As seasons change, it’s always a good time to give your bike a solid inspection. If you’re like most of us, and only use your fat bike in the winter time you’ll want to dust it off before the snow flies, and be prepared.
Let’s start with a clean bike. We generally recommend a quick rinse with a hose, then start wiping things down with clean rags. Get everything except the drivetrain nicely dried then give your chain and cassette a spray with your favorite degreaser. We’re big fans of Finish line Super bike wash because it is safe for all surfaces of your bike including carbon. Once your drivetrain is cleaned and degreased it’s time to put on a fresh coat of lubricant. For winter riding, we recommend Muc-Off -50 Chain lube because it’s ideal for cold winter conditions and is suitable for, chains, cables, shifters, pedals, and cleats.
Now that your bike is clean and lubed we can give everything a visual inspection. The welds are all looking good. Usually, any clunks, grinds or rattles can indicate something wrong. Hunt those down and fix them properly. You do not want to be walking or carrying your bike out of the woods on a winter ride, or be the buffoon in the group whose bike is constantly breaking down.
Let’s talk a walk through your bike now. This is where decisions need to be made on who will fix what. As a general rule of thumb we recommend at the very least having a qualified mechanic guide you through any of these steps for your first time.
We recommend a few key tools to have in your quiver. You’ll want a good sharp set of allen-keys, a good biodegradable degreaser, chain lube and some rags. We strongly recommend having your own torque wrench. It will more than pay for itself in the long run. We recommend the Park Tool ATD-1 or TW-5.2 for a wider range of torque settings and arguably superior tool.