“Periodically clean your bike and oil your chastity belt, Chastity.”
Each year, after National championships, the Tour de France or World’s, take some time to do simple maintenance that will make your gear last longer.
1) Rotate your bottle cages
– Your front bottle cage on the downtube receives more use, just by its ease of access. Move your front cage to the back and the back forward. You can also clean and grease the bolts while you are at it.
2) Clean your helmet pads and straps
– Helmet pads are removeable and should be cleaned at least weekly (a little mild soap and water is all that you need), but your straps are not as easily cleaned. Suspend the helmet over a bowl of water (large mixing bowl) and allow the straps to sit in the water for 10 minutes. Osmosis will remove the salt and a light wipe down with remove surface grime. Refrain from using caustic chemicals (magic-eraser pads, benzene), as the chemicals may leach and irritate your face.
3) Clean your bottles or replace them
– Most bottles have removeable valves or nipples. Take yours apart and clean them up. If your bottles are looking worn or are over 1 year old, time to replace them. UV light degrades plastic. Filth gets trapped in valves.
4) Clean your brake track, gently
– Use an old tooth brush and some rubbing alcohol to scrub the schmutz from your rim brake track. Don’t use detergent and don’t use anything harder than a tooth brush. You may damage your wheel.
5) Clean your shoes and check your cleats
– Wipe down the outside, remove the insole and throw it in the wash, and if you have natural leather shoes consider taking them to the cobbler for a cleaning. Check your cleats for wear and make sure the bolts are on tight.