Getting your woom bike fit for winter
If you love your woom bike, you'll care for, maintain, and lubricate it. Winter is a challenging time for bikes. Snow, wet and aggressive road salt are permanent fixtures on our roads during the cold months and can really take a toll on your beloved bike.
To make sure your bikes work smoothly despite the adverse conditions, and that your child is always as safe as can be, now is just the right time for some preparation and bike care. All it takes is a little care to extend the life of individual parts and avoid repairs.
Here are a few tips to get your woom bike and your kids safely through the winter.
Start with a good cleaning
Road salt can be damaging for bikes, especially for the chain, which can start to rust within hours. That's why we recommend removing the salt as gently as possible from your bike after every ride in the rain or snow. Just use warm water and a sponge, and then dry with a soft towel. Once slush and salt dry, the only way to deal with them is spraying and softening their grip with a special bike cleaning solution. If the chain develops a rusty coating you can wipe it off with a soft towel, and then apply a fine coat of oil to the dry chain so that it glides smoothly again.
Our technician, Tim, shows you the best way to clean and care for your bike in this video:
...then reach for your tools
Once the bike's clean, you can get started with the maintenance.
That's why, for the safety of your child, we recommend that you do a brief safety check before every ride – a good rule of thumb is to remember:
screws, brakes, air
- Screws: Check to see that all screws and quick-release skewers are tight. Important screw connections are located on the handlebars, stem, headset, saddle, wheels and pedals.
- Brakes: Check to see that the front and rear brakes are working properly. The brakes are key safety-relevant wear out parts – a visual check is not sufficient! Severe temperature fluctuations can cause condensed water to form in the brake-cable housing and then freeze suddenly, causing the brakes to lock up. For preventative maintenance, you can clean and oil the brake cables, either yourself or have this done at a bike shop. Make sure not to get any oil on the brake pads or discs; otherwise braking performance will be greatly inhibited. Brake pads that come into contact with oil have to be replaced. Also, check to see whether the brake pads are still thick enough. In the winter, in particular, dirt wears down brake pads more quickly.
- Air: For better grip on slippery surfaces you can reduce the air pressure in the winter. The minimum and maximum air pressure is shown on the sidewalls of the tyres. It's better to err on the side of less air pressure to ensure better ground contact. Check the tyres and wheels regularly, too, for damage and foreign objects, and to see if there is adequate tread depth.
You can find out exactly how to do this and which other parts you should check regularly in this detailed blog with video tutorial.
The perfect time to service your bike
Whether you're putting the bikes to bed for the winter or want to keep riding year-round, the best time for a professional bike inspection is the autumn and winter. When the mercury drops, business slows down in most bike shops, which means they have more capacity available in their workshops.
When your bike is professionally serviced, it is checked for functionality and road safety (in accordance with official traffic regulations). Whether your bike will need a major or minor service depends on the amount of wear on the individual parts. If you have your woom bike checked out just once a year, you should have no qualms about having a major service done.
- Minor bike inspections usually include a check of all screwed connections, the brakes and the gears. In addition, the tyre pressure is checked and tyres topped up with air, while the chain and other moving parts are lubricated. A bike washing is usually not included, so it pays to clean your bike beforehand.
- A major service, includes additional components such as bearings and drive components (the chain, cassette, cranks and bottom bracket). In addition, the bike and various components are cleaned.
|Important: Even if you can't see any obvious safety issues, we advise you to have your bike professionally serviced at least once a year to minimise the risk of an accident. With a well maintained bike your child will not only have more fun riding but also the safety that is so critical for riding in traffic.|
The right winter lodging
Dry and well ventilated spaces are best suited to winter bike storage. If you don't have a protected room, we recommend bundling up the bike with blankets and a tarp to protect it from cold and damp. Tyres like to lose air over the winter. To prevent the rims of your woom bike being damaged from resting on a flat tyre you should pump enough air into the tubes. Occasionally topping up the tyres can't hurt. If you have a woom bike with gears, then shift to the smallest sprocket, in order to relieve undue strain on the drive components.
And what about the woom UP e-mountainbike? With this model, the battery should be treated with special care. It likes warmth, which is why – as is recommended by Fazua, the manufacturer – it should be removed from the bike. Charge up the battery to 60% capacity prior to storage and recheck the level of charge in approximately six months. If the charge is at 20% or less, you should charge the battery back up to 60%. This will ensure that the battery is not damaged and that the full capacity is available.
If you follow these tips your woom bike will make it safely through the winter. And, most importantly, you'll make the bike a safe companion for your child.