Post CX season: ride it hard but DO NOT put it away wet

Ming Tran and soap

Now that cyclocross season has ended for most of us, there’s a temptation to shove the equipment into a dank corner of the garage until the first cool day of the waning summer reminds us of next cross season. But rather than give the corrosion gremlins 8 months to gnaw at the entrails of your cx warhorse, why don’t you give your bike a post-season cleaning and tune? You say it’s too cold and shitty outside for you to be motivated to get cold, wet, and dirty washing the filth off you bike? No worries; take the bike to your LBS. Their mechanics are probably working well below capacity in this winter deadzone of cycling activity. It would be better to have them service the bike now than waiting until the hubbub leading up to Labor Day weekend. Even if you plan to upgrade parts later, it’s a really good idea to have the bike stripped down now, the water drained out of the BB, and fresh grease applied. If you had some sort of mechanical issues late in the season but didn’t want to deal with it since there were “only a couple races left”, deal with it now while you still recall exactly what was wrong. Unless you have the money or sponsorship to just replace everything at the beginning of next season, it will be cheaper to deal with problems now before they fester.

CX shoes, one thoroughly cleaned and treated

While you’re dealing with bikes and wheels, you may want to clean and inspect your shoes as well. Clean the dirt off and make sure they are properly dry before storing them. I washed mine in mild soap, then dried them in front of a floor fan to prevent mould. Then I cleaned them with Kiwi saddle soap on a dampened rag and treated the Lorica with a conditioner. Are the cleats worn? How about pulling the mounting screws, cleaning/regreasing them?

CX shoes rusty bolts

Metal seatposts in metal frames should be cleaned and greased. Headsets (even most cartridge bearing types) should be inspected and cleaned. Many tubular tires require specific maintenance such as draining sealant or treating sidewalls. Consider having your hubs overhauled.

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