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  1. #1
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    Bike maintenance and usage for rainy season

    Now that I am really getting into building up and maintaining my bike, I am trying to plan ahead for the upcoming rainy season. I live in Davis CA and the winters here can be extremely rainy! First, let me say that I don't do long commutes in the rain. The longest I would have to ride my bike while raining would be 1 - 2 miles.

    Here are some of the questions I have:

    What components (besides chain) need 'extra' maintenance?
    How often is it necessary to re-grease the chain and other components?
    Do other people ride there bikes with higher end components during the rainy season? If so, what is your maintenance schedule like?
    Is it just a bad idea in general to ride a quality bike in the rain, consistently?

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Fenders, if you can. They'll cut down on the "extra" stuff you'd otherwise need to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  3. #3
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    I ride in the rain and winter slop a lot and don't really feel that a lot of "extra"
    maintenance is necessary. I clean my chain with mineral spirits and use gear
    oil, I "borrow" both from my work

    How often is dictated by how much and how long you ride in the rain. Since I
    use a "heavier" lube, I may not have to lube my chain even after a few rainy
    rides on my one and half hour one way commute.

    I think some folks don't ride in the rain not because they have high end
    components, they just don't like riding in the rain period.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hheUc-zlfiM&feature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9-KvGdYfps&feature=plcp
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfc...hannel&list=UL

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Davis is flat, and you only go 2 miles , a beach cruiser with mudguards will be fine.

    save the nice bike for the next Double Century ride , next year.

    less likely to be stolen on campus too, if that is where you Go every day.

  5. #5
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DScience View Post
    What components (besides chain) need 'extra' maintenance?
    All of them. Wash/dry/lube bike often.

    Quote Originally Posted by DScience View Post
    How often is it necessary to re-grease the chain and other components?
    I never grease chain, just oil it. Triflow in derailer/brake pivots often. Repack hubs/bb a couple times a year if a lot of rain riding is done.

    Quote Originally Posted by DScience View Post
    Is it just a bad idea in general to ride a quality bike in the rain, consistently?
    If it's something really fancy, like with a $300-1000 rear derailer, for instance then yeah, it might be a bad idea unless you're really rich. Time to get a $200 or cheaper beater for the winter, much more cost effective.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  6. #6
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Davis is flat, and you only go 2 miles , a beach cruiser with mudguards will be fine.
    +1. I missed the obvious solution here.

    Hell, 1-2 miles is so short you could just walk it and bring an umbrella when that scary California "winter" hits.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  7. #7
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Some more additional info, my bike is a 2009 FUJI Newest 2009.
    I ride about 7 - 8,000 miles a year. After about 6 months of use,
    I switched to Velocity Deep V wheels, the original Alex rear wheel
    kept popping spokes - I was over 200 lbs. at the time. This month
    I changed wheels again to Mavic Aksium - I weight 180 now .
    Earlier this year I had to change to original FSA bottom bracket.
    Other than these components; my bike pretty much still has most of
    it's original components. For the parts that I had to replace, I don't
    know how much riding in the rain contributed to their wear. Rims wear
    out eventually rain or not, especially in hilly areas. The front(Tiagra)
    and rear(105) derailers are original to the bike. Of course I routinely
    change wear items - pads, chain, cassette, cables, housings.


    HUDSON RIVER, NYC by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

  8. #8
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Quality bikes don't have much exposed steel that can rust, so intermittent use in the rain isn't going to hurt them. Park the bike indoors so it is dry most of the time. I have a fan running in my garage, thinking it helps my bike dry off a bit faster, no proof of that.

    Exposed steel, like where paint has chipped off a steel frame, can get rusty, but touchup paint or even clear nail polish protects it. Sprockets are steel so I spray mine w/ WD-40 every week or so. Chains are steel but a good lube keeps them unrusted and a thick lube won't wash off in the rain, I use Chain-L. I also stick the WD-40 spray tube into frame vent holes to do the lazy man's framesaver. Older bikes can have steel nuts and bolts that aren't stainless, I give those a bit of WD-40 every week or so. WD-40 is a Water Displacer, even though people wrongly think it should be used as a lubricant.

    The main issue with rain is that the bike gets filthy with road grit. Brake pads and rims wear faster, chains and sprockets too. I hose my bike off before putting it in the garage, and every month or so I spray it down with Simple Green, sponge off the worst areas, hose it down. Sometimes I use the power washer. Just don't direct the stream at bearings, etc.

    Obviously, leather saddles need to be protected.

    I live in Portland OR and ride to work every day, about 1/2 hour a day. It rains more than half the year here. My bikes don't show any signs of being hurt by the rain, except for the wear items mentioned.
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