February 04, 2021
For many riders, the cyclocross World Championships marks the end of the season - either as a participant, or a spectator. If you've been racing and training all winter, your bike has likely taken a beating. Contaminated bearings, corrosion, chain wear... let's check for those issues now so we can prevent breakdowns on the side of the road or trail in the future.
I've put together this guide of some must-do repairs, and split it into beginner, intermediate and advanced sections. Skilled mechanics may be able to handle DIY for everything on the list; if you're just getting started, try tackling the "beginner" tasks and ask a trusted cycling friend or bike shop to handle the more advanced tasks on your behalf. Let's take a look at the list:
Remove the seatpost, inspect, and re-install
Seatposts take a beating. Cyclocross remounts add incredible stress to this component, made worse by pressure washing your bike, which can force moisture down the seat tube, starting corrosion. Here's how to prevent that:
Remove and inspect the bottom bracket bearings
One of the "problem areas" that crop up on bikes ridden in the wet and mud is the bottom bracket bearings. Rain, mud, and water from pressure washing can run down the seat tube into the bottom bracket.
Remove and inspect the headset bearings
As with the bottom bracket, headset bearings can become contaminated from riding in the rain or pressure washing. You can reduce this by being careful not to blast the bearings directly during washing, but it can never be entirely eliminated.
Symptoms include "notchy" or "indexed" steering, a clean and properly adjusted headset should not click and should turn smoothly throughout the range of rotation.
With some time spent on maintenance, you can avoid having a let down when you experience an unexpected failure while out riding in the Spring. A rainy winter day is a perfect time to invest in an inspection and required repairs.
March 02, 2021
February 26, 2021