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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 07-12-10, 09:33 PM   #1
Phydiox
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Caught in the rain...now what?

Okay,my bad. I knew it was gonna rain and went riding anyway. now what? do i let my bike drip dry, take the air hose to it. WD-40 the gears? hair dryer? any suggestions?
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Old 07-12-10, 10:15 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:37 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Phydiox View Post
Okay,my bad. I knew it was gonna rain and went riding anyway. now what? do i let my bike drip dry, take the air hose to it. WD-40 the gears? hair dryer? any suggestions?
If it was really pouring out, you might want to consider removing the seat post and hanging the bike upside down as a "just in case" measure. Water may or may not be pooling inside the frame at the bb shell.
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Old 07-12-10, 10:40 PM   #4
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Thanks! Its a carbon frame with all alloy parts,EXCEPT for the chain and derailleur springs.oops,and cables. but i keep everythang well lubed. actualy more worried about the seat and bar tape.
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Old 07-12-10, 11:36 PM   #5
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I'm a little anal retentive when it comes to after rain care. I will usually rip the whole bike apart and dry everything off that way; minus the drivetrain. I wouldn't worry to much about your saddle and bar tape. I used to run Brooks Leather bar tape on my bars and after a wet ride, I would let it dry and use a good leather cream on it, but if your bar and saddle are non-leather you really don't need to worry about it much.

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Old 07-13-10, 06:56 AM   #6
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Phydiox, One byproduct of riding in the rain is all of the grit that comes with the road spray. If you have sealed wheel hubs, pedals and bottom bracket an old toothbrush is good to clean around the outside edge of the seal. I don't suggest a paper towel as that may push the grit into the seal. WD40 and a toothbrush is good to clean the drivetrain (FD, chainring, chain, RD and rear gears). Lube the chain and ride the bike for a couple of miles as soon as it's dry out.

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