Bike prep is one of the most important things you can do prior to a race or any big ride. Most people will do a last minute check over before any race or big ride, but when was the last time you did a post race check over?
Road Wet and Hung Up to Dry
When your done with that big ride, the last thought in the back of your mind was to clean up your bike. Now, this could be the worst thing you are doing for your bike. If you let your bike sit after a hard ride for days, it doesn’t matter if its dry or very wet, your chain, bearings and others are aching for attention.
Steps to Post Ride Bike Check Over
Today, I’ll be walking you through what I did after my cyclocross race on Saturday. Some of these steps may differ depending on what type of riding or conditions your in.
- Gently hose off the muddy bike. Using a soft scrub brush or rag to clean down the frame and rims. As you are wiping off the frame check for any new scratches, dents or damages, especially if you crashed.
- Wipe down chain and drip on your favorite lube, leave it soaking in as you do the rest of the checkover
- Check the brake pads and braking surface
- Spin wheels and make sure wheels are true, while spinning make sure there aren’t any new cuts or missing rubber from your tires
- Check shifting and brake tension
- Wipe off chain lube
The above check over should take 15 minutes after you get used to the process. Depending on the ride, like my race in the mud on Saturday, I may leave my lube to soak into the chain overnight. If you don’t have full sealed bearings you may need to soak lube into those as well.
Many people neglect their bike after a race. I’ve seen chains frozen solid or someone taking a bike for a ride after a race and not having any brake pads! Make this check over a normal part of your routine and you’re bike maintenance bill will go down and your parts will last longer. In additional you’ll be happier on the bike with a well maintained machine!