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  1. #1
    Senior Member spwelton's Avatar
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    rain's effect on the bike

    So, I made my first rain ride today, on the way to class and work. Boy am I glad I've got fenders on there! It was actually kind of fun!

    Anyways, is there anything I should do after a rain ride to protect the bike? I'm thinking maybe the chain and cassette need some drying, or does the chain oil keep the water off good enough?

    What is your rain day cleanup, if any?

    Thanks
    Sean

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    1. Put it somewhere dry so it can dry off
    2. Add a little oil to the chain, otherwise the chain might squeak like you wouldn't believe next time
    3. Wipe off the rims where the brake pads rub against it, often the rims pick up some grit. If you don't, braking on your next ride can be pretty noisy.

    That's it, and to be honest I only get around to doing this stuff sometimes, but if you don't do it sometimes your bike will be noisy and annoying next time.

  3. #3
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    My Worksman cruiser has the old Ashtabula-type bottom bracket, hubs, etc. It seems like every time I've ridden it in the rain, it magically has the bearings loosened up the next day or two. I don't know if grease gets washed out, or if things get a bit of rust that then wears off, or if being wet lets a nut back off that wouldn't otherwise, but it seems to be more than coincidence. More modern stuff may not do that.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  4. #4
    Senior Member spwelton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
    My Worksman cruiser has the old Ashtabula-type bottom bracket, hubs, etc. It seems like every time I've ridden it in the rain, it magically has the bearings loosened up the next day or two. I don't know if grease gets washed out, or if things get a bit of rust that then wears off, or if being wet lets a nut back off that wouldn't otherwise, but it seems to be more than coincidence. More modern stuff may not do that.
    hmmm. Ashtabula BB? I grew up in Ashtabula, OH..
    Sean

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    1. Put it somewhere dry so it can dry off
    2. Add a little oil to the chain, otherwise the chain might squeak like you wouldn't believe next time
    3. Wipe off the rims where the brake pads rub against it, often the rims pick up some grit. If you don't, braking on your next ride can be pretty noisy.

    That's it, and to be honest I only get around to doing this stuff sometimes, but if you don't do it sometimes your bike will be noisy and annoying next time.
    That's about what i do. rain is a treat here in the desert, and i like riding in it. if the bike's muddy, I'll hose it off (it's already wet), bounce it a few times to shake off the water and dry with a towel, then lube the obvious places. No problems ever, and all my bikes but one are steel.
    as the other post admitted, though, I only do that sometimes. Sometimes i just bounce it and wheel it into the garage. But i lube the chain every ride or two anyway, so that takes care of that problem.

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    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwelton View Post
    hmmm. Ashtabula BB? I grew up in Ashtabula, OH..
    I understand the crank style is from a company that was named after the town, it's not just coincidence. That's the one-piece crank like the older single-speed cruisers used, though.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  7. #7
    Pat
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    I generally get grit and stuff on my bike frame, crud loves to collect on the brake calipers and the chain gets all sorts of nice grit on it that will wear it. So I hose off the bike, I wipe it off, I wipe off the rims, I take degreaser to the chain, rinse it, dry it and relube it. I generally clean my bike after every "rain". But what I mean by a rain is a bit like total immersion in a mud puddle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    I generally get grit and stuff on my bike frame, crud loves to collect on the brake calipers and the chain gets all sorts of nice grit on it that will wear it. So I hose off the bike, I wipe it off, I wipe off the rims, I take degreaser to the chain, rinse it, dry it and relube it. I generally clean my bike after every "rain". But what I mean by a rain is a bit like total immersion in a mud puddle.
    I'm not trying to direct this at you specifically, I'm just trying to say this in general. If you use a hose and hose down your bike, I've read that it may cause additional maintenance problems as high pressure water can get into "sealed" parts of the bike, like the hubs, which rainwater doesn't, and does more to remove oil and grease and such (which is bad for parts that are supposed to be oiled or greased). I don't really know for sure, that's what I've heard.

    I'm really not trying to make a point like that you "shouldn't" hose down your bike if you just like a clean bike, as much as I'm saying that if your goal is to "keep your bike maintained", hosing it down might not only be a waste of time, but a slight detriment.
    Last edited by PaulRivers; 04-27-10 at 11:20 AM.

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spwelton View Post
    hmmm. Ashtabula BB? I grew up in Ashtabula, OH..
    Pardon the ignorant question. I've always wondered, how do you pronounce Ashtabula?

    Thanks.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

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  10. #10
    Senior Member spwelton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Pardon the ignorant question. I've always wondered, how do you pronounce Ashtabula?

    Thanks.
    It's pronounced "Ash-tuh-byoo-luh" with the accent on the first syllable. Its an Indian (forgot the tribe) word for "river of many fish"...

    I wonder what company it was that was manufacturing those. There used to be a lot of industry there at one time. Interesting fact: the original Corvette bodies were made there at a company I worked at for a few years. When I worked there, the 'vette body production had long since moved on, but they still made the carbon parts for the Z06 and Viper. I personally programmed the robot that makes the inner fender well and trunk liner on the base model Corvette.

    haha now i am way off topic! Anyways, I'll have to make sure to clean and oil the chain at least after rain rides, which I don't do often.
    Sean

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    Quote Originally Posted by spwelton View Post
    haha now i am way off topic! Anyways, I'll have to make sure to clean and oil the chain at least after rain rides, which I don't do often.
    Well fyi, if you're trying to maximize performance or something perhaps cleaning the entire chain is necessary, but if you're just trying to keep it from squeaking you just need to add a little bit of oil to it. Takes a lot less time than cleaning it. :-)

  12. #12
    Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    I'm not trying to direct this at you specifically, I'm just trying to say this in general. If you use a hose and hose down your bike, I've read that it may cause additional maintenance problems as high pressure water can get into "sealed" parts of the bike, like the hubs, which rainwater doesn't, and does more to remove oil and grease and such (which is bad for parts that are supposed to be oiled or greased). I don't really know for sure, that's what I've heard.

    I'm really not trying to make a point like that you "shouldn't" hose down your bike if you just like a clean bike, as much as I'm saying that if your goal is to "keep your bike maintained", hosing it down might not only be a waste of time, but a slight detriment.
    I am well aware that directing a stream of high pressure water at the hubs, headset, and other bearing located areas is not a good idea. I merely use a low pressure stream of water on the tubes and brakes and rims to clean off the grit and crud.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I just wait for it to rain again to clean off the bike...

    Actually I "might" rinse the bike off with the hose when I get home if it was a muddy ride, if it is just normal road grit I don't worry about it too much.

    FWIW my bike is IGH, full chain guard and roller brakes.

    Aaron
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I just wait for it to rain again to clean off the bike...

    Actually I "might" rinse the bike off with the hose when I get home if it was a muddy ride, if it is just normal road grit I don't worry about it too much.

    FWIW my bike is IGH, full chain guard and roller brakes.

    Aaron
    Chain Guard or Chain Case? Either way, what - not belt drive? ;-)

    ...sorry, couldn't help but give you crap! I bought an IGH then they came out with the lower maintenance belt drives...jealous. :-)

  15. #15
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    It depends on what sort of rain, and how much of it. If it is in a place that will result in a lot of mud, or after a cold spell (when there may be salt on the road) then i might rinse it off, and relube the chain. Otherwise, it''ll take a couple of commutes to require more lube on the chain, assuming it was fairly fresh. I don't often actually wash the bike, but then, until recently, I haven't had a bike that I was particularly careful of.

    Edit: Yeah, riding in the rain can be fun! Although the time I ended up with my feet dipping into the puddles was a bit much!

  16. #16
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Chain Guard or Chain Case? Either way, what - not belt drive? ;-)

    ...sorry, couldn't help but give you crap! I bought an IGH then they came out with the lower maintenance belt drives...jealous. :-)
    Chain Guard (it is open on the back side) on the bike in question. I do have one with a full Chain Case but due to the rod brakes it doesn't get ridden in the rain if I can help it.

    I prefer chains over the belt drives...so far.

    Aaron

    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Chain Guard (it is open on the back side) on the bike in question. I do have one with a full Chain Case but due to the rod brakes it doesn't get ridden in the rain if I can help it.

    I prefer chains over the belt drives...so far.

    Aaron
    Wow, rod brakes? Never heard of those. Though from your description, sounds like I don't want to! :-)

    Have you tried a belt drive? I ask because I'm curious if your preference is based on experience or theory. My thoughts on the issue are based on theory, I'm pretty curious.

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I hate riding my bikes in the rain for cleanup reasons.

    I dry it off, mainly the drivetrain. Then use a really wet rag to remove mud and grit from the frame. Then dry with a clean cloth.

    As far as calipers and derailleurs, I clean them of too but once the components dry, I go over them with a fine toothbrush to remove dirt etc along pivot points, bolts and tight places. Works great.

    I do wax the frames periodically to protect the finish of the frame.

  19. #19
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
    Wow, rod brakes? Never heard of those. Though from your description, sounds like I don't want to! :-)

    Have you tried a belt drive? I ask because I'm curious if your preference is based on experience or theory. My thoughts on the issue are based on theory, I'm pretty curious.
    Cost and limited availability are the main reasons I am not interested in belt drive at the moment. I have seen a couple of bikes with belt drive but not in shops around here. The other reason is lack of choices in sprockets. If I want to swap my 17 tooth Raleigh sprocket for a 22 tooth I can add a few links to the chain and I am good to go. I don't see being able to do that with the belt drive.

    Rod brakes were used on the old British Roadsters. We have two rod braked bikes here, one is a 1975 Raleigh Roadster the other a 1950's Hercules Skyliner.

    They work using pivot points and push the pads up against the rims where the spokes go through. I believe that technology dates back to late 19th century...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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