Triathlon season's just a few months away, and your schedule will be packed with events from May to October. Your training is going great, but is your bike race-ready, too?
Here, we had Jason Losey of Cervelo Cycles, offer up tips for treating your bike right...right now.
Wipe it Down
The number one rule to bike maintenance? Keep it clean. "A clean bike is a fast bike," says Losey. "Wipe it down after every ride. If you're riding outside, it's important to wash your bike since sand and dirt can cause premature wear."
And if you stick to the trainer during the cold months, it's still key to clean up afterwards, since sweat can cause corrosion to various parts of the bike. "You'd be surprised how badly sweat can wreak havoc on your equipment," says Losey.
While Losey recommends giving your bike a complete wash after riding in the rain or extremely dirty conditions, he suggests a quick wipe down after trainer or non-muddy outdoor rides. "At the very least, hit the drivetrain with some degreaser and a rag," he says, recommending that you use products specifically made for bicycles, like the WD-40 BIKE line. "It takes five minutes and you have a clean bike to start your next workout."
Get a Bike Fit
Sure, your bike may have all of the bikes and whistles fit for a King of the Mountain. But it's not going to make you any faster if you're not properly positioned on it. That's why Losey says that a professional bike fit is the "single most important investment that a triathlete can make." Not only does a proper bike fit—a series of calculated adjustments to the bike's stem and seat—optimize your body's position on the bike, it can also reduce fatigue and improve performance.
And if you already had a fitting when you first bought your bike? It may be time to get checked again. "I recommend a bike fit check-up at least once a year, with the purchase of any new equipment or after any injury that requires downtime," says Losey. It'll help to go back to the same mechanic every time, so he or she is familiar with your bike—and your positioning.