Autumn is in full swing! The last few weeks, we all heard the unmistakable sound of crackling acorns under our tires. The coming weeks will be dominated by roads packed with of leaves. Of course that's no reason stow away your bike, on the contrary! Despite the often strong winds, autumn is good time for riding. Of course it rains more often than in the other seasons, but normally it's not too cold and the roads are nice and quiet. The gear however, does suffer quite a bit more. How do you make sure your bike is ready?
You prefer to start autumn with a clean slate. So you clean your bike from head to toe. Take off that crankset and make sure everything in this region is clean. Don't forget to clean your quick-release skewers as well. They cause creaking noises very quickly. The springs (which you don't have to assemble by the way) are easy to clean with compressed air (you don't have a compressor, compressed air also comes in spray cans).
Especially the lower head bearing picks up a lot of water and dirt in the autumn. It's a good idea to disassemble the headset completely and (if necessary) re-grease the bearings internally. The most important thing, however, is to grease the lower bearing well from the outside in order to keep water away. Ideally you should use (sticky) marine grease for this, but ordinary bearing grease will also do the trick.
This is one of those jobs that many cyclists often postpone, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Remove your seatpost, clean it and reassemble it. This makes sure it doesn't get stuck. By the way, this also applies to your pedals. Loosen them, clean the thread, put grease on the thread and reassemble them. Don't over tighten, since you're automatically tightening hem while pedalling.
This is also the moment to install those cheap aluminum training wheels. Maybe it's mentally awkward, but the better it is get your show ponies out of the stable again when spring starts! Of course, wheels also include the tires. Check the tires. Are they worn out, but can they last for a while? Then change front and rear. Best rubber always in the back! Choosing a size wider will not hurt in autumn and winter.
It's a good idea to check the most crucial bolts. Think of the bolts that holds the saddle and handlebars in place, the bolts of the bottle cages and possibly the seatpost. The last thing you want is is to get stuck with colder weather.