The good Oil on everything to do with bike maintenance

OLI MiddleditchMechanic, Evo Cycles Palmerston North

Oli Middleditch's

Hi all, my name is Oli and I am the head mechanic in Evo Cycles, Palmy. I’m a mountain biker who occasionally swings his leg over a gravel bike, with a couple of year’s experience in the bike industry so I’ll be doing my best to show you some tips and tricks for keeping your bike running nicely between services.

Today we’re going to be talking about storing your bike throughout winter. Like many people, you are probably riding your beloved bike less during the colder months because of the weather and the light levels. This means your bike will be sitting around a little more and there are some quick tricks that may save you from having to replace parts in the future.

The first and possibly most important is storing your bike indoors, whether this be a shed, garage or, if you feel brave enough, then even the bedroom will do… maybe just ask the other occupants first! Having your bike inside will keep it safe from the elements, mainly water, as this will make your chain and cassette rusty, possibly even damaging your hub and steering bearings. These can all be costly to fix or replace, so definitely worth doing!

cycle chain lubrication

Second is applying some bike specific chain lube, this will create an oil or wax coating over your chain and protect it from moisture in the air. I will go into chain lube and application in a little more detail in a future instalment to clear up any confusion or common questions.

Last but certainly not least is keeping your bike clean. If you take your bike for a ride and like me, you’re riding on the trails and get covered in mud, or on the road and covered in grit and dust, then it is best to wash your bike the day it gets dirty or soon after. Leaving mud, grit or road dust on your bike can damage bearings, make it harder to clean in the future and create build ups of drivetrain gunk and lubrication where you don’t want it.
Chain Washing

A question I often get asked is, “What should I use to wash the bike – dishwash detergent, liquid soap, car wash?” My best advice is to use a recognised bike wash such as Muc-Off, but any good bike wash will do and in need a gentle dishwash detergent.

Giving your frame, wheels, and drivetrain a thorough clean will help all your components last longer. A good idea is to try and dry your bike completely after washing. The best way to do this is to leave it in the sun and wind (if there’s any left for the season) and let it happen naturally, otherwise get yourself a sacrificial towel to do so. Always remember to lube your chain after cleaning.

In my next post, I’ll cover chain lube application – what type of lube is best for your bike and what’s the best method to apply the lube.  Till then, take advantage of those nice days for a ride and remember – give your bike a good clean when you come home (you’ll have to if it’s going into the bedroom!).

By following these winter maintenance tips, you’ll ensure your bike remains in top condition, ready to tackle any ride no matter hoe cold it gets. Stay safe and happy cycling..


Oli Middleditch’s Mechanic’s Corner is proudly supported by Evo Cycles, Palmerston North