Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Bike

Winter-Proof Your Bike

A guide to defending your ride through the icy months.

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

A guide to defending your ride through the icy months.

Keeping your bike pristinely clean through a “real” winter is a little unrealistic. Simply maintain the parts that suffer most from messy roads and wait until spring for the non-essentials. Here’s what to fix—or forget—when it comes to winter maintenance.

Greasy Chain
Fix it: Clean the chain before grease starts to clump. Scrubbing it after every ride, though, is overkill.

Sticky Housing
Forget it: Road grime is going to seep into your housing and degrade shifting accuracy, so save your new set of housing until the roads clear.

Stained Bar Tape
Forget it: It’s just going to get filthy again. Wait till spring.

Road Salt
Fix it: Road salt is corrosive, and bearings are particularly sensitive. Wash it off with water.

Stretched Chain
Fix it: Use a chain-checker to measure its wear and swap it after it reaches its limit to preserve your cassette, chainrings and shift quality.

Dirty Frame
Forget it: Dirt will collect on your bike nearly every time you ride outside through the winter. It’s unsightly, but a little dirt won’t hurt.

Worn Tires
Fix it: Riding on wet, sandy and icy roads is difficult enough with fresh rubber. Swapping tires will help maintain traction and prevent flats.

RELATED – Road Tested: Winter Cycling Gloves