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Big goals, like taking part in a Gran Fondo, are fantastic motivators to keep you fit and on your bike. Physical preparation for long rides is obviously essential. It is just as important, however, to get your bicycle in race ready condition too. Read on to find out more about caring for your bike ahead of a Gran Fondo.

Train for Success 

Get out on the bike and enjoy the process of building up fitness and form for your big race day. Riding the bike, you intend to race on will help you not only become physically conditioned to long hours on it, but it will also help you get to know the signs of when your bike is not running as smooth and efficiently as you would like. Keep it well looked after throughout your training schedule; washing it regularly, keeping the chain lubricated and regularly checking the state of your disc or rim brake pads.

Use leads to wear and tear. Regular use, while training for a Gran Fondo will speed up this process. Chains and cables stretch, cassette and chain ring teeth wear down, tires bald, and brake pads rub away with the friction of braking. Cable and chain stretch are two of the more common maintenance issues you will face. Learning how to perform minor adjustments, in order to fine-tune how crisply your gears shift, will save you trips to the bike shop. That being said, your bike will need a service before race day.

Caring for your bike ahead of a Gran Fondo

SHIMANO Knowledge Base:

  • Learn more about why it is important to care for your bike
  • Know the seven factors which effect the frequency with which your bike will need to be serviced

Pre-Race Maintenance

Schedule your bike for a service, with a SHIMANO Dealer, well in advance and book it in at least a week before the Gran Fondo. If there are any serious concerns, for example a worn cassette which will need replacing, rather schedule the service for two weeks before the race. This gives the bike shop the time to source parts, should they not have the requisite SHIMANO Original Part in stock. If your bike only needs a pre-race fine tuning a week before will suffice.

The mechanic should run through the entire bike, ensuring that each component is working well in unison with its associated parts. Along with setting the gears and brakes, if necessary, your bike’s bearings, like those in the bottom bracket, may need to be greased or lubricated. If any replacement parts are required to get your bike race ready ensure that the worn components are replaces with SHIMANO Original Parts. This is help ensure that your bike continues to function smoothly, as SHIMANO components are designed to work as a wholistic system, especially when it comes to the various parts of your drivetrain or the callipers and brake pads.

Caring for your bike ahead of Gran Fondo

E-Bike Factors to Consider

Remember that E-Bikes tend to wear through drivetrain components and brake pads faster than conventional bikes, this is both because of the increased power being delivered through the drivetrain and the extra weight the brakes are required to bring to a stop. Along with a regular service ensure that your E-Bike motor is functioning well and that your battery is holding its charge. If you intend to ride with a range extending battery, do long training rides with the range extender connected. This will enable you to detect any problems in the motor and batteries well enough in advance to get the problem components serviced or replaced.

Packing Check List:

Making a packing check list is a good idea, especially if you tend to be forgetful. You don’t want to arrive at the race registration only to discover you have forgotten your helmet, shoes or E-Bike charging cable.

Download your packing list (PDF)
Caring for your bike ahead of a Gran Fondo

Tapering Towards Race Day

Once your bike has been serviced and you have begun your physical taper towards the Gran Fondo it is important to get all things you’ll need for the event together. Pack your kit bag in advance and ensure that you have the correct apparel for the weather you will be facing during the race. Also double check your on-the-bike spares and tools; ensure that your spare tube isn’t punctured, that your mini tool has the torx and hex keys you may need to fix a mechanical, that your CO2 regulator or pump are in good working order and that you have CO2 cartridges if needed.

The day before leaving for the race take your bike out for a last ride to ensure everything is in good working order. Then wash your bike thoroughly and lubricate the chain. If you are flying to the race or otherwise need to put your bike in a bike bag to transport it, pack it carefully ensuring no parts that may move in transit are able to rub against each other.

Pre-Race Check

On the morning of race day do a final run through every component, ensuring that your bike was reassembled properly especially if you took wheels, pedals or handlebars off to transport it. Check your tire pressure and go for a short ride to run through the gears and test the brakes.

Do a final check to ensure you have the spares and tools you will need should you have a puncture or a mechanical, as well as your race day nutrition in your pockets. Then go out there and have a great time. The hard work you put in, both in training and getting your bike well prepared, will ensure that rather than stressing about your bike you can simply focus on the ride.

Post-Race Routines

After your Gran Fondo get your bike washed, preferably before travelling home. Packing a dirty bike in a bike bag can lead to the frame being scratched by the grit or dirt being rubbed between the frame and the bag’s fastening straps.

When you get home, do not hang your bike up in the garage until the next big race. Go out and ride it! That’s why you care for your bike, after all, so that it’s always in the best possible condition.

Caring for your bike ahead of a Gran Fondo

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