Five easy tips to prep your bike for fall

By: Daniel Benner, Team Lead of WinSport’s Rental Shop and certified bike technician.

After riding all summer, it’s now the time of the year to get our last few rides in for the season. Whether you’re hitting the streets or trails, there are some quick and easy checks you can perform right at home to help make your last rides safe and maintenance-free.

Daniel Benner, Team Lead of WinSport’s Rental Shop, inspects wheel alignment in the WinSport Tech Shop. The shop is open for full tunes until November 1 and guarantees a three-day turnaround.
Daniel Benner, Team Lead of WinSport’s Rental Shop, inspects wheel alignment in the WinSport Tech Shop. The shop is open for full tunes until November 1 and guarantees a three-day turnaround.


1. Check tire pressure

Correct tire pressure is essential to a smooth, safe ride and will prevent damage to the rims.

2. Lube chain

Since the chain is a moving mechanical part, it’s important to keep it well lubricated to increase its lifespan. Simply apply the lube recommended by your bike’s manufacturer and apply it to the chain while rotating your pedals backwards. Next, wipe off any excess lubricant which will prevent dust and debris build-up.

3. Observe brakes

If there is squeaking or other unusual noises, bring the bike into our tech shop for servicing. The noise could be a result of contaminated brake pads. Keep in mind that when you bring the bike out of winter storage next year, the noise could be a result of dust collection.

4. Check suspension

If the suspension isn’t functioning properly, bring it to our shop and our technicians can refill the shock absorbers with air. Pay special attention to the suspension when you bring it out of winter storage next year as air can slowly release from your bike’s suspension when it has been sitting for several months.

5. Check tire alignment

It’s always a good idea to make sure your wheels are properly aligned and secured tightly to the forks, especially if you’ve taken the tires off for travel or if you’ve stored it over your summer vacation. Once you’ve made your checks, make sure the wheels spin freely.

Bike tunes should take place every 200-300 bike riding hours.

Whether you’re riding hard or leisurely, bikes will need lubrication reapplied and adjustments to both gear and brake tension. Performing this type of service will prevent breakdowns, extend the overall life of the parts and make your ride safer.

Daniel Benner and his team of certified technicians are located at the WinSport Tech Shop in the Frank King Day Lodge. Services include complete bike tune-ups including an inspection and tune of the frame and forks, wheels, brakes, drive train, lube and cleaning. Our technicians can also perform specific repairs to hubs, headsets and perform bottom bracket repacks, wheel truing and brake bleeding. 

Another successful season wraps up at Haig Glacier

This summer, 48 athletes from Alberta, B.C. and Ontario trained on the Haig Glacier’s five kilometres of groomed trails.

By: Mike Norton, Manager of Sport Operations, Haig Glacier

WinSport’s Haig Glacier was once again bustling this summer with athletes training in cross-country and biathlon.

The seasonal training camp located in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park has five kilometres of groomed trails to provide on-snow summer training for athletes.

Unique for its remoteness, high altitude of 2,400 metres above sea level and snow coverage in the summer months, “The Haig,” as many call it, is arguably Canada’s premier location for cross- country and biathlon athletes to train in the summer.

Snow in the summer
For serious Nordic athletes, the Haig provides an amazing on-snow training venue without having to travel to European glaciers or down to New Zealand for their winter. Aside from being on snow in the summer, athletes also come for the higher altitude where the air contains less oxygen and creates a competitive advantage when competing at lower elevations.

This summer, 48 athletes trained over 60 days. Most of the athletes were from Alberta and British Columbia, with six coming from Ontario’s national development program. A total of 848 athlete nights were spent at the Haig, which aside from the groomed trails, has three buildings – a kitchen, coach and staff meeting space and a bunkhouse divided in half to accommodate male and female athletes. This summer provided optimal training conditions for the athletes as it was unusually cool and was highlighted by a 20 centimetre dump in July!

Youth training

The site at Haig Glacier includes a kitchen, coach and staff meeting space and a bunkhouse.
The site at Haig Glacier includes a kitchen, coach and staff meeting space and a bunkhouse.

Though the site is primarily used by Olympic-calibre athletes, those aren’t the only people who have traditionally trained at the Haig. It also provides a great experience for younger kids to train where they can get a summer camp experience in a remote setting with gorgeous views. Over a week, it’s a great opportunity to bond with their team and strengthen their friendships.

Rich history

Officially opening as a training facility in 1996, the Haig Glacier has a rich history that keeps building year after year. Everyone has been to the Haig – you look at all the current Olympians and many of them have been there. It has such a history and it’s rumoured that people actually started camping and training here back in the 1980s, well before the buildings were even constructed.

Since it’s only accessible by helicopter, the Haig’s remoteness has resulted in some interesting tales from those who have stayed at the camp. There are a lot of stories associated with intense weather storms as well as  equipment and supplies dropping off of helicopters on the ride up – but it all just adds to the overall unique experience and the great story about the Haig.