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Old 05-18-06, 05:12 PM   #1
seanpmurray
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Rain Protection: Riding Through Monsoons

I am touring Southeast Asia during monsoon season. I would appreciate any suggetsions on keeping the bike--midlevel aluminum frame, carbon fork, 105s--running smoothly during the trip. Thank you.
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Old 05-19-06, 04:58 PM   #2
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You're all wet....

Some original info ... some stolen:

POST-RAIN MAINTENANCE:

Stolen:
Quote:
For my non-winter bikes, that still see some rainy days, I usually do the above more of a wash with soap, and I'll pop the chain off and clean it thoroughly in solvent and then lube/install (use a Wipperman). I will at a minimum pop the bolt out of the cable guide underneath the BB shell to let water drain, and possibly pull the seatpost to drain the seat tube. However, I use aluminum posts and I grease the seat tube liberally so I usually only do this after a few rainy rides. If I used a carbon post or carbon frame and could not use grease, I would pull the post every rainy ride. Trek OCLV frames are notorious for having seat tubes full of water after riding in the rain.

On your machine, the Bontrager wheels have sealed hubs. Not much to do but wait until the bearings fail, I mean, they can't be serviced. If you want to be thorough, clean the cassette by either "flossing it with a rag" or take it off and scrub it. When washing, don't spray water directly at the hubs or bottom bracket. Ditto with the King HS, but that sucker will withstand a lot of wet riding with no maintenance. I would definitely drain the BB shell as described above, drain the water from the rims, and also clean off your brake pads when you have the wheels out of the frame.
My $0.02: For all of the arguments about WD-40, very few people argue with this: The "WD" stands for Water Displacement. It does a great job of blowing water our of cables, derailleurs, chains, shifters, ... anything that DOES NOT HAVE GREASE in it (bottom brackets, hubs, & headsets, for example). You can fairly well hose a bike down with WD, then relube what needs relubing. If you're really in the soup, though, count on frequently cleaning and re-packing your bearings (above listed parts) with fresh, waterproof grease (lubriplate marine bearing ... or equivalent ... grease).
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Old 05-19-06, 05:08 PM   #3
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A monsoon is a seasonal wind brought on by a land-ocean temperature gradient. Monsoons bring rain inland. Get it straight

As for your question, get fenders and be sure everything is greased with thick grease. This year we are in a mild la nina, so there is a good chance that the rain/flooding will be especially heavy.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by genericbikedude
A monsoon is a seasonal wind brought on by a land-ocean temperature gradient. Monsoons bring rain inland. Get it straight

As for your question, get fenders and be sure everything is greased with thick grease. This year we are in a mild la nina, so there is a good chance that the rain/flooding will be especially heavy.

In all seriousness (difficult for me, at best) ... if we're really talking about a torrential downpour ... think fenders are worth anything? They may be. I've never had 'em. I'm just thinking about driving sheets of rain, and whether the fenders are--in that case--really substantively keeping BB, rider, or anything else materially drier....

Thoughts?
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Old 05-19-06, 05:16 PM   #5
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not drier, just making sure that only water, and not crud from the road, hits the drivetrain.

rainpants are good too.
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Old 05-19-06, 05:20 PM   #6
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Good point.

As to all the rain clothes ... the few times that I was dumb enough to go out in a downpour ... a) I took my MTB, and b) I just wore bike shorts and a long-sleeved jersey. As many people say: if it's waterproof enough to keep you dry ... you'll fill it up with sweat from the inside.

As always, YMMV.....
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Old 05-19-06, 06:22 PM   #7
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In an downpour, the only thing that will keep you dry is a roof. Fenders help a lot in light rain and with wet roads and they do keep the solid crud off the bike and your legs.
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Old 05-19-06, 07:02 PM   #8
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Fenders and a front mudflap do a lot to cut down on drivetrain maintenance. With them, my bottom bracket remains clean for a few years, even though I ride year round. It also allows me to use wet lube -- even grease during a salty winter -- on the chain without it becoming thick with crud.

Apart from that, I would suggest wet lube or a tiny bit of grease on cables especially when they go in housings. I also grease all the threads of bolts I installed, including the spokes of the wheels I build, so they are removable after a few years of exposure to the elements.

Finally, I tend to put a bit of oil or grease in recessed bolts that hold water and I "wash" my bike with WD-40. It adds a light coat of water dispersing agent that seems to keep the paint in relatively good shape, yet it's clean to my clothes.
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Old 05-20-06, 08:48 AM   #9
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Make sure all the threads/seatpost/stem are greased as neccessary
Coat frame and exposed bolt heads/cables in a car wax.
Ensure that hubs and headset are packed full pf quality grease. New Shimano hubs are notorious for skimpy applications of grease. If you have cartridge bearing hubs then ask someone else....
Consider upgrading your bottom bracket to a better one. The ultegra-quality ones have better seals.
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