Early spring is a trying time of year for not only the cyclist but the bicycle. The temperatures and moisture levels fluctuate widely this time of year. Sometimes you reach a point that you decide one day that you are going to ride because you are tired of winter. And then, you get home and look at your bicycle. Or, you get home, thaw out , and get caught up in something and forget to go back and see to your bicycle only to come back to it weeks later when the riding hunger strikes again.
The Finish Line website, (FinishlineUSA-not to be confused with the shoe and accessories company), has a page of maintenance and bicycle care tips. I found the following tips to be especially applicable for the season.
Lubricating Your Cables
Smooth operating cables are the life lines that keep your braking and shifting system working optimally. There are a variety of ways to lubricate your cables, from removing them, to just shooting a little lube into the ends of the cable housings. Depending on how much wet weather riding you do, your cables will require different amounts of attention. You should inspect and lube, if necessary, every 4 – 6 rides. For quick maintenance, squirt or drip a “dry” style lube into the open ends of the cable housings.
Note When it is time for a thorough cleaning and re-lubing of your cables, a trained mechanic should tackle the job. Unless you are experienced in removing your own cables, you can easily spend a few hours getting everything readjusted properly.
Lubing Your Derailleurs
Your derailleurs are just as important as your chain, in helping to deliver those crisp, exact shifts that make cycling a true joy. The derailleurs shift your chain by using a system of springs and pivots. It is important to keep these springs and pivots well lubricated. They will require a shot of lube every 5 – 7 rides. Watch a video to learn more about cleaning and lubricating your rear derailleur.