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  1. #1
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    What does riding in the rain do to my bike, and how do I protect it from water damage

    Is it true I should put petroleum jelly on all bearings to keep water away?

    How do I dry all my bike parts (gears and hard to reach places) so that I don't have to worry about rust!?

    Is it ok to ride in heavy rain?

    I try to avoid riding through very deep puddles that would submerge bast the pedal-bearing but I don't know if pouring rain will hurt my gears and bike.

    It's a 2002 specialized rockhopper comp fsr xc. thanks

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    as long as you keep things lubed and make sure things have dried/been lubed before you put the bike away youll be fine. just up your bike care rountien, a clean bike is a happy bike.

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    Just ride it, nothing is going to happen. Its not a new bike. Ride it in the rain every day, just do regular maintenance on it and you will have no problems.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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  4. #4
    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Just to add to this, petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is just a household product found in most medicine cabinets that may be available to folks who don't have anything like a real lubricant handy. Any grease, oil or spray found in a bike shop would be better.
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    So I should use my chain lubricant rather than smear a nice thick dab of petroleum jelly onto the bearing openings?

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    My bikes became Vintage OLDYELLR's Avatar
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    Sure. Chain lube is specifically designed to displace or repel water, or should be. Petroleum jelly can't hurt, but don't rely on it exclusively.
    1981 Nishiki Ultimate
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  7. #7
    cab horn
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    Go buy some real bearing grease and forget vaseline. Seriously it's like 4 bux.

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    ok, can i get it at places like autozone? any specific kind? just "bearing grease?" and how do I apply it? liberally?
    Last edited by legalize; 05-13-06 at 01:09 PM.

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    Vaseline, or any grease outside the bearings is nothing but a dirt attractor. Don't waste your time or money spreading it there. Proper maintainance requires taking the bearings apart, cleaning the interior and relubing, reassembly and final adjustment. This should be done once or twice a year under road riding conditions and more frequently for off-road riding.

    When you get back from a rainy ride, if the bike is just wet, bounce it on the tires to shake off most of the water, dry the gears and chain with a rag and forget about it. If it's really dirty, hose or sponge off the mud and dirt and then do the above. Do not spray directly on the bearings but otherwise that's all it takes. When the chain is dry, lube it lightly with any decent chain lube (NOT vaseline) and wipe off the excess.

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    When cleaning my chain all I do is wipe it with a rag. But I seem to have trouble getting all of the dirt out. I wish I had some kind of spray bottle with some kind of cleaner in it or something.

    What do you suggest to *clean* the chain before you lube it? I was thinking a toothbrush and some rubbing alchol in a bowl may help...?

    Thanks

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    I clean my chains by removing them, swishing them around in a tray of gasoline, then drying them out using centrifugal force, swinging them around. When the chain is off, hold it up in the middle sideways and if it hangs in a full semicircle, it's worn out and should be replaced. If you don't like breaking the chain or using a connecting link, you could try one of those gadgets you clip on the chain, like this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize
    When cleaning my chain all I do is wipe it with a rag. But I seem to have trouble getting all of the dirt out. I wish I had some kind of spray bottle with some kind of cleaner in it or something.
    Don't agonize over getting the chain spotless. You're not going to eat off of it. Wipe off most of the outside build up and lube it sparingly and it will last a long time.

    I have a rain bike that never gets ridden UNLESS it's raining and the care it gets is like I posted above. It rides well and has endured years of this modest maintainance schedule. Enough is enough.

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    The duda man Knudsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize
    ok, can i get it at places like autozone? any specific kind? just "bearing grease?" and how do I apply it? liberally?
    Mobile 1 grease has two benifits. 1st, it's pinkish-red and you can look at it and see it's contaminated or clean. 2nd it's very, very water resistant. It's twice as expensive, but a $10 tube will last a lifetime for a bike.

    WD40 is an excellent displacer of water after the fact. It also tends to wash off the lubricant, so oiling or greasing the part after spraying is important. It's too thin to do any good on its' own.

    Mobile 1 motor oil works really well to protect bare metal from the elements. Not as a lubricant, but in a place where you want to prevent rust. Wipe on, wipe off and it leaves a nice film. Machinists trick for keeping the ways clean in a humid garage.

    I'm sure chain lube scientists have agonized for years to make their product stand up to nasty road spray. I'll bet you would be hard pressed to find a better lube for a chain than good quaity chain lube.
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    my local bike shop says no to wd 40 they say it is bad because it attracts dirt and i should never use it

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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize
    When cleaning my chain all I do is wipe it with a rag. But I seem to have trouble getting all of the dirt out. I wish I had some kind of spray bottle with some kind of cleaner in it or something.

    What do you suggest to *clean* the chain before you lube it? I was thinking a toothbrush and some rubbing alchol in a bowl may help...?

    Thanks
    Easier way is to get some degreaser, take your chain off (much more convenient if it has a masterlink) put it in a jar and shake. Then rinse and relube.

    You'll never be able to clean the chain rollers without a chain scrubber or by doing the above.

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    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Good thread, still saving for my bike but definitly want to know how to take care of it.

    WD40 is what I always used on my bikes as a kid, so now that I know thats not a good act alone chain/gear lubricant I will stay away from it.

    Still good for breaking up those rusty old bolts and chains.

    Besides the easy outside maintence like the chain, derailer, and sprockets, what is most important to clean and maintain that you cant get to from outside the bike?

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    The duda man Knudsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize
    my local bike shop says no to wd 40 they say it is bad because it attracts dirt and i should never use it
    It makes a good cleaner, not a good lube. All oils attract dust. WD just doesn't stick around very long. If you blast something clean with it, then oil the part, there will be virtually no WD there to attrack dust or be a bad lube, just the oil you added. Squirt some into you LP space heater and it will wake you up
    Super balls ~ tie dye ~ tire tread sandles ~ ziggy stardust ~ keep on truckin' ~ thai stick ~ the long strange trip ~ erector sets ~ curable vd ~ 13 channel tv ~ pong ~ close and play ~ silly putty ~ the buttoneer ~ laugh-in ~ viet nam ~ watergate ~ crazy ikes ~ 8 track tape ~ slinky ~ pet rocks ~ red ball jets ~ the monkees ~ koolaid popsickles ~ the banana splits ~ frisbees ~ twister ~ LSD ~ the hippie dippie weather man, man ~ gi joe with the kung foo grip

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    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    If the chain isnt too dirty, I just get a can (baked bean) of kerosene put the rear chain pulley thing in the can and pedal backwards. Make sure you put rag over the chain stay, kero and dirt falls of the chain. Put rag on the garage floor (kero stains) or do it in the back yard if you dont care about the grass.
    Once its a bit cleaner I use some citrus spray cleaner (for kitchen benchtops) on the chain and other spots. Seems to get rid of the kero and some more dirt. I hose it off and leave it the sun for 1/2 an hour for everything to dry, and prevent rust. Relube everything. Use a rag to clean off excess lube.

    If its really dirty I break the chain and clean it. I dont like breaking the chain because it weakens it.

    How you clean a chain seems to be a personal way to do it. Ive read about heaps of different ways of doing it on this forum. Ive come up with my own way.

  19. #19
    Team Katana 古強者死神's Avatar
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    Soon as I saw kerosene I was thinking the next thing I was going to read was set it on fire...

    I can see how that would sterilize things but that over kill ^^

    Flame' a la biko. fine dining at its best.

    Only problem I see is that it really will strip everything off the chain thus you have to relube it all the way up, when a lesser method may keep you from using so much lube.

  20. #20
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    On my steel-framed Lemond I wrap some black (the bike is black) electrical tape around the stem and seat post to keep the rain from getting in, also tape the breather holes in the chain and seat stays while riding. I take the whole works off when I get out of the wet to let it dry.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bccycleguy
    On my steel-framed Lemond I wrap some black (the bike is black) electrical tape around the stem and seat post to keep the rain from getting in, also tape the breather holes in the chain and seat stays while riding. I take the whole works off when I get out of the wet to let it dry.
    Frame Saver or Amsoil HMD will do a far better job of protecting the frame's interior.

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=mrkott3r]If the chain isnt too dirty, I just get a can (baked bean) of kerosene put the rear chain pulley thing in the can and pedal backwards. Make sure you put rag over the chain stay, kero and dirt falls of the chain. Put rag on the garage floor (kero stains) or do it in the back yard if you dont care about the grass.

    MrKott3r - this is simple & interesting! Reading BF quite awhile, this is unique. With a glass jar the crud will settle out to the bottom of the jar - then screw the cap on for safekeeping. I don't care to spill kero on driveway, patio or lawn - maybe newspapers or cardboard could absorb the drippings. My PC-48 chain comes off in a wink, but still I'd try your method on the fly!

    Peter

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by legalize
    Is it ok to ride in heavy rain?

    I try to avoid riding through very deep puddles that would submerge bast the pedal-bearing but I don't know if pouring rain will hurt my gears and bike.

    It's a 2002 specialized rockhopper comp fsr xc. thanks
    The rain falling from above is reasonably clean, but the spray kicked up by your tires is really nasty. It's contaminated with sand and grit and petroleum residues, and it really does a number on your bike's mechanical parts.

    The most important thing for riding in the rain is a good set of full fenders with a mudflap on the bottom of the front one. I particularly recommend ESGE fenders.

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  24. #24
    Senior Member mrkott3r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 古強者死神
    Soon as I saw kerosene I was thinking the next thing I was going to read was set it on fire...

    I can see how that would sterilize things but that over kill ^^

    Flame' a la biko. fine dining at its best.

    Only problem I see is that it really will strip everything off the chain thus you have to relube it all the way up, when a lesser method may keep you from using so much lube.

    Kero has good cleaning properties. How I see it if its dirty I clean it well. At least I know its got rid of all the crap. I dont have to use too much extra lube, and there isnt too much excess. Anyway lube is cheap!

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