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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-31-11, 02:35 PM   #1
MileHighMark
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Winter maintenance tips

I collected some winter maintenance tips from the folks at Finish Line and Pedro's, which you can read here.
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Old 11-02-11, 09:33 AM   #2
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I've found that hosing the cassette/derailleurs down with PAM or another nonstick spray keeps them from icing up in the winter.
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Old 11-02-11, 09:43 AM   #3
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I've found that hosing the cassette/derailleurs down with PAM or another nonstick spray keeps them from icing up in the winter.
I've also heard that furniture polish and silicone spray lube works, too.

Last year I found out first-hand that wax-type chain lubes do poorly in sub-freezing conditions.
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Old 11-02-11, 10:00 AM   #4
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The tips seemed geared towards periodic winter use in climates that have a significant number of winter days with temps above freezing.

Washing my bike in January? Not too likely unless I want to ride a bike-sicle. I suppose I could take it to a car wash. I've considered it.
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Old 11-02-11, 10:09 AM   #5
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Wow...those winter tips were extremely OCD.

After reading sheldon brown many years ago I became a convert and religiously cleaned my derailleurs, casette, chain, and chain rings. Surprisingly I found that I still had to replace my chain after about 10 months and my casette after ~24 months. Now I clean very infrequently and spend a few minutes a month looking for cheap parts online. YMMV.
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Old 11-02-11, 10:12 AM   #6
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The tips seemed geared towards periodic winter use in climates that have a significant number of winter days with temps above freezing.

Washing my bike in January? Not too likely unless I want to ride a bike-sicle. I suppose I could take it to a car wash. I've considered it.
You're absolutely right about trying to wash a bike when it's below freezing. I did the car wash thing with my wife's car one winter, and it was interesting to see how quickly the water/soap turned to ice.

Sub-freezing temps aside, many people are afraid to ride during the winter because they don't want their bikes to "get dirty." The article tries to point out that it's really not that difficult keeping your bike clean/lubed (Minneapolis winters, aside).
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Old 11-02-11, 11:06 AM   #7
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Wow...those winter tips were extremely OCD.

After reading sheldon brown many years ago I became a convert and religiously cleaned my derailleurs, casette, chain, and chain rings. Surprisingly I found that I still had to replace my chain after about 10 months and my casette after ~24 months. Now I clean very infrequently and spend a few minutes a month looking for cheap parts online. YMMV.
This is good to know. I used to not cleaning my bike much and it got rediculously dirty and I worried about parts breaking so I became a cleaning nutt. Perhaps I can now back off a little.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:39 PM   #8
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Pedro's: It is good to wash your bike.
Not my experience... especially if you are leaving your bike in a cold garage or even outdoors. I think wiping down... or even snow washing would be a better think to do. Fewer frozen parts.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:47 PM   #9
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I suggest that you start winter with a well maintained bike, clean and lube the chain as needed, and a nice wax job will go a long ways toward protecting your frame and parts. Running full fenders is not even a debatable item as these do so much to keep dirt and crud off your bike and out of the drive train.
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Old 11-03-11, 02:20 AM   #10
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Sub-freezing temps aside, many people are afraid to ride during the winter because they don't want their bikes to "get dirty." The article tries to point out that it's really not that difficult keeping your bike clean/lubed (Minneapolis winters, aside).
What about Minneapolis winters? Help!
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Old 11-03-11, 08:54 AM   #11
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What about Minneapolis winters? Help!
One of these, maybe?

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Old 11-03-11, 11:30 AM   #12
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What about Minneapolis winters? Help!
If the chain gets wet on the ride, wipe it down and re-lube it. Otherwise, start clean, then clean in the spring. Leave it outside. Freeze/thaw is bad.

This works in WI anyway.
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Old 11-03-11, 06:53 PM   #13
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Another tip: don't put you loveliest Colnago out there in the cold winter. Buy yourself a beater! Make sure it works well, but don't expose your best bike to all the salt and slop on the roads.
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Old 11-03-11, 07:54 PM   #14
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Also, don't run your lightest tires during the winter. A little thicker tread, and even some extra puncture protection is worth the extra weight compared to fixing a puncture in the dark.
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