In the winter conditions outdoors can be wet, sandy and salty. Additionally there can be more debris in the road and the cold can affect your equipment adversely. I can remember doing rides when I was a full time cyclist where my derailleurs would freeze from road spray and the chain would get rusty. As you can imagine this can be rough on your equipment. Here are some tips from the experts about how to keep up your machine.
1. Mechanic with the BMC pro cycling squad Kevin Grove says "Ride the heaviest, most durable tire you can for winter training! Then you can switch to the lighter tires when the weather is warmer and you want to really smoke the others on the group ride!"
2. Grove also comments "If you ride on a salty or wet road, do a wipedown of the frame and chain straight afterwards." This will remove water and salt to help avoid corrosion and rust on your frame, chain and exposed parts.
3. Grove recommends "Lower your tire pressure by 10 psi or so if you ride in areas where the downhills are still wet/damp in the shade you'll have better traction."
4. Mavic mechanic Marcel Vangarderen suggests "Check tires for small cuts or imbedded rocks. Make sure to pick out the stones. If the cut is not too big you can super-glue it back together. Only do this on winter training tires, never your race tires."
5. Vangarderen backs up Kevin on frame care and adds "wipe your chain after wet rides and apply lube asap to avoid rust."
These are just a handful of tips from guys in the know. For more complete list you can call your local bike shop and get their ideas. Whatever you do, keeping up your equipment will make it last longer and operate more efficiently......Ainslie