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  1. #1
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    Do you not ride in the rain? Rust.. Headsets.. BBs..

    If you're in the rain on an 80s road bike, do you have to take all this stuff apart and re-grease it after?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Define "rain". Dripping faucet? Niagara falls?

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    I ride in the rain,,you dont have to take the entire thing apart cause you rode in the rain.

    Your chain needs to be lubed often,,so after one time in the rain,,you could lube it once it drys.

    Grease drys up and thickens with time, one time in the rain isnt going to change that.

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    Grease "cures"? How long?

    I'll need more information if I'm going to prevent rust from damaging a bike.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Unless you leave a bike outside in the rain and never care for it, it's not going to rust into oblivion because you ride in the rain on occasion.

    My ol scwhinn le tour sat outside exposed to the elements for 3 months without any attention and it's not rusted to heck.. and it got rained on quite a bit in the past month or so. There is minor rust on the chain but I will take my chain lube/cleaner to it and a paper towel to clean it up.

    I don't panic about the slightest bit of rust though. It's not a high dollar bike or anything. I've had it at least 3 years now, although much of that was in a garage or under a tarp. I can easily see it still being in good condition in another 7-10 years with my somewhat casual attitude toward it since I go back and clean it up if it gets a bit dirty or slightly rusted. It's gotten scratched up on the rear carrier of my motorhome due to another bike being with it. I have it in my apt at the moment so at least.

  6. #6
    billy chuck eschlwc's Avatar
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    the only time i ride in the rain, the forecast is ... er was way off.

    back home, i spend 10 minutes cleaning the bike, mostly rims, pads and chain.

    once when caught in the rain, my front pads picked up a bit of sharp road debris, and scratched to hell a brand new rim. fortunately, sand paper polishing smoothed it again. i switched to kool stop salmons on all bikes after that.

    yeah -- hate rain.

  7. #7
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    a good clean, drop of oil on the chain and full bearing overhaul once a year.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
    Rather a 100$ bike with 1000$ wheels than a 1000$ bike with 100$ wheels.

  8. #8
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    Rain?! Aaargh! That's when the Chinese carbon comes out, or I go for a run instead, or just sit in and watch the telly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Michael Angelo's Avatar
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    I hate rain, as a kid I rode in the rain way too much. Hate it now.

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    I ride different bikes if it's going to be raining. I have a "nice bike" with a very decent vintage steel frame and nice components. It doesn't really see water much beyond the occasional puddle left over the day after rain when it's sunny out. If it's road grime and snow/rain out, I ride my lesser bike with fenders and modern stuff on it. But in general, I wouldn't worry about taking bearings apart and re-greasing every time I rode in rain. Maybe if it was a real downpour and I thought some water might have gotten into the bearings. I think maybe the headset would be more vulnerable than other bearings, but I don't know. I guess I'd check them all. If you opened up a wheel bearing and everything looked water-free and good, I wouldn't worry about cleaning and re-greasing. I'd just re-adjust it and ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scyclops View Post
    Oh yeah, sure, what if everyone thought that way? Then internet forums would merely be places where rational people exchange useful information and ideas - instead of the chaotic, emotionally-charged circuses that they are.

  11. #11
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    Upon us all a little rain must fall...

    I use my leaf blower to blow dry the bikes. This prevents water from pooling in screw heads, etc. I do the same with my motorcycles. This has worked for me for years. No rust, no worries.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    "Do you not ride in the rain?"

    No.

    I mean, yes.

    I mean, no, I don't...

  13. #13
    rhm
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    If you don't ride in the rain, and you don't ride in the snow, and you don't ride in the cold, and you don't ride in headwinds, you won't know how to appreciate a warm sunny day with a tailwind. Don't get me wrong, I love a tailwind and there's nothing better than a tailwind on a nice sunny day in spring, but that's not the only way to ride. As for the bike... eh, it's a bike. If it breaks, I'll fix it. If something wears out, I'll replace it. No biggie.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I don't mind headwinds. But not rain. There are extenuating circumstances, that I need not mention here.

  15. #15
    rhm
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    No one's asking you to like the rain, man! Ignore the rain and enjoy the rest of your ride. In particular, keep an eye out for wildlife; you'll see more critters in a light drizzle than in any other conditions. I never see any wildlife on a sunny day.

  16. #16
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Angelo View Post
    I hate rain, as a kid I rode in the rain way too much. Hate it now.
    Pretty much my take on it. When I used to ride to work (retired now ), if it wasn't raining in the morning and the forecast was for less than 80% chance of rain in the afternoon, I'd ride. I just didn't want to get all road splattered before work.

    Organized rides? Well, again that depends on the weather - if it is going to be a warm on/off type rain I don't mind so much. But a downpour or cold all-day soaker, forget it. BTDT on a couple of centuries, and was miserable!

    Cleaning the bike afterwards? Just hose the dirt off, dry it off the best I can, lube the chain, and maybe the cables. Wheel bearings get done 2x/year or every 3000 miles if needed (now running sealed-bearing hubs). Crank and headset get done 1x/year, with the frame also getting detail-cleaned and waxed at overhaul time. I used to spend my spare time (when watching TV) polishing the wheels/spokes with Simchrome polish, but now that it just when I find the time - usually 2x year.

    If on tour, the chain gets sprayed with WD40 after a rain -- the name itself is Water Displacement formula #40, with periodic application of regular chain lube. Chain will get fully cleaned and properly lubed when able.

    Now if you are talking about riding in snow or even on roads where road salt had been used withing the last month or so or if you live near the ocean with 'salt air', then yes, a thorough cleaning is required more often. Salt and steel or aluminum bikes do not get along! When I was a kid, my three-speed that I rode year-round rusted out from the inside, despite my oiling the heck out of it.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member paulkal's Avatar
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    I ride in almost any weather, and enjoy riding in the rain. After a ride in the rain I put some oil on the chain. Once a year I take apart my bike and lubricate the bearings.
    Having mudguards helps a lot to keep water out of bearings.

  18. #18
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Seems to me one of the most vulnerable spot on a bike ridden in the rain is the steerer tube. Water runs down the stem, inside the head set and can cause rust on the steerer. But a light spray of something along the stem/head set seam can usually displace it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    No one's asking you to like the rain, man! Ignore the rain and enjoy the rest of your ride. In particular, keep an eye out for wildlife; you'll see more critters in a light drizzle than in any other conditions. I never see any wildlife on a sunny day.
    I agree, Rudi. Good wild life viewing during inclement weather. I fish quite a lot in the rain. Sometimes in somewhat scary conditions.
    Nowhere to hide when you're 3 miles from anywhere in a kayak. But on a bike, I have a choice, usually.

  20. #20
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    My steel bike is my "sunny day" bike. I do ride in the rain, but on either aluminum (usually) or carbon.
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  21. #21
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    If you don't ride in the rain, and you don't ride in the snow, and you don't ride in the cold, and you don't ride in headwinds, you won't know how to appreciate a warm sunny day with a tailwind. Don't get me wrong, I love a tailwind and there's nothing better than a tailwind on a nice sunny day in spring, but that's not the only way to ride. As for the bike... eh, it's a bike. If it breaks, I'll fix it. If something wears out, I'll replace it. No biggie.
    This.

  22. #22
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulkal View Post
    I ride in almost any weather, and enjoy riding in the rain. After a ride in the rain I put some oil on the chain. Once a year I take apart my bike and lubricate the bearings.
    Having mudguards helps a lot to keep water out of bearings.
    It would be pretty tough to ride often in the low countries if you didn't ride in the rain. Americans don't like fenders (sorry I can't do the British thing and call them mudguards) too much but that is the obvious solution to riding in the rain. I have one road bike set up with fenders for days where it may rain. Keeps water out of the headset.

    Bikes are pretty tough. If you overhaul them once a year or so and keep an eye (and ear) out for problems and noises, the bike will be fine. Some of the best days I have had on a bike have been in pretty c@#ppy weather.

  23. #23
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    I live in SoCal, what is this thing rain that you are all writing about?
    My current stable:

    1989 SLX Bottecchia (Campy Athena 11s)
    1999 Cannondale F400 mountain bike
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  24. #24
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    I never like riding in the rain. I guess there were two components that contributed; lack of fenders causing stripes up the back and too cold causing shivers! I don't mind with fenders, its the wet feet that bother me now. I would prefer not to ride in the rain but if it is like Oregon rain no problem. This is my commuter that always has fenders.


    And should I decide to do some trail riding.... I take a few min. and convert


    With my weight, it settles down to a normal geometry!

  25. #25
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    So BB rust isn't a problem?

    And hubs should be checked every 3000 miles?

    But the stem is still vulnerable?

    I'm concerned about rust in the stem making it stuck.

    But this article seems to be saying that while that's a problem with aluminum, it's not a problem with steel?
    Stuck Handlebar Stem by Jobst Brandt

    So the headset should be sprayed with WD-40 anyway just to protect the grease?

    Can any of these old parts be upgraded with sealed-bearings? When did sealed-bearings become standard?

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