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The weekend of the first two cobbled races, otherwise known as the beginning of spring, has finally been and gone. We had a wonderful week of weather which even saw some carbon making it out of the shed in some parts of the country. Although the temperature has dropped again ever so slightly, we are marching steadily towards the warmer months. To make the most of the season your bike is worthy of some attention, and there are several things you can consider to upgrade your ride.
Clean Bike = Happy Bike
A multitude of sins get left on the road by weather and motor vehicles, and they invariably end up clogging chains and cogs on wet rides. Grit, oil and water don’t do too much immediate damage, but leave it standing and the damage caused can be significant, resulting in the need for expensive repairs. Avoid having to replace chains, cassettes and chanrings too often by keeping your bike nice and clean. Muc-Off have a great cleaning kit complete with brushes, sponge and bike spray, all packed in a handy dual-purpose box for storage and use as a bucket. A good foaming degreaser for the drivetrain, like the one from Fenwicks, is vital, and will make your life an awful lot easier.
Sharpen Your Braking
The last thing you want to go wrong on your bike is your ability to stop. Regularly checking and replacing your brake pads should be top of your list of priorities, especially if you use the same bike through winter and summer. It goes without saying that brakes wear a lot faster in wet weather so spring is a good time to make the change.
The easiest way to freshen up your bike is to wrap the handlebars with brand spanking new tape. It may not give direct performance benefits, but the aesthetic look and feel of your bike gets an upgrade and the renewed sensation of gripping the bars offers a mental uplift. You can also change up your colour scheme slightly if you fancy a new look without getting a new bike.
In a sport buzzing with marginal gains where we’re all after incremental changes to improve performance, a new set of tyres are a great solution. Tyres with different rolling resistance can make huge differences in pace and this upgrade is relatively inexpensive to carry out. Continental is the industry leader in terms of tyres and their flagship model is the GP4000s II Tyre, regarded as the reference tyre for the market. It is constantly undergoing evolutions to maximise efficiency and is relatively lightweight as a tyre, making the GP4000s great for racing aspirations of the smashing of PBs.
Ultimately, there are some things you cannot achieve at home. If you’re ever going to get your bike serviced then the time before the season really gets going – spring into summer – is the time to do it. This way you put your bike into the best possible condition for chasing your season’s targets.
The expert mechanics in any of our stores will be only too happy to help you get your steed road-ready – just email, call or drop in too book a service.