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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 11-27-07, 09:50 PM   #1
bgilchrist
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Winter Maintneance question

Okay, so I am planning on commuting this winter alot more than I have in the past.

In previous years, because I didn't commute very much, I could clean and lube drivetrain between each ride. Now that I am going much more often, how often should I clean & lube?

I the summer I clean weekly, and full wash with soap every other week. I lube weekly, and relube maybe once a week if necessary.

I'm thinking of cleaning weekly and lubing every other day.

My ride is 32km round trip, and I'm in Winnipeg - wicked cold, but it's a dry cold!

Also, what are people's thoughts on inside vs. outside? I have access to heated indoor parking, so I'd rather park there than outside

Thanks!
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Old 11-27-07, 10:08 PM   #2
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Want to come wash my bikes?

Did a lot of riding the summer I was in Winterpeg. Lived at the U of M and worked downtown at Portage and Main.

I might lube once a week, and clean....well spring does eventually arrive...

I use the sprockets / chainring off my mtb bike and chains from both my road and mtb bike (that way both bikes get new components in the spring).

I like to keep my bike inside...the grease in the bb and the hubs just turns so much easier when its above zero than when its frozen.

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Old 11-27-07, 11:31 PM   #3
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Personally, I think you're being a little obsessive. I do a complete and thorough cleaning of the chain, sprockets, and chainring every week, followed by an application of something like T-9. That's it for the week. If the bike's really dirty, I'll wash it off with the hose (if it's above freezing), but I don't shine it up or anything.

I park inside at work and outside at home. When it's outside, I take the pannier covers I got from MEC and cover my Brooks saddle with them.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:03 AM   #4
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I use Dumonde Tech. These are their instructions, with emphasis added. I suggest that you consult the instructions for your lubricant. Since I have started following the manufacturer's instructions, my chain shifts better and lasts longer. I attribute that to the plastic plating protective coating the lubricant builds up on the chain if the chain is cleaned with soap and water instead of degreaser.

"Preparation and Application:
To get the most out of Dumonde TechTM BCL, clean and dry the chain thoroughly before the first application. You’ll only need to do this once. Apply sparingly and wipe off excess lube so that the outer surface appears dry. One ounce of Dumonde TechTM BCL should last for 10 applications. Cleaning and Reapplication: Reapply Dumonde TechTM BCL when you begin to hear your chain; sound, not appearance, is the best indicator to reapply. Use soap and water to clean before a reapplication; strong solvents or cleaners between applications will remove the protective plastic plating. Allow three applications of Dumonde TechTM BCL to achieve optimum plastic plating.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:22 AM   #5
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Wow you guys are conscientious. I commute in three seasons and not much duirng winter, but certainly in a lot of rain and the bike sits outside day after day. I ride beaters so it won't hurt too much if they are stolen. I clean my drive trains maybe once a year, basically just clearing the gunk out of the cogs and off the rear derailleur rollers, and they last through several years. There's a school of thought that you should never oil your chain between cleanings because the oil carries grit into the interior - however I add oil if I notice the chain looks rusty or a link is locked. I think I've bought one new chain in 16 years of 3 season commuting.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgilchrist View Post
I have access to heated indoor parking, so I'd rather park there than outside
For a steel bike or steel components, I would worry the repeated warming and cooling would promote rust, but others may disagree.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
For a steel bike or steel components, I would worry the repeated warming and cooling would promote rust, but others may disagree.
On the one hand, rusting (oxidation) is a chemical process that happens more quickly in warm temperatures. OTOH, warmth dries the bike, and that would inhibit rusting. I wonder if anybody's ever done an experiment on this?
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Old 11-28-07, 09:10 PM   #8
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My Gary Fisher Piranha has survived 1 season of mountian biking and 8 of Winter commuting and I have changed - chains, sprockets, chainrings on a regular basis, and cranks and pedals once. Yes the frame has some internal rust but it went to the local rust proofing shop a few years back and they found it such a hoot to treat my bike that they didn't even charge me. So it will be a couple decades before it rusts enough to warrant replacement.

And the bike doesn't do much drying in the relative warmth of the garage...but the snow is off for the next morning.

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