Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
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It depends a bit on your bike, how bad a storm, how long, and also on things like your choice of chain lube. (truth in advertizing, I make chain lube so consider the source as you read this.
First, consider that except for some "primadonna" bikes at the high end, bikes are vehicles intended for use outdoors, and should handle moderate (and maybe severe) rainfall with no ill effects. If bearing seals are in good shape, and excluding leather saddles most of your bike is fairly weatherproof. Bring it indoors and let it drip dry, and you should be OK.
The one area of concern is the chain. Some chain lubes don't resist rain well and if left wet the chain could start to rust. For these, wiping it dry is the minimum, or possibly using WD-40 to be followed by a proper lube might make sense. Other chain lubes have proven ability to shed rain and you'll see it beaded up on the lubed surface, and therefore don't need to worry.
IMO the key to after rain bike care is what was done before the rain. Keeping key areas properly lubed, making sure seals are intact, touching up scratches in steel frames, and other good basic maintenance will make your bike take to rain like a duck.
An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.
“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin
“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions”
- Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN
WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance