How to Hit the Ground Running

When the monsoons arrive in Vancouver, roadies generally have one of 2 approaches.  They either; a) meticulously clean their summer bike and put it away for the winter in a somewhat ceremonious, ritualistic fashion, or b) hang it up or put it in a corner without much thought, angered by the long wet winter that’s around the corner.

Whichever you are, it matters not, because spring is upon us and it’s time to dust off the summer ride.  If you’re like me, and not in the market for a new bike, here’s a list – in order of importance – of affordable things that will make the summer bike feel like a new bike.

  1. Cables and Housing.  Every time you brake or shift, the cables are active.  They can deteriorate rather quickly (especially in this climate), and it’s not really noticeable due to their frequency of use.  Rarely does this procedure illicit a response other than “it feels like a new bike!”
  2. Cleats.  Not often thought of, but a fresh, clean interface between pedal and cleat is noticeable due to the fact that, well, you feel it about 90 times per minute.
  3. Bottom Bracket Service.  This is one that isn’t very physically noticeable, but it will give you some much needed watts when the wind is pounding your new Oakley’s heading out to Iona.
  4. Wheels and Tires.  Admittedly, this isn’t inexpensive – in some cases wheels can cost more than a bike.  But, if you’re familiar with why wheels matter so much, then it’s worth the effort.
  5. New Bottles.  This is just good hygiene.
  6. Bar Tape.  Are you in the same mood you were last year?

An overhaul at Le Domestique includes proper grease, cables and housing, as well as a thorough cleaning and inspection.  All bolts are checked and tightened (or loosened) to manufacturers’ torque specifications, and recommendations are made.

All of this is moot however, if your favourite bike is your winter bike.