Top tips for Winter Bike Maintenance

Wade Morgan the 4th | Thu 29th Apr 2021 12:38

Winter riding can be harsh on your bike. Regardless if you’re laying down big base miles on your Road Bike, or sliding around local trails on your MTB, if you don’t look after your bike it’s going to get unnecessary wear and tear, potentially leading to a big bill to set it straight again come the Summer. Here are our top tips for Winter Bike Maintenance.


It may seem like a no-brainer, but cleaning your bike after it gets dirty will help keep it running better for longer. Road grime and mud can easily get into every nook-and-cranny, and if left it can cause premature and irreparable wear. Drive trains are prone to extra wear if they’re grimy and dirty so to maximise its life make sure you clean it after wet rides (see point 2).

If you’re not sure the most effective way to clean your bike be sure to check out our Top 10 Tips For Cleaning Your Bike article.

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Using the right chain lube for the conditions is a key part of reducing drivetrain wear and keeping things smooth. There are multiple types of lube on the market, some “all-conditions” and others more specific, the rule of thumb though is Dry Conditions = Dry Lube, Wet Conditions = Wet Lube. Before you get to lubing your chain it needs to be clean - depending on the conditions you’ve been riding this could be as simple as a wipe over with a rag, or if it’s quite dirty or hasn’t had a clean for some time a deep clean with a degreaser could be in order.

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Wet conditions give contaminants a vehicle for getting onto your braking surfaces. This may be a basic rim brake type, where the rim is close to the ground so it’s easily susceptible to contaminants or a disc brake rotor. Discs may need a wipe with a clean rag after a damp ride, or if conditions have been really bad, a spray with a bike specific brake cleaner will help prevent the disc pads from absorbing contaminants. Contaminated pads may result in noisy braking or loss of braking power.


We’re pretty fortunate in NZ that most of us have space to store our bikes indoors, whether in a garage or shed of some type. Storing your bike out of the elements is key to keeping it in good condition. The warmer and dryer your bike is stored the better, but the bottom line is to keep it indoors (not just under a roof, ie carport). As important as this is for the longevity of a road or mountain bike, it’s even more important if you have an e-bike, electronics hate the damp.

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Mudguards come in all manner of styles, sizes and colours, regardless they all aim to do the same thing - keep the muck off your bike and out of your eyes. As much as having a mudguard helps keep your bike clean, many of them will also protect vital parts from wear (ie suspension fork seals).

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