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Tips for keeping your bike maintained in the winter

If you're going to be riding your bicycle in the winter, then you want to make sure that it's ready and maintained. Winter comes with ice, snow, sleet, rain and other weather conditions that impact your bicycle. Here are some tips for keeping your bicycle in the best shape, so you can avoid accidents.

Are fenders useful?

The first thing to try is fenders. Fenders keep snow and ice off your bicycle, except for on the wheels. Fenders fit on most types of bikes, but they don't fit on those with dual-pivot brakes. One of the easiest type of fenders to manipulate is called a clip-on fender.

How can you prevent rusting?

To keep rust off your bike and to prevent accidents from metal splitting, hang your bike upside down when you get home. You should remove the seat post so that water falls out instead of gathering inside. Remember that you should not bring your cold bicycle into a warm place unless it's completely dry, because this can lead to rusting.

Why is it important to reduce your PSI?

Prevent yourself from skidding in the snow by installing a wider tire and reducing the tire pressure by 10 to 20 psi. The wider your wheel is, the more traction it has. If you're going to be riding in the snow and ice, studded tires are another option. Remember that these don't work well on the roads, because the pavement can rip off the studs.

Finally, make sure that you have lights on your bicycle. While it's still sunny and light out in the evenings now, it gets darker and harder to see when it rains or snows. The length of the days is getting shorter, too, which means that having a light keeps you visible to other vehicles.

Source: Bicycling, "Winter Cycling Tips," John Peters, accessed Oct. 18, 2016

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