15 ways to winter-proof your mountain bike

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Winter weather shouldn’t be any reason to stop riding, but it is important to be aware of how tough these conditions can be on your bike and kit. Thankfully, a few simple and inexpensive precautions can prevent the mud, grit and moisture of winter from taking its toll on your pride and joy.

Follow our simple guide to get your bike ready for the toughest trail conditions – by doing so you could save yourself a whole lot of trouble later on.

You’ll require

  • Time: One hour
  • Difficulty rating: Medium
  • Tools: Anti-seize; pedal wrench / 6mm or 8mm Allen key; 4 and 5mm Allen keys; P-handled Torx T25 key; carbon assembly paste; electrical tape


Many pedals use a 15mm pedal spanner for removal, but there is an increasing trend for Allen key recesses to be used on the pedal axle. If the latter applies to your pedals, a long 6mm or 8mm Allen key makes removal easy. Whichever system your pedals use, the removal process is identical. Whichever pedal you are working on, undo towards the rear wheel – the left pedal has a reverse thread.

Once the pedals are removed from the cranks, give the threads on the crank arm and the pedal axle a wipe with a lint-free rag. Check for visible signs of damage to the threads that may cause problems when you re-install. Apply a layer of anti-seize to the pedal and crank arm threads. Most manufacturers label pedals ‘left’ or ‘right’ to help prevent confusion as to which one goes where. When you’re refitting, tighten towards the front wheel.

  • Remove cable ties from your fork stanchions because dirt can build up underneath and cause wear. Zip-ties are a great way to measure sag when setting up forks, but remove them straight after it’s done. The scratches and gouges they cause are not good and a zip-tie is a whole lot cheaper to replace than your fork stanchion.
  • When installing carbon parts, use carbon assembly compounds to help stop your bars or seatpost slipping. Don’t be tempted to use regular anti-seize or grease.
  • Wet weather riding can result in water seeping through the eyelets of your wheel rims. This adds excess weight, perishes rim tape, can seize nipples in place and makes puncture repairs a real mess. Next time you puncture, take the opportunity to wipe any excess moisture out from inside the tyres and rim tape.

You can read more at BikeRadar.com

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