Have More Fun This Cyclocross Season by Being Prepared
Article from Bicycling.com, photos from cxmagazine.com
Replace cables and housing at the time of tune-up, even if you don’t think it’s necessary. Dirt works its way inside housing lines, making shifting and braking gritty and slow. If you ride in sloppy conditions, ask your shop if it’s possible to fully enclose cables in one uninterrupted length of housing.
Respect Your Rims
After every race and wet ride, or every 100 miles, clean your rims. For caked-on crud, scrub with soapy water and rinse using a light shower setting. To remove grimy buildup, wipe with a dry rag and rubbing alcohol. If the ride was exceptionally wet, remove wheels and buff brake-pad surfaces with an emery cloth.
Tread Lightly: Set Your Tire Pressure
A general inflation rule: With one thumb across the rear tire, and the palm of your other hand on top of it, push down with your body weight. If your thumb hits the rim, add air until it doesn’t touch. For soft conditions, run your front tire 5 to 7 psi less than the rear. On hardpack, increase both tires by 5 to 10 psi.
Pick the Right Bar Tape
How much elbow grease you’ll need to clean your bar tape depends on whether you prefer comfort or convenience. Padded tape reduces vibration but stains easily. Tacky tape gets dingy and is less padded, but it’s grippy when wet and cleans up better. Leather tape is pricey, but looks sharp and is easy to clean.
Lube What Moves: Chain and Derailleurs
In addition to your chain, which you should lubricate after every dusty or muddy ride, place a drop of oil on each pivot point on both derailleurs and the contact point between the brake arms and spring (if they’re squeaking or not releasing from the rim). Always apply lube on a clean bike and wipe off excess.
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