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Get your bike in shape for summer

| Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike | 24/06/2011 00:00am

If the weather forecasting types over at the BBC have got it right, we’re in for some sunshine, so take the opportunity to scrub and get your steed fit to ride though the summer months

Just because summer is the season for blue skies, dusty trails and warm breezes, it doesn’t mean that it’s any easier on your bike than the cold, dark winter was. Follow our simple steps to ensure you spend every possible moment of this summer riding and not wrenching.
All the steps are ones the WMB test team has been employing for years, so you know they work. You may already do some of these yourself, and others may be new – but give them a go and we think you’ll enjoy more performance and less hassle on the trails. Of all the tips, fitting a semi-slick or lower profile tyre on the rear and sealing your tyres will make the most difference to your riding.

1 Brakes
The first job is to bleed your brakes, but don’t overlook your brake pads. Damaged or thin pads – those with less than 1mm of pad material – should be replaced.

2 Gears
Look out for narrow tracks with tall grass on either side, as these grasses can break off as you ride past and become tangled in the sprockets and jockey wheels. This can gum up the transmission as fast as any winter bog.

3 Drive
Dust can cause as much damage as wet mud if you leave it to turn into a dry grinding paste, so get the chain clean and keep it clean. Using a dry or even wax lube on the chain – and cleaning it off and replacing it as regularly as possible – will help keep your summer transmission running smoothly. Don’t forget the chainrings and pedals either.

4 Computer
There’s no time like the summer to start upping your fitness with some longer rides, and fitting a computer will let you monitor your progress and help keep you motivated. Basic ones act like a digital speedo and odometer and, as you go up in price, you’ll find handy features like heart rate monitoring and lap counters. Fit one and get logging.

5 Tyres and tubes
For most summer cross-country (XC) rides you can opt for lighter weight tyres and inner tubes, and tubeless users can go light as well; using an anti-puncture sealant will mean less punctures and a better ride. Try a narrower semi-slick on the rear with a wider treaded pattern up front for optimum dry running.

6 Suspension
Forks tend to get very dusty stanchions on dry summer rides as some run slightly ‘wet’. Make sure you give them a dry wipedown between rides. Using a dry cloth to keep them clean reduces the chances of dirt making it past the fork seals. Rear suspension units tend to run dryer than forks, but they do get a bit grimy. Being precision parts, they work better when not choked with dust and dirt so make sure you give them a regular clean with a bit of soapy water and an old toothbrush.

Click through to the next page for our step-by-step guide to getting your bike ready for summer, from checking the frame and wheels to sealing your tyres

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 12:00 am and is filed under Blog, Knowledge, What Mountain Bike. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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