Bicycle Mechanics - Exposure to the elements
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10-15-10, 11:06 AM
I ride my new Cannondale C-5 Synapse a lot. Usually on A1A in Florida..right along the beach.
I noticed the other day that all my spokes, front and rear, are pitting and rusting on the leading
edge as well as some corrosion where the spokes join the rims and the hubs.
Do I have to clean/wash my bike after each ride? Is there a wheel construction that
is more resistant to the elements than what I have?
I love to ride and hate to clean but is cleaning what I am stuck with?
10-15-10, 11:17 AM
Essentially nothing is impervious to salt. You will need to hose off your bike regularly.
10-15-10, 11:24 AM
If I lived by the sea, there would be plenty of washing and waxing.
There's always aerospokes ;)
Back to seriousness, there are some nice wheels with less metal in their construction that might hold up better if you're not into washing and waxing.
10-15-10, 01:47 PM
Or buy these. ;)
10-15-10, 02:00 PM
If you solve the pitting of spokes and rims,
you will still have problems with the chainrings.
After you solve the pitting of the chainrings,
you will have problems with the derailleurs and cassette.
My guess is you need to regularly wash your bike.
10-15-10, 04:00 PM
Yeah. Or change and rebuild things more often (especially the steel stuff). Or ride more inland?
10-15-10, 04:13 PM
Just got back from a 45'er on the beach road, put it in the stand and washed it off like a good boy. Some damage is already done but I'll try and keep it arrested at this point. Good excuse to upgrade wheel set in the future!!
10-15-10, 04:45 PM
You could also apply Boeshield T-9 to your wheels and other affected components. According to the mfr, it penetrates the pores of metal surfaces, adds a wax-like layer of protection, and dissolves minor corrosion.
Saltwater anglers frequently use T-9 on their expensive reels and rod components. It should add another layer of protection since salt supposedly begins corroding unprotected metal when the water molecules evaporate. Ideally, soap or no soap, I'd want to rinse my bike well immediately after exposing it to a salty environment.
10-16-10, 05:48 AM
I am in the marine business and have T-9 on my shelf. It works great but I was concerned about leaving a film on the metal that will attract and hold dirt..maybe I'll try it though. I sprayed the wheels with a light silicone after washing and wiped it down, careful not to get any on the braking surface.
My BMW GS has lots of miles on it, I ride the Fl coast with it and never wash or clean it in any way and there is not one spot of rust or corrosion on it. Wish my bike could do that.
10-16-10, 09:38 AM
When I lived by the coast I would ride along the seafront in storms and get salt spray all over my old steel road bike.
I used to smear the spokes with a greasy rag for protection. It does pick up a bit of fine dirt but doesnt rust.
I never bothered with a post-ride clean since the bike lived outdoors 24/7.
Keep an eye on the seatpos, stem and pedal threads, they need to be greased to avoid seizing or better still use copper anti-seize.
10-17-10, 02:41 AM
Another vote for Boeshield.
10-17-10, 09:20 PM
Something that dries to a bit of a waxy finish is something that you could then clean off the braking tracks with relative ease.
I was going to suggest a car "hot wax" spray. Easy to apply since it goes on with a few waves of the high pressure cleaning wand as part of a wash and wax. Just to be sure to avoid any high pressure on the various bearing seals stand well back and "rain" the stuff onto the bike.
I have no idea if this will be enough to protect it much with a salt in the air type of climate such as Florida but it may be worth a try.
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