How To Care For Your Wheels This Off-Season

Smith Creek Cycle Wheel Maintenance Guide


While we've all enjoyed the late riding season of 2023, some of us are slowly packing away the bikes as the snow flies. To make sure your bike is prepared to rip in the spring, it's best to take an extra look at your bikes condition before tucking it away. Most people take a look at their suspension, drivetrain, and cockpit, but we can't forget about our precious wheelsets. Whether you're rocking some fancy NOBL Wheels, or still sticking it out with your stock wheelsets, it's always key to ensure they are well taken care of. Here are some points to note before your bike ends up sitting for a couple months:

Clean and Degrease

Before storing your bike, initiate the maintenance process by giving your wheels a thorough cleaning. Remove dirt, grime, and debris using a bike cleaner and a soft brush. Don't forget to apply a bike-specific degreaser to the cassette for a smooth and efficient ride when you're back on the road.

Inspect for Wear and Tear

Conduct a detailed inspection of your wheels to identify any signs of wear or damage. Examine the rims for brake pad wear and ensure that the spokes are intact and properly tensioned. Addressing these issues before storage can prevent potential problems and extend the lifespan of your wheels.

Tighten Loose Spokes

The structural integrity of your wheels is crucial, and loose spokes can compromise it. Use a spoke wrench to carefully check and tighten any loose spokes. This simple step contributes to a smoother and safer ride, both immediately and in the long run.

Check and Adjust Hub Bearings

Well-lubricated hub bearings are essential for a smooth ride. Ensure your hub bearings are in good condition and adjust or replace them if necessary. Apply a quality bicycle grease to maintain optimal performance and protect against wear.

True Your Wheels

To reduce unnecessary wear on your bike components, it's essential to true your wheels. Use a spoke wrench to make any necessary adjustments and bring your wheels back into true. This ensures they spin evenly and prolongs the life of your wheels. If you don't have a truing stand, our mechanic's are happy to true your wheels perfectly straight for you.

Inspect and Inflate Tires

Examine your tires for signs of wear, cuts, or cracks. Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure to prevent flat spots during storage. Well-maintained tires will be ready to hit the trail when you are, without the risk of damage. If you're looking to replace your tires, check out our selection of mountain bike tires now!

Protect Against Corrosion

Apply a thin layer of bicycle-specific lubricant to the spoke nipples and the metal parts of the quick-release skewers if applicable. This preventative measure helps prevent corrosion and ensures that your wheels remain in top condition during storage.

Store in a Dry, Controlled Environment

When not in use, store your bike in a cool, dry place to prevent exposure to extreme temperatures and humidity. Consider using a bike cover to shield your wheels from dust and potential scratches/contamination. A controlled environment during storage contributes to the longevity of your bike's components.


By investing time in these preventative maintenance steps, you're not just storing your bike; you're preserving its performance and ensuring a smoother ride when you're back in the saddle. A well-maintained bike is a happy bike, ready to take on new adventures when the cycling season returns. If this seems like a lot, our mechanics are happy to get you set for the spring. What better time than now to get your bike ready and tuned! 

Check out our online booking to get your bike serviced!

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