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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 01-03-09, 08:41 AM   #1
alanf
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Bike salt protection?

I used to winter ride where it was so cold that salt was useless, but now I am in a warmer area, but salt looks like it will be the problem.

Any suggestions to salt protect my bike?

I am guessing spraying it with "Pam" the cooking oil would be a good idea. (I'm not worried about my bike getting cancer just tinworms)
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Old 01-03-09, 11:24 AM   #2
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fortunately just about everything on my bike is aluminum or has a good coat of paint on it. all i worry about is the chain and sprockets. i squirt some lube on the axles, into the hubs, or around the bottom bracket occasionally.

where i live i swear salt falls out of the sky. some days granules of salt seem to outnumber snowflakes.
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Old 01-03-09, 11:42 AM   #3
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inside: frame saver
outside: car wax on none moving parts. meticulous cleaning of moving parts and rims.
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Old 01-03-09, 01:01 PM   #4
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After a particularly "salty" ride, I normally fill up my water bottles and squirt them over the dirtiest parts of the drivechain. Bounce the rear of the bike while 4-5 times to get excess water off and that's it.

Make sure you don't do this in the driveway however, or you might turn it into a hockey rink.
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Old 01-03-09, 08:46 PM   #5
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Hung my roadies in the basement and bought a department store bike that will be sent to recycle in the spring if needed. No way I'm riding carbon in this weather.
The department store bike now has studded tries. I will pull these for the next year.
$300 for a department store bike is way less than the cost of a cassette, chain and chain rings alone. I can't imagine what salt saturated water could do to a bike.
I do take care of the cheap bike. And the big heavy bike with the big heavy tires can sure keep your heart rate up.
I may not travel as far or as fast but the calories burned each hour has to be close. Man you can work up a sweat, even at -10C.
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Old 01-04-09, 05:20 AM   #6
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Same thing here. I bought an okay mountain bike on sale for biking through the winter in Chicago, which I'd never done before. Usually stopped around mid- or late-November. The heavy bike with thick tires not only give you a little more traction in the snow, but they give you a damn good workout. On a few clear days, I've pulled out my road bike and it seems so easy to ride to ride it comparatively. I've fallen several times but nothing serious so far (people at work think I'm crazy). I'm having trouble with road salt messing up the brakes, though. And you and your bike can get really filthy.
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Old 01-04-09, 09:29 AM   #7
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Alan,

I use an air compressor to clean off all the components including the chain. Maybe takes a minute or two once the pressure builds up in the tank, which takes another couple minutes. When I get in the first thin I do is turn on the compressor (of course after putting on hearing and eye protection!), so by the time I get the gaiters, vest, and goggles off it's usually ready or cleaning.

Then I spray all the aired out components with ReleaseAll and FluidFilm. Both available from Canadian Tire. ReleaseAll is a biodegradable and non toxic WD40. FluidFilm is a biodegradable and non toxic lube and protectant.

Every winter until now I used to ride a cheap mountain bike ($99 Supercycle 1800 from Canadian Tire). This year I spent $50 extra on a compressor instead. So far so good.

Last edited by jakub.ner; 01-04-09 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-04-09, 10:00 AM   #8
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I use Boeshield T9 inside the frame, on chain and on any other area that might want to corrode. I find T9 very effective in suppressing the corrosion. Most LBS will have T9 in small containers. Otherwise, you can purchase T9, and other rust inhibitors, in larger quantity from aircraft suppliers such as:

Chief Aircraft

LPS No. 3 there looks interesting and is cheaper per gallon, but I do not have a personal experience with it.

Other than T9, I have gradually replaced nearly all bolts and nuts on my bike, that could corrode, with stainless steel. As I ride one bike year round, the protection is extremely important for me.
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Old 01-04-09, 11:53 AM   #9
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Great ideas ! Thanks for the link. We used LPS on our aircraft. AMEs loved it.

When I was living in Labrador (53,33 N 64,05 W) where the winters are too cold for them to salt the roads, all I had was a few pieces of plastic cut from an old Crazy Carpet (slippery, plastic, rectangular slider my children used to slide down hills with) attached with string and maybe a bit of tape above the bottom bracket, that kept the snow from hitting the front cogs and front changer, however I didn't have the issue with slush and muck which makes it more urgent.

The little snow that collected quickly melted off in the garage because I hung it upside down from the roof from a couple of J-hooks. Turned out the snow was a non-issue so the pads came off, but maybe I will resurrect them.
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Old 01-04-09, 12:29 PM   #10
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I have just identified a local source of LPS products and will likely pay them a visit in a day or two. No. 2 looks interesting as well. Otherwise, there is at least one US wholesaler of bike products, Lexco, that offers LPS in their lubricant section.
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Old 01-04-09, 08:55 PM   #11
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i just take a bucket of water and wash my bike down after i ride, and then let it dry in a warm storage room i have (i'm lucky to have such a room); sure it's time consuming, but the bike is just fine so far. i'm most concerned about my wheels, but thus far they're also doing fine (i have disc brakes, so no rim abrasion concerns).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejbarnes View Post
$300 for a department store bike is way less than the cost of a cassette, chain and chain rings alone. I can't imagine what salt saturated water could do to a bike.
$300 could buy a couple new cassettes, several chains, and a couple of nice SS chainrings, so i'm not sure that it'd be worth it for me. For $100 you could buy all-new junkable but-definitely-nice-enough cassette, chain, and chainring for the winter, and that'd be less to recycle come spring. of course, if you were donating your winter junker to a worthy bicycle-recycle organization, then i'm sure your expense would definitely benefit someone in need!
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Old 01-04-09, 10:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejbarnes View Post
$300 for a department store bike is way less than the cost of a cassette, chain and chain rings alone.
Unless you're pricing out super-record 11, you need to find a new source for drivetrain parts.

I generally use XT or 105 level parts from the previous season, and replace them in the spring if they need it.
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Old 01-05-09, 08:00 AM   #13
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Sorry I was just using those parts for an example. The parts an my roadies are Dura ace and FSA.
I would be more worried about the freewheel, the crank and all other bearings. Getting salty water in there could be expensive. Once the water has evaporated and the salt is left in there grinding away who knows what will happen.
The compressor seems like a pretty good idea as long as the water doesn't get pushed into the various bearings on the bike.
I do think maintenance is key. Lots of water repellent lube and keep it clean the bike should run for a long time.
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Old 01-07-09, 12:49 PM   #14
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When I looked in my basement I noticed a spray bottle of Krown rust inhibitor which I used. It's like a thick version of wd40 and I suspect will seal bearings and coat the frame. I do not travel daily so that will probably do.
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Old 01-07-09, 03:05 PM   #15
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department store bikes?

What kind of department store bikes to you get for the snow? How long do they last?
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Old 01-07-09, 05:55 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanf View Post
I am guessing spraying it with "Pam" the cooking oil would be a good idea. (I'm not worried about my bike getting cancer just tinworms)
One little problem with canola oil (I think that would be in pam) is that it is a
drying oil. These were used to make the first paints because they leave a
coat stuck on whatever they are put on. I found out the hard way after
assuming it would lubricate a meat slicer. Oil is oil, right? About 2 weeks later
it was seized up.

All my bikes are salvaged 10 and 12 speeds with the 27 inch wheels. I think
that makes them 30 years old or so? None of them has a serious rust problem,
although they all do have some rust. I do hit salt regularly here in Calgary, but
the effect seems to be negligible. I don't do anything to try to prevent it
although I will occasionally clean a bike if I am working on it, and maybe add a
dab of motor oil to the rust spots.
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Old 01-07-09, 06:03 PM   #17
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I've got my hands on the LPS No. 3. When sprayed on a surface, it produces a thick waxy slush. So far, I have applied it to my steel bipod kickstand, that has started to rust after a few years of use. Because of the kickstand's location and conditions in which I am riding, Boeshield T9 was not doing much in protecting that kickstand. Once it becomes apparent whether the LPS makes any difference, I'll provide some report.

In honesty, I could have taken the kickstand off, cleaned it and painted it. However, there are some portions of it that cannot be accessed with paint and where paint would anyway come off. Thus, in this example, an effective heavy-duty rust inhibitor would be highly desired.
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Old 01-07-09, 06:25 PM   #18
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I use Turtle Wax (any kind of car wax would do, I suppose) to keep the sludge from sticking to the frame on muddy spring/summer/fall days. For the winter, I put my nicer bikes away and tune up a department store excuse for a mtb with knobby tires and put some fenders on it. We get a lot of salting done here, so I'm just going to let it get destroyed. I like to try to rescue any of the cheap bikes in the summer when people chuck them out with the garbage, just so I can use them as beaters.

If you really want to keep riding a nice bike where there's heavy salting, definitely make sure that any paint chips are covered with some paint or nail polish. As stated earlier in the thread, wax all the non-moving parts. Spraying it down with some water to get the salt off might work, but it depends on where you're storing the bike when not being ridden - you don't want it to get frozen in place either.

All in all, with the bike I'm using now, I'm hoping the rust will protect what's left of the metal from the salt.
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Old 01-08-09, 09:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cully_J View Post
What kind of department store bikes to you get for the snow? How long do they last?
Just a dept. store version of a roadie. (Super cycle Medalist from CTC) Added a decent seat from E-bay, some studded tires, clipless pedals and other goodies.
The seat is the same as my other roadies. No need to retrain my butt.

Just get something you are willing to sacrifice to winter damage.
My beater is still well taken care of. It gets rinsed (No Pressure washing though) and lots of lube. Lots of spray lube. Chain, Freewheel, pedals, wheels anything that moves. Don't forget the cables.

I can't tell you how long it will last as this is my first year in the Bicycle realm. Maintenance is the key.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:17 AM   #20
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After reading this thread and then riding home through salty mush, I decided to do something about it. I hauled the bike into the basement, washed it thoroughly and then gave it a good coating of wax (nu finish). Hopefully that, combined with less-than-frequent washing/lubing, will keep the rust in check. Washing/rinsing every day won't be an option for me.
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Old 01-08-09, 12:05 PM   #21
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I have ridden the same steel frame through the winter for many years. It is stored inside, and it is washed almost after every ride. Even on when the roads are dry you can still see the white powdered salt that will get up into everything. It is a SS/FG.

The wheels: I run cheap Mavic wheels and they take the worst abuse. I am lucky not to loose some nipples and spokes to corrosion, but since I have a couple sets it is no big deal to immerse them in a tub of water and then let them dry out over a day or two.

The drivetrain: I run SS in the winter with a WI freewheel. It is fully rebuildable and very durable. Worth every penny especially for those who ride through winter's worst. The chain is a cheap stainless KMC INOX which lasts just fine. The crankset is Campy, all alloy, and wouldn't corrode if immersed in the Great Salt Lake, the BB is Campy and fully sealed.

The frame: Weigle frame saver for the last bunch of years, before that it was WD-40. Car wax on the outside. All holes have a liberal coating of waterproof grease spread into them...all the heat relief holes and especially at the seat tube.

Cables: stainless (I use real Campy record brake cables - and it makes a difference, never had one corrode, ever.) Plus I put a liberal coating of water proof grease at the nipples and cable openings.

Everything else is either alloy or aluminum so good there. Be careful with your aluminum, it will corrode, especially if in an area where the oxidation layer keeps getting scraped or broken.

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