike. It is also recommended to get quality and portable pumps you can use to inflate your tires whenever the tire pressure is low.
After each ride, clean your bike. Get some soap, sponge, brush, and water to do some cleaning. You could also purchase cleaning supplies meant for winter. Remember, refusing to clean after each ride means you are giving corrosion a chance. Whether you ride it frequently or not, you would do well to clean your bike often during winter.
Lubes for optimal performance
Bike lubes will keep your bike in optimal performance. But the bigger puzzle is the choice of using a wet or dry lube. The wet lube means a more costly and intensive cleaning routine, but it lasts a long while.
On the other hand, dry lubricants do not usually last long, but a quality one would still be good for the winter. In addition, dry lube isn’t as easy to apply. Weigh your options, and make your choice.
Now that you are set for winter, a few more precautions like lights and a saddle pack are highly recommended. Lights are needed for improving visibility, while a saddle pack is useful for carrying around critical tools and parts. Now go have a swell time riding in the winter!