Video: 9 Tips for Maintaining Your Bike Through the Winter with Christina Chappetta

Jan 21, 2021
by Pinkbike Originals  


Longer nights and shorter days give us a lot of time to relax and twiddle our thumbs so why not spend some time maintaining your bike. Join Christina Chappetta as she follows her 9 steps for winter bike maintenance.








124 Comments

  • 133 33
 whyyyyy video whyyyyyyyyyyy At least put timestamps on each of the 9 tips below the video. OR just don't do video and do this a regular article. This format sucks.
  • 55 1
 Right?! It's like they think we're all well behaved employees that definitely don't spend half our day on here...
  • 28 1
 @GSuperstar: How am I supposed to listen to a video in the middle of a test
  • 13 3
 The articles are wayyy better, you can read them at school/work.
  • 21 0
 @Lucasclark: But they don't generate any youtube ad revenue
  • 8 1
 Maybe with a video the get that sweet YouTube money?

I totally agree videos are awful and inefficient. An article with a list is easier to follow, and much better overall!
  • 4 0
 I agree... unless it's riding, I'm almost always a little bugged when it's a video and not an article. Seems like they're anxious to build up their Youtube presence?
  • 6 2
 @Caiokv: I beg to differ, some people are auditory learners, some are visual learners, some can read and get the info, some need hands-on stuff.
  • 5 0
 I get the tips are whatever to the average PB reader...but think of all the new people in the sport this year...this is great for them.
  • 6 0
 @RonanM825: closed caption bro. I use it all the time at work lol
  • 2 0
 @makripper: The only issue with closed caption is time. I can read an article in a few minutes rather then having to watch the full length video
  • 11 0
 @RonanM825: also reading pb articles looks deceptively like work, reading cc on pb videos looks deceptively like reading cc on pb videos
  • 6 0
 I'm sure the'll make a podcast... and an article... and a comic soon.
  • 2 0
 Videos = ad revenue.

They'll also have access to better analytics, down to the second when you start or stop watching and possibly share the vid
  • 3 0
 @etbikezcom: Don't forget a poll
  • 2 0
 @RonanM825: yup for sure but when you have to youtube moto reviews and coffee maker reviews beggers can't be choosers.
  • 33 4
 Thanks for your kind words and thoughts on the matter. I understand your frustrations but many people learn in different ways. Some maybe more verbally some more visually. I'm happy to be part of the video team and my projects will continue to be video focused. The editorial team does a great job at writing up articles to read. I do like the timestamp idea and will be bringing it to the video team for sure, Cheers! -Christina
  • 1 0
 @GSuperstar: you're fired!
  • 1 1
 you guys just want to complain dont ya? there was an article posted with similar recommendations in the format you want in the late 2010s, look for it.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: Please do timestamps at least. Vital does it if you need an example. Thanks for listening to feedback!
  • 3 0
 @joshfrandsen: Not to say people don't like a variety of media types, but FYI that whole "learner type" myth has been debunked many times. multiple studies have found that people don't have a particular learning stye. www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/04/the-myth-of-learning-styles/557687
  • 1 0
 @BiNARYBiKE: I did not know, as of last school year my school was still doing that. I guess that is another thing they are wrong about.
  • 1 0
 @joshfrandsen: Yeah, I guess it's one of those things that somebody says and it sounds good and makes a lot of sense so people hold onto it. Kinda like that belief that humans only use 10% of their brain. False, but widely believed. I read that 90% of teachers think that each of their students has a "learning type", causing problems when teachers and students they are confined to learning in their "type" only. This is not to say that Pinkbike shouldn't do articles and videos... Just interesting stuff.
  • 1 0
 @jeremiahwas: well.... gmbn is pretty boring though
  • 52 14
 Tip #10, put the bike away and get out the ski’s.
  • 17 0
 I would, but...
  • 6 0
 I would but New England is doing the New England rain thing
  • 1 0
 @RonanM825: Sorry to hear that! Northern New England is going off right now.
  • 11 0
 Thanks to several warm winters and... The Virus... ticket prices here in the NE are ridiculous. I'm talking $125 for a day pass to a small mountain with half the trails closed. At those prices, I'll just buy new tires for the bike, and lots of beer, and wait for warmer weather.
  • 2 0
 Had the best early-season in a long time here in Whistler, but as the snow stops falling... the bikes come out to play!
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: The shore is smashed out, Cypress may be in play on the East side! Craziness.
  • 23 4
 The best bike maintenance advice is clean your drivetrain and dont wash your bike.
  • 7 1
 right on...Santa Cruz did some bro science years ago looking at bearing life, and that was what they came up with. They had 1. clean meticulously after every ride, 2. don't clean at all and 3. clean only drive train regularly, bike sporadically,
#3 had the bearings last the longest.
  • 1 1
 so true
  • 9 16
flag willdavidson9595 (Jan 21, 2021 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 Possibly the dumbest thing I've ever heard. From working in a bike shop for years I can promise you the people that clean their entire bike often have way less bearing problems than people that don't.
  • 2 0
 @willdavidson9595: I see all kinds of bearing and other issues from water ingress. The people who cloth wash their bikes have wear and tear on the finish but can go full seasons without having to actually swap out bearings only greases.
  • 2 0
 @m47h13u: Don't be so overbearing.
  • 6 1
 www.santacruzbicycles.com/en-US/news/2012-joes-corner-lifetime-bearings

Joe was only a SCB engineer back then...now he's the CEO. But I'll take your word over his, random bike shop employee on internet. I guess you could argue he has a bias for replacing fewer warrantied bearings...

His blogs were pretty informative and void of BS.
  • 2 1
 @ReformedRoadie: Where did Santa Cruz do this testing? Santa Cruz? If I did that where I live my bike would be a solid brick of mud this time of year. I used to try to do the brush and wet rag cleaning but it just smears the mud around and you still have a filthy bike to work on. Then when you do need to service the bike you risk getting dirt inside whatever you are taking apart. I would rather just rinse my bike and re grease my bearings once a season.
  • 2 0
 @ReformedRoadie: Joe's argument was washing or not washing your bike while not cleaning and re-greasing your bearings. In that case, not washing your bike would possibly be better on your bearings depending on the area you live in, Joe is obviously located in Santa Cruz where there is no mud and grit.
  • 3 1
 @shami: also bearings aren't that expensive so wash away
  • 16 0
 Tip #1 should be: Get a nice heated garage or workspace if you live in an area that has actual winter temps.

Nothing worse than working in a cold garage with metal tools and parts and your fingers are frozen within minutes. Or trying to wear thin gloves to stay warm and dealing with small bolts, washers, parts falling from your hands onto the floor and bouncing under vehicles or work benches. Good times...
  • 2 0
 Totally. I have all the parts I need to do a winter tune up, but I can't make myself suffer in the cold garage.
  • 3 0
 @oldmanjoe: which is why they invented fleeces and liquor.
  • 15 0
 Replace consumables : chain, brake pads, e13 rims
  • 12 1
 The beauty of a rigid fatbike for those of us riding through the winter crap is fewer points of entry for salt/water/crud.
  • 1 0
 the only way to have less maintenance is to make it a fixed gear one with just 1 brake
  • 3 0
 That and always but the bike inside the car - a few trips on the bike rack will kill your bike with salt.
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: I’m slightly north of you (Canadian Maritimes) and yeah, we aren’t getting the snow this year either.
  • 2 0
 @bishopsmike: Roof rack on top of an SUV has worked out pretty well for me (Western NY near Lake Ontario). Some guys around here still put them on the back of their cars and I have no idea why they'd do that.
  • 1 0
 Until you drop it on your hitch rack and drive 30 minutes through salty slush like most of Quebec...
  • 1 0
 @bishopsmike: So true and so sad. The poor rotors!!!
  • 7 0
 This is a great idea but I feel it should be slightly more in depth. Extra tips would be so helpful to all the new riders of the Pandemic. Stuff like.... clear out the tyre valve with a thin allen key before injecting sealant so it actually goes in instead of all over the place. Again I love this thread and Christina does a great job with it making people feel less afraid of aproachiong their bikes.
  • 4 0
 And then clean it again before inserting the valve core, so you have a hope in hell of adding or removing air later on.
  • 6 0
 Spraying the aerosol onto a cloth to apply is a great tip; it only takes the slightest whiff of GT85 on your disks to turn you into Squeaky McNostop
  • 8 1
 If you're seeing this Phil Atwill is back on Propain
  • 1 0
 Sauce?
  • 1 0
 @swenzowski: check the homepage now
  • 1 0
 @T4THH: thanks lad
  • 6 0
 hey @christinachappetta, what kind of torque wrench is that? i'm in need of one and that one looks pretty nice.
  • 1 0
 I've used a few. The Park Tools and Super B have been the ones I use most regularly.
  • 4 2
 Nine steps, didn't even watch the video. Regular bike goes in the basement for the winter so no maintenance, Fatbike gets abused all winter and follows the RTF ( run to fail) mode of maintenance in season with one exeption of a chain lube every few weeks. I should mention the bike only travels inside my car so gets near zero salt exposure.
  • 1 0
 hahaha RTF that's gold.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: OK I watched the video killing time at lunch on youtube....Honest question how many bolts are actually loose? I can see at a pro level where the bike is getting shipped all the time that you would develiop a healthy habit of double checking all the bolts after assembly. I don't recall ever having a " haven't touched that part for ages" bolt come loose. Ever...

RTF frees up so much time for other things like poluting the PB comments section. New pads can wait, the brake bleed can wait, new tires can wait, creaky BB can wait, loose spoke can wait....
  • 2 0
 Nice video. Gotta admit with my OCD, I do this way too often. It's zen. And instead of just feeling the spokes, I wipe down every single one of them while I'm at it. Being careful with the hose, my bearings last long enough.

But: Torque wrench. Many winters ago while I was in the National Air force and mucked about with F-16s, all torque wrenches were collected for calibrating about once a month, even if they hadn't been touched. Same with race cars.
I very rarely use them on my bikes, and - touch wood - have been fine. I know my semi-cheap torque wrenches bought years ago probably aren't very accurate, just like my shock pumps etc.

I realize correct torque is slightly more important on the bolts of a belly tank or missile at 7G, but..just throwing it out there.
  • 2 0
 As a UK rider, winter trail riding (when we’re not in lockdown) usually means a dirty bike and dirty kit after every ride....the joys of riding at this time of year.
Nice little video @christinachappetta which will act as a reminder for those who might neglect to give their rides a little TLC.
I just need to take a look at the frame bearings on mine.
  • 2 0
 ok, let common sense prevail. But a nice reminder i suppose. Atm i'm picking dog dung off my tyres with a stick cos everyone is out walking and not picking up their dog dung. be super careful it does not get on your water bottle.
  • 2 0
 @christinachappetta , You do a great job of putting together content for getting through the soppy winter months of riding. Whether it's how to keep your bike running great through the filth, or keeping your toes and fingers warm through the sleet and snow... One thing I have to ask. More of a plea really. Riding bikes in adverse trail conditions does have an impact on them. We all have favourite sections of trails that we love the experience of ripping and shredding through. The problem is, that after a winter of super wet coastal downpours, we often come back to those sections in the spring only to realize that they have been shralped to death! So here is my ask. For any article you post effectively advocating for riding your bike in the wet; it is imperative that you put a plug in for making sure folks do their part to support their local trail maintenance standards in their area. Better yet, use your stage to promote the idea of signing up for trail club memberships! Most annual dues are less than $100 per year! Doing so helps to advocate for and maintain so much that it would seem a lot of riders take for granted. Plus, that's less than the cost of 1 tire, or a single new pair of riding shorts in a season.
Look forward to your next piece Christina. Use your weight to help out the unsung hero's! The Sorca's, Worca's, Porca's and Dorca's of the world will thank you for it!
  • 6 0
 Needs more slo mo!
  • 4 0
 I do the same thing with the single-serving Stan's bottle. No need for an injector system!
  • 1 0
 Oooof! Tried the injector setup and.... it's not for me hahah I got messy!
  • 1 0
 On any reviews that are a couple of months or longer. We should get strip down videos. To see which bikes eat bearings or show signs of wear. Info people want when buying bikes. You need to do in secret for a while until you develop a methodology so we can have a maintenance/wear scale to rate bikes on.
  • 3 0
 What is cleaning of bearing seals really good for when you leave the mud inside?
  • 3 3
 Yeah that part reminded me of my friend who thought "changing the oil" in the car just meant...pouring more oil in.

Christina that's not greasing a bearing! Pull the dust cover off the bearings with a pick/razor and blast the mud/water/rust out with some WD40 or other solvent (The WD in WD40 *does* stand for "water displacement"), then force fresh grease in and press the dust covers back in. Smearing grease on the outside of the dust cover doesn't really do much of anything except attracting dirt.
  • 3 0
 Winter means fat bike on snow. It’s cleaner every ride!!

Or skiing-and waxing is quick and easy.
  • 3 1
 Take off your wheels first. A lot easier to get to many of the nooks & crannies...

And if you spray your chain with a hose, you're a savage.
  • 1 0
 Good Point! Bike just looks so much better fully built :-)
  • 1 0
 serious question, what's wrong with spraying your chain with a hose? I clean mine with a hose and toilet brush.

Did not watch the video btw.
  • 1 0
 @mildsauce91: I would say nothing is wrong with it as long as you're getting your desired performance and durability from your chains. If that's the case just keep doing what you're doing....

BUT, when you consider a chain is just a continuous row of roller bushings, pins & plates (with NO SEALS) rubbing against each other under heavy load, it's quite critical to keep a lubricant in between those parts. Most lubricants don't mix well with water, and water in fact displaces and/or dilutes many of them. So spraying water under any sort of pressure into this unsealed system is less than optimal.

Even if you lube your chain immediately after, there's still water stuck in there...
  • 1 0
 Cristina you recommend protective sealant spray, can you name a brand? or where can i find this type of product? there is an autozone in front of my office wonder if they sell a similar product...
  • 3 0
 I think she is using Silicone Spray
  • 1 0
 One thing that has made a massive difference for me this winter is spraying some thin lube on the pivoting joints of the rear mech. It makes a huge difference to keeping shifting crisp throughout the wet riding season.
  • 1 0
 I think she might be using Silicone Spray.
  • 4 1
 I was just amped to see the Marzocchi...all is right with pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 Until you remember it's just a discount Fox
  • 1 0
 @chriskneeland: the nostalgia factor is what gets it for me.
  • 1 0
 Could you give some examples of that "protective spray" you apply to the frame? Like what products could I buy that do that and are safe for carbon frames?
  • 1 0
 muc off has great stuff
  • 4 0
 Maxima sc1
  • 4 0
 Pedros Bike Lust seems to make the mud fall off of my bike better. Safe for carbon too.
  • 2 0
 The 3 reco's below are all awesome! I used SC1 this day.
  • 2 0
 Standard silicone spray will work for a fraction of the price of bike specific products.
  • 1 0
 I use spray car wax. If feeling really dentisty, I use synthetic spray car wax.
  • 2 0
 @husstler: mmmmmm Bike Lust
  • 2 0
 Might as well take off your watch as well so you don't scuff it or get it full of grease.
  • 7 0
 Tools not jewels... it can handle it.
  • 3 0
 Why do they call it a Trek:

Long walk out.
  • 2 0
 That orange is killer and it's even better in person. @christinachappetta Nice coil shock upgrade!
  • 1 0
 Thanks!!! Really enjoying it the last few months!
  • 3 0
 Buy hardtail winter bike. No worries about maintenance.
  • 2 0
 Come on at least copy and paste the script or something. I cant watch a video while my English teacher is talking.
  • 1 0
 don't just "willy-nilly" tighten all your pivots too! many frames, like my Process, have another male fastener on the inside that needs to be loosened first!
  • 2 0
 Don't forget to open up and air out your frame storage box......The last thing you want is a stanky box!
  • 2 0
 *me at work* Welp, guess I'll never know.
  • 2 0
 I like the part where shes cleans/maintains the bike!
  • 2 0
 I see Christina has been takin actin lessons from Levy
  • 1 0
 I don't always wear white, but when I do it is when doing maintenance/repairing my bike.
  • 3 2
 "IF YOU HAVE AN AIR SHOCK" mad flex
  • 1 0
 Ride a 26" klunkertz in the winter.
  • 1 0
 Step 1: Move to the low desert.
  • 1 0
 That dusty sand is gnarly on bikes!!!! I'm sure you've witnessed this.
  • 1 0
 @christinachappetta: It really is! The "winter" dusty sand just ends up looking a lot like the "summer" dusty sand, so maintenance routines get to stay consistent.
  • 1 0
 Christina sets the comments on fire every time!
  • 1 0
 What lube do you use for the headset and cranks? @christinachappetta
  • 2 1
 I like videos because I'm lazy!
  • 1 0
 Great video! Thanks for the tips!
  • 1 1
 Unless you live in Southern California and your winter is basically summer so nothing changes really....
  • 1 0
 should really check the spokes by squeezing on parallel sets
  • 1 0
 this bike looks clean as a dream compared to mine :-)
  • 1 0
 This bike is beautiful!

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