Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Snowicane: Winter Bike Repairs

Over the past few winters, I’ve discovered there’s always a few snowicane days where the degree of winter nastiness overrides my motivation to go outside over even stay inside and do something active.  I reserve certain bike related repair and maintenance projects, listed below, for those days.  There are a few hard core riders I know that have the clothes and equipment to ride or run in even a Hors Category Snowicane.  For the rest of us there’s some combination of cold, wet, and snow that steals our motivation to even exercise indoors.  These are the days where we shrug our shoulders and gaze out the window remembering when the trees across the street were blooming and we rolled out of the driveway bare handed.  Today, I find it hard to picture a day when my short fingered gloves were hanging from the drying rack and I had no idea where in the hell my shoe covers were.  It’s mindboggling fuzzy.  We’ve had too many snowicane days over the past week.  Last night, after getting let out of work early, I stood and gazed out the window as the thick snow rushed sideways under the streetlight.  No thoughts of wedding ring sunburns came to mind.  Instead, I remembered what snowicane days like this are for.  I headed downstairs to the Best Bike Man Cave Workshop and got crackin’ on some winter bike repairs.  Based on the category of snowicane, here’s what I do.

They Let Us Out Of Work Early

Patch Inner Tubes

Reorganize and clean up workshop

Check air pressure on suspension & tires

Pull out, clean and relube seat tube

Clean and lube drive train while it’s on the bike

Check and adjust wheel bearings

Check tires for wear and inflate to proper pressure

Snow Emergency

Put new sealant in tubeless tires

Pull apart and clean and lube rear derailleur pulleys

Take off, clean and lube cassette

True Wheels

Take the good stuff off your cross bike and put it back on your road/mtn bike

Check for chain stretch and replace if necessary

Put on new bar tape (with patience, care, karma and style) 

The National Guard Should Be Here Anytime

Pull out, clean, check, and lube bottom bracket and headset

Remove, clean & lube bolts on brakes, saddle, derailleur’s, seat post clamp, and stem

Replace oil and fluid in hydraulic brakes and suspension

Check and replace slow performing cables & housing

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