KICK-OFF YOUR CYCLING SEASON WITH THESE THREE AREAS OF ATTENTION FOR WHEEL MAINTENANCE!
While the pro’s have made quite some race days already most cyclist are at the start of their season. In most European countries the spring weather is yet to come and with that some of us are somewhat reluctant to start riding. Maybe you have the luxury of a winter bike and are still riding this at the moment. What to do if you are at the point of starting your season or about to switch bikes from winter to summer? Here are some tips to get you started the right way.
A bike that has been collecting dust over winter can use a good cleaning session. Assuming you’ve put it away clean it doesn’t need much more than a clean wipe on the frame and parts. To keep it clean and make the next session easier you can put a layer of polish wax on the frame. This prevents dirt to attach firmly and also protects the paint from your salty sweat drops.
Your chain will probably feel the same as you - when you’ve been lying on the couch watching a four-hour broadcast of an epic spring classic! This can be quickly solved by some chain lube, there are several options based on specific conditions like wet and dry for example.
Regarding the wheels there are some extra points of attention we’d like to highlight here! When taking a closer look at your wheels it might be that they’re not as straight as they used to be. We call this ‘out of true’! The solution is simple but needs to be done with care and by an expert; they need some wheel alignment.
Your bearings may feel not so smooth. It can be they just need to get in motion again, it might be they ran out and replacement will make your ride much smoother. You can find bearings for all FFWD models here. Changing these does require some tools most people don’t have. For example; when you mount a new bearing and it’s not straight in the hub shell it will not function as it should or not at all. It will likely increase the friction and result in premature wear.
The cassette body has bearings as well and they are often the first to give in. On the other side the cassette is always ‘eating’ into the alloy material. This is not a reason for replacement but can get too much over time. Technically it’s possible to replace the bearings in your freewheel body, but we choose for a replacement of the complete body. You can find the ones for our hub options here.
Disc brake wheels do not suffer so much on the braking side. It is recommendable to check your pads regularly as well as the disc brake rotors. When you ride too long with worn out brake pads they will damage the rotors as well whereas when you replace brake pads in time the rotors will last a long, long time.
With rim brakes the situation is a bit different. Brake pads have to be checked regularly as well but here you can do a bit more on the maintenance of them. If you take the braks pads out of the brake shoes (often fixed by a tiny screw) you see the grooves in the pads get full of residue caused by braking. This residue should be removed from the grooves with a small screwdriver for example. The pads also need to be checked on small stones or other sharp materials that have found their way into the pads. If this is not removed the pads can damage the rims.
It can also happen that the brakes on the bike are not adjusted correctly or change position over time. In that situation the brake pads can wear crooked and cause noise during braking. If this is the case you can readjust the brake calipers and readjust the pads by making them straight again using some sandpaper.
Brake pads are worn out when you do not see the grooves anymore. We only use the SwissStop Black Prince brake pads on our rim brake wheels as it’s the best combination with our rims. Next to the best braking performance they also ensure the longest lifetime of the wheels.
As rim brakes have more impact on the rims it is also recommended to check the rims on their wear process. You can do so by checking the rim width at the brake surface using a caliper. Normally the rim width is equally of course but this can change after long time use. If you have any hesitations here, feel free to contact our service department for some expert advice.
We don’t have to explain when a tire is worn out, you’ve probably experienced some flat tires that confirmed it…
If you’re running a tubeless setup and have not done anything about this for some months you probably need to replace the sealant. For the best protection it’s best to replace that anyway every 6 to 8 months. When you do this (or have someone do it for you) it’s important to check the tubeless tape in the rims as well. A tubeless setup needs to be a closed system and the tubeless tape plays a big role here. It could be that with changing tires or just due to time the tape is not completely in place anymore. This can cause air leaks and failure of the tubeless process. New tubeless tape can be found here.
Whenever you’ve done these checks you have regained more confidence to go on the road again and to go fast!
Maybe you’ve come to the conclusion or realization that you’re in for an upgrade of the complete wheel set? In that case you should read our story how to make the right choice!
We sincerely hope the weather will be good and you can enjoy riding your bike as much as you can… want…. or are allowed 😉
We’d like to mention it once again; if you have any questions or doubts about the state of your wheels please contact your local shop or contact us. We don’t bite…