Cyclocross season is over. If you’re repurposing your bike or parts, you might want to take a minute to make sure you’ve covered all the bases. If you’re going to store the bike until next September, put it away all ready to go for next year. You’ll be glad you did.
1) Cyclocross tires are a lot bigger than road tires. 700×28-32cm inner tubes aren’t meant to play nice with 700x23cm tires. If you’re going to use your ‘cross wheels for road duty, take the knobbies off and put them in a box along with all your big tubes. A set of tires is easily good for more than one season, and you’ll be grateful that you didn’t let different sized tubes co-mingle next time you’re fixing a flat by the side of the road in 35 degree rain.
2) Those wheels you just removed the tires from? Clean them. The braking surfaces are probably disgusting from the last race you started… and not just ugly. The dirt will act like sandpapger and eat away at your braking surfaces, shortening the lifespan of your wheels, very quickly. A good cleaning will also clear debris away from the bearings.
3) Your chain, chainrings, and cassette wear-in together. Change the ‘cross chainrings out for road versions and be sure to swap the chain and cassette, too. You’ll enjoy better, more consistent shifting by not mixing it all up, and the components will last longer, too. Besides, you don’t need an 11/28 cassette on the road.
Seriously, you don’t.
4) The cables and housings that you raced on all season are filthy. Although you may have invested in a nice sealed setup while you were getting ready for 2010, annual replacement is cheap insurance for consistent, effective functionality. And you can make pretty color-matchings. If you don’t want to buy new cables now, pull the old ones off to remind yourself to do it later.
5) Your bike is filthy. Clean it. A clean bike is a good bike… and it’s a lot easier to find potential trouble spots when they’re not caked in a layer of mud.