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Winter Cycling Don't let snow and ice discourage you this winter. The key element to year-round cycling is proper attire! Check out this winter cycling forum to chat with other ice bike fanatics.

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Old 02-20-07, 09:26 AM   #1
Godwin
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Winter Maintenance

For those of you who have been doing this for a while and expecially for those who do it every day, what have you found to be the best ways of keeping your winter rigs running for years to come? Please mention what type of bike you drive (fixed, road, mountian, ect.) and what conditions your driving it in (salt, slush, ice, sand, combinations, ect.) What types of lubricants do you use? How often and how do you clean the frame and components? How often do you replace parts and components and how do you get more life out of them? What methods, products, additions, do you use as preventive measures?
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Old 02-20-07, 10:29 AM   #2
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: -17F low/40F high
Snow estimate: less than 6 inches so far, not much
One-way mileage: 10
Bike: Single Speed MTB, geared 36/17 due to good road conditions
Conditions: Salt, some sand at intersections, slush, primarily icy shoulders and MUPs
Frame: Aluminum
Tires: Nokian M&Gs
Part Replacements: Two sets of brake pads, one tube, swap between platforms and clipless pedals depending on temperature.
Preventative daily: If necessary, wipe down frame, components, and lube chain.
Preventative weekly: clean chain/lube, apply lube to spoke nipples, check brake pad wear and remove any debris from pad, check rim condition and tru, make sure all bolts are tight, replace blinky batteries if necessary, shot of lube on bolt heads
Preventative season: Bike rebuild half way through winter to locate any signs of corrosion. Another rebuild at the end of winter, early Spring. Repack hubs with Slick Honey.
Lubricants and cleaners: CP-90 lube/rust inhibitor, Slick Honey, and Simple Green degreaser
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Old 02-20-07, 11:21 AM   #3
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Location: Toronto, ON
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: -21C low/5C high
Snow estimate: Two or three 10-15cm events
One-way mileage: 17km (around 10 mi)
Bike: 27-speed MTB
Conditions: Heavy Salt and liquid brine application=slush on roads,ice and hardpack sidestreets and MUPs
Frame: 7075 Aluminum
Tires: Nokian 300/294
Part Replacements: four tire tubes (don't ask)
Preventative daily: Hot water hose-down after every ride, re-oil chain daily
Preventative weekly: nothing more
Preventative season: have shop replace any cartriage bearings making noise in April
Lubricants and cleaners: Phil Wood Chain Oil
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Old 02-20-07, 11:43 AM   #4
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Location: Rochester, NY
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: 0F low/45F high (so far)w
Snow estimate: A few feet so far, hopefully lots more
One-way mileage: 8
Bike: 21 Speed Giant Hybrid
Conditions: Salt, Slush, and Snow(On the MUP, they don't plow them)
Frame: Aluminum
Tires: 700x35 hybrid treads, 700x35 Steel Studded
Part Replacements: 1 Set of Brake Pads, 1 Set of brake cables, tires from the hybrid to the studs.
Preventative Wipe down as needed(2-3 a week), re-lube the chain when it starts to squeak.
Preventative season: Haven't thought that far ahead yet, but I did grease up a bunch of stuff in the early winter.
Lubricants and cleaners: triflow for the cabling, Wax Lightning or some such thing for the chain.

First year commuting, so I'll prob. get more into the cleaning, maintenance etc, next year as I realize all the damage I did to the ride from not doing enough this season.
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Old 02-20-07, 12:25 PM   #5
BenyBen
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Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: -10C to -25C (14 to -13F)
Snow estimate: We've had a 30CM drop so far, but mostly snow falls from 3 to 6CM
One-way Kilometers: 10KM
Bike: 21Speed MTB
Conditions: Salt, slush and snow
Frame: Iron
Tires: Innovas 296 studs or so.
Part Replacements: one sets of brake pads, One chain and cassette per winter
parts used: Mud flaps!!!! This reduced the amount of grit on the chain. Fenders, of course.
Preventative *Twice* weekly: clean chain with degreaser/lube, then wipe excess
Preventative monthly: complete frame and parts cleanup - Cassette and chain soaked in degreaser for a couple hours, then complete cleaning of cassette. Wheels realigned.
Lubricants and cleaners: Park Tool Cyclone chain cleaner, Eco degreaser,finish line all weather lube.

This is the first winter which I've been cleaning so regularly, and I think I may not need to replace my cassette this year. That's the reason why I clean twice weekly. A dirty chain will "stretch" faster, therefore doing damage to the rear cassette. I'll see if it helped by winter's end.

Last edited by BenyBen; 02-20-07 at 12:40 PM.
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Old 02-20-07, 12:59 PM   #6
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Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: -20 f. to 35 f.
Snow estimate: Over 80 inches total since Oct. No total meltoffs, but much of it is ice and pack now.
One-way Kilometers: 5km commute, 3km to 15km for other trips
Bike: Electra three speed
Conditions: Ubiquitous ice, snow drifts and frequent "biscuit dough" snow and castoff ice chunks.
Frame: Steel
Tires: Nokians Freddies' revenz
Part Replacements: Chain, minor screws
parts used: Fenders, chain guards
Preventative: Avoid bringing bicycle in. Leave it frozen.
Preventative monthly: Wipe frame down with oiled rag, re-tighten nuts, clean chain--NO WATER!!!!
Lubricants and cleaners: Medium grease for joints. CLP for frame. M-Pro spray cleaner for rust, followed by CLP.

I can't imagine warming up and hosing the bicycle down. It seems like a great way to rust it up. I try to avoid exposing the bike to any liquid water during winter. I use grease and hand-rubbed CLP to keep the water that does exist from penetrating. CLP is an advanced compound used to protect firearms from rust when used in the field. I love the stuff, and so far other than some specs on my chain there's no rust on the Rat Rod.
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Old 02-20-07, 02:18 PM   #7
BenyBen
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Cosmo: where did you get your chain guards? I've been looking for them.
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Old 02-20-07, 02:40 PM   #8
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They're just stock guards that came with the bike. That's one advantage of a cruiser. IMHO the modern trend of removing chainguards is pretty bizarre. I can see why you'd want to get rid of them for genuine mountain biking where mud can build up between the chain and the guard, but for most other types of riding they're a real benefit, as are fenders.
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Old 02-20-07, 02:43 PM   #9
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Location: Calgary, AB
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: -30C low/10C high
Snow estimate: More this year than last
One-way mileage: 29km (around 19 mi)
Bike: 12 Speed CX / 27-speed FS MTB
Conditions: Slush, black & hard pack ice and sometimes dry asphalt with gravel shoulders
Frame: CroMo / 7075 Aluminum
Tires: Tioga Bloodhounds / Nokian Extreme 294
Part Replacements: None
Preventative daily: Clean & re-lube chain & cassette if required
Preventative weekly: Tell the bikes they look pretty dirty. (Dirty girlz rule)
Preventative season: Complete stripdown, clean and lube
Lubricants and cleaners: Phil's Tenacious or Finish Line Dry Teflon depending on conditions, MEC Bio cleaner and Finish Line Orange Degreaser
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Old 02-20-07, 09:00 PM   #10
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Location: toronto, ontario
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: mild> okay> chilly> cold> windy> blustery> bloody cold> take the streetcar
Snow estimate: there's been a few dumps over the past few weeks; enough to make trails/side-streets/bike lanes difficult for awhile.
One-way mileage: depends where i'm going. usually just under 10 kms for commute. leisure rides have been shortened or just avoided.
Bike: single-speed 80s conversion, 700x23s
Conditions: yes!! and watch out for the streetcar tracks!
Frame: steel
Tires: "michelin pro race" (or so i've been told)
Part Replacements: lately: new rear sprocket and chain. new brake pads. new rear full fender (yay, planet bike!)
needs a good spring tune up: frame damage touch-up, brake cable/housing, bar tape, brake tlc, etc...
Preventative daily: lots of love?
Preventative weekly: pump tires a couple times, some lube if it's starting to chafe.
Preventative season: chain maintenance, wipe down and brakes. general over haul every year or so to check for other problems/worn parts.
Lubricants and cleaners: usually white lightening for the commuter
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Old 02-20-07, 09:14 PM   #11
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I ride hardtail mountain bikes in Central Kansas. I ride typically 20-25 miles per ride. We have ice, snow, slush, salt, etc.

I ride the same bikes in the other months as in the winter. I don't do anything different in the summer than i do in the winter for the most part. I run Nokian studded tires in the winter, and other than that, the bikes get treated the same as they do in July.

I wash them if they are extremely dirty, but other than that i just replace stuff when it wears out.
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Old 02-21-07, 08:32 AM   #12
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Location: Washington DC area
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07: low 9 F (-13 C), high 65 F (18 C)
Snow estimate: last storm: four inches of sleet that turned into a thick ice layer
One-way mileage: 5 miles (9 km)
Bike: Kettler Silverstar, drum brakes, Nexus 7 speed internal hub, partial chain enclosure, front dynohub, full fenders.
Conditions: Daily freeze and thaw cycle means almost always some ice, heavily salted, trails and neighborhood roads unplowed
Frame: Aluminum
Tires: Nokian Hakapilita W-106
Part Replacements: lately: None.
Preventative daily: None
Preventative weekly: None
Preventative season: Tune-up at bike shop in March when winter tires come off. Change out brake and shifter cables at least every two years to avoid water contamination and freezing.
Lubricants and cleaners: Whatever my mechanic uses

Component lifetimes: winter tires are on fourth season, chain and rear cog replacement every 7,500 miles.

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Old 04-15-07, 03:58 PM   #13
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Location: Grande Prairie, Ab, Canada
Winter Temp Range: -10C to -45C without wind
Snow Estimate: Had 52 cm fall on October 23 and it still hasnt gone away, complete snowfall was likely around 150 - 175 CM
One Way Mileage: anywhere from 5 to 30 km
Bike: '06 Trek Fuel Ex 6
Conditions: Anywhere from sunny and -10 to -45 plus wind and snow, much mud and road dust\trail rock
Frame: Aluminum
Tires: Bontrager Super Stock with Offset Spoke Bed
Parts replacement: See the forum I posted in winter cycling as to use of shocks in winter
Preventative Daily: Clean drivetrain, wipe down bike
Preventative weekly: Check all bolts and nuts, brakes, spokes and shock qualities
Preventative season: Strip down, clean, lube and rebuild entire bike
Lubricants and cleaners: Wrench Force bio-degreaser and Wrench Force Ice Wax Silicone lube
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Old 05-14-07, 03:21 PM   #14
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Location Calgary, Alberta
Winter season temperature range estimate for 06/07 Down to -18C + wind
Snow estimate Up to 8" at any one time
One Way Mileage6km commute, up to 15km at times
Bike Old school MTB, steel
Conditions Grit, dirt, salt more grit, in a chinook the most awful grinding slurry.
MaintenanceJust clean and lube as I feel it needs

I am trying to put together what I hope will be a low maintenance bike.
The most important is fenders and trying to get a fixed chainline (no dérailleurs ) so
i can fit as full a chainguard as possible. The plan is to save my pennies and fit a Rohloff
14 speed gear hub. The frame will eventually be a good thick powder coat job. Other
features include disc brakes to get the braking surface away from the rim.
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Old 05-25-07, 09:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmoline

I can't imagine warming up and hosing the bicycle down. It seems like a great way to rust it up.
Where I live they dump salt all over the roads (and many sidewalks) in the winter, so I can see hosing it down after a winter commute after a slushy ride, to prevent any steel parts from rusting. I don't know where I would get hot water outside the house, there is just a garden hose. Unless I bought a pressure washer that heats the water. Whether I rinsed it with cold or hot water, I would bring it in the house right after, where it would dry off quick to keep it from rusting and the water from freezing. I am a n00b and have never commuted in the winter, just looking ahead in case I decide to try it out.
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