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Old 08-20-08, 08:43 PM   #1
capolover
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Caught in the rain. How soon/much should you grease your chain?

A bit of a mechanic noob here.

Any tips, tricks or opinions?
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Old 08-20-08, 08:57 PM   #2
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I would be more concerned about all the road grit riding around on the
chain. A good cleaning is in order then relube. A look at the bottom
of the down tube and back of the seat tube will give some idea of what
is on the chain.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:25 AM   #3
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I usually hose off the grit and spray some WD-40 on the chain to prevent rusting as soon as I get home then clean it later when I dry out.
I try not to get caught in the rain, not hard in California.
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Old 08-21-08, 07:29 AM   #4
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Dry off the chain, cogs and chainwheels with a dry rag or paper towel as soon as you get home. Then reapply your chain lube.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:11 AM   #5
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I dried off my whole bike... there isn't any real dirt on it that i can tell.

hmmmm.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:23 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capolover View Post
A bit of a mechanic noob here.

Any tips, tricks or opinions?
You don't have to be in a horrible hurry. The bike won't melt and the chain probably won't rust immediately. Depending on the lube you use, you might not even have to reapply. If you use a oily sticky lube you are probably covered for at least one rain storm, maybe more. If you use a dry lube, you'll need to apply pretty quickly after the chain dries out. I would probably not try to apply any thing to a chain that is still dripping water. Get the water out first either by spinning the drivetrain in a dry place or, if you are in a hurry, you could use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to flush the water out. Don't use WD-40 to do that because it leaves behind other problems.

Generally, dry lubes don't offer much water protection but they don't attract sand and grit. Wet lubes offer much better water protection but they attract grit and sand that then grinds the chain down faster.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:30 AM   #7
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Chains and cassettes don't immediately rust and won't fall apart with rain. cyccomute offers good advice especially the part about don't use WD-40. Just wait for the chain to dry and apply some lube. Ocasionally I forget to apply lube. If my chain needs it, I can tell before I've gone a block.

The only downside to riding in rain is the water and road grime causes more frequent repacking of wheel bearings, bottom brackets, and headsets.
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Old 08-21-08, 08:32 AM   #8
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If you're bike has been properly maintained and lubed a ride in the rain isn't much of a big deal. When you get home wipe off the frame with some soft terry towels to remove water and grit. While you're at it, wipe down the wheels. Take your chain lube and really saturate the chain with it then take a rag and hold it to the chain while you pedal the cranks backwards by hand. By flushing the chain and removing as much of the lube from the chain as you can you're taking away a lot of the grit and water. When you're done apply a normal amount of lube and you're good.

Mike
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Old 08-21-08, 08:34 AM   #9
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If I get caught in a bad rain, I'll usually try to clean and re-lube my chain before the next ride. I use Finish Line wax lube, so it washes away pretty easily. Just use an old rag and spin the chain through it until you get most of the old lube and gunk off, then re-apply fresh lube and wipe away the excess.

Depending on how much you ride and the particular type of lube you use, you may need to clean and re-apply it fairly frequently. I just keep an eye on mine and try to service them when they start looking dirty. It seems like I'm usually re-lubing either my single or the tandem at least once every couple of weeks, and during high mileage periods, I sometimes need to do one or the other every week.
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Old 08-21-08, 09:51 AM   #10
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When I'm caught in the rain I use simple green and a toothbrush and rag to clean it. Then I use a Jet hose to flush out more grit and the simple green residue. Then I dry it off with a rag and relub with chainsaw bar oil, backpedal a few minutes then wipe off the excess. Takes 20 min.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:45 AM   #11
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Living in London I seem to get caught in the rain quite a bit. but then i did in Sydney a lot as well. Commuting every day it does happen.

I'm lazy so my bike is dirty.
I know that technically I 'should' wipe it down but, meh....there's beers in the fridge that need drinking.

As for chains - I just put some more of that fancy chain lube on it when it starts to squeak. independent of the rain... - i don't get all this anal retentive **** people go on with - its just a bike.
eventually you will need to replace the chain. not worrying about it makes riding much more enjoyable.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:45 AM   #12
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Hey, an electric toothbrush with an oversized brush end!!

A Water Pik filled with Simple Green to water jet out stubborn particles.

Finally, a dental flossing.

Don't tell your wife.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:12 PM   #13
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I can't bring myself to use a water based cleaner on my chain and cassette/chain rings. So I use the dreaded WD-40 as a chain cleaner/solvent every 500 miles, let it dry for several hours and then followup with a fresh lube job using ProLink Gold.

I don't know how chains are supposed to wear, but after 3200+ miles on it, the LBS measured my chain the other day and said it still checks as new. FWIW.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:47 PM   #14
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I throw my bike in the living room and ride it tomorrow.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:57 PM   #15
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If it was ridden in enough rain, the chain is probably already relatively clean. Simply lube with oil. Any oil, even wd40. Doesn't really matter. The most important thing at this point is to keep rust at bay.
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