Hilton Head is well known for its many miles of bike trails, and we’re getting knee-deep into the coldest months here on the island, so it’s a good idea to winterize your bike if you haven’t already. We’ve got several tips you can use to prep your bike for the cold without breaking the bank.
Lube Your Chains
Keeping the chains on your bicycle lubed year-round is always a good idea, but it’s even more important in the winter. For colder temperatures or riding in slush, you don’t want a dry lube as they thin out too quickly or get washed away too easily. Just ask for a lube specifically designed for wet or winter conditions, and keep the chains, brakes, cables, and other moving parts lubed for smooth riding this winter.
Wax the Frame
Just like we wax our cars to protect them from the weather and debris, waxing your bike frame will do the same. You don’t need anything fancy, even a spray furniture polish would be sufficient. However, paste wax you wipe on and let dry before wiping off tends to last longer.
Add New Fenders
Snow and ice are seldom seen here in Hilton Head, but the weather has been all over the place these days. Adding new fenders to your bike will protect the paint and frame from dirt and debris while also preventing the lube you applied from washing off in wet conditions.
Check Your Tires
When the temperature drops, air compresses causing fluctuations in the air pressure of your tires. Riding on flat tires isn’t just hard on the tires, it can be hard on the bike AND your body. Keep an eye on those tires by checking the air pressure before every ride. If they’re low, add some air. This way your tires will last as long as possible.
Keep It Clean
The salty air here in Hilton Head already tends to wreak havoc on the metal frames of bicycles, so when you add extra moisture in the colder months, the risk of rust rises. Even having good fenders can’t protect your bike completely. You can reduce the risk of rust by wiping down your bicycle after every ride. Wipe off the salt accumulation, hose off mud or grime, and dry off any excess moisture.
If you’re passionate about bike riding and want to keep your bike in pristine condition throughout the year, these tips will help. If you winterize your bike now, you can keep those wheels turning this spring. And if the idea of becoming your own personal bike mechanic seems too daunting, you can always just rent one!