18 Jan 2018
READY YOUR BIKE FOR WINTER RIDING
Your wetsuit has dried out, your run shoes need fumigating and you’ve finally run out of energy gels. Yes, the triathlon season has drawn to a close. That means it’s hibernation time for your triathlon bike. But, of course, you can – and definitely should – still get outdoors and ride, albeit with a few tweaks…
‘Winterfying’ Your Bike
The best place to begin winter-readying your road bike is the wheels. Detritus from cars and hedgerows, plus streams of water means they take a battering. That’s where a wheel like Vision’s Trimax 25 KBs comes in; it’s a great example of a wheel that’ll rack up the off-season distance while remaining responsive and light.
The front wheel features 20 spokes, the rear 24, to add strength and stability, while the quality aluminum composition adds further resistance to the elements. It’s also tubeless ready, which is a positive option many riders should consider. Fit tubeless tyres, fill with tire sealant and you could heal punctures of up to 6mm. You may decide that setting up tubeless is time well invested when you picture yourself straining to lever off a traditionally stubborn clincher tire on a cold Sunday morning!
Vision’s Team 30 Disc is also a good option if your setup is caliper-free. This superbly priced and mightily durable set of wheels features 30mm-deep aluminum rims, and a 24-spoke front/28 rear combination copes admirably with the extra stresses from disc brakes, and also makes them well suited to gravel and cyclocross.
Whether or not you decide to go tubeless, choose a set of tires that are designed for the winter. Areas to look out for include: thicker, firmer rubber; reinforced sidewall; and a wider tire, like 25mm, as you can run it at lower pressures and potentially reduce chances of punctures. Many riders will add a set of mudguards, too, especially if their road bike doubles as their commuting bike. Guards that clip on and off swiftly are recommended.
Once you’ve transformed your road bike for winter riding, you need to maintain its performance. That’s where the M-Check comes in. This is a foolproof method that takes five minutes and ensures your bike runs smoother than Ironman legend Terenzo Bozzone scorching down the Queen-K Highway aboard his Vision Metron 81 SL wheels.
The M-Check is so-called thanks to the imaginary line you draw from the hub of your front wheel to your headset, down to the bottom bracket, up to the saddle and back down to the hub of your rear wheel, methodically checking everything is safe and ready for action as you go.
Now you’ve armed your bike for the winter, all that’s left is to read our guide on staying injury free in winter and harness a dose of weekly commitment to act on that Sunday-morning alarm clock rather than disappearing back under the covers! But when motivation is particularly scarce, don’t forget that making plans to ride with friends is a fool-proof defense in the search of a solid winter base.