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  1. #1
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    I ride all winter. Bad idea to do it on a steel framed bike?

    Hi,

    I commute to work year round on my bike. Last winter I rode an aluminum-framed Downtube Mini. Worked out great with minimal if any damage to the bike as a result of the snow/salt/water.

    Now my Mini's in need of repair and I just obtained a mint 2007 Dahon Speed D7. I'm thinking that this bike will servet he purpose this winter. But this bike has a steel (CrMo 4130) frame. Paint job is perfect, no chips yet. I haven't treated the frame with FrameSaver because I do not have the tools / time / $ to strip it down to the frame for the treatment.

    So what do you think? Am I going to regret riding a steel framed bike in the winter? I will be able to wash it off / dry it off nightly in my apt.

  2. #2
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    If you are able to wash it down and dry it out nightly there will be no problem with a steel frame. Just touch up any bare metal exposed spots on the frame and make sure to get the chain and cassette good and clean and lubed.

  3. #3
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    I've read claims that spraying the bike with WD-40 (but not the rims, obviously) greatly reduces the likelihood of rust spots; might be worth a try.

  4. #4
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    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...n.aspx?sc=FRGL

    Goes on the inside of the frame. Wax goes on the outside, if you like. If you have to wash it nightly you're not going to put up with it, and you shouldn't (do you wash your steel car nightly?).

    My year round commuter (winter too) is 4130. This will be my second winter, but I haven't found any rust yet. I really don't foresee it being a major problem assuming I keep an eye out for paint that needs touched up. I haven't used frame saver on it and don't really plan to.


    Aluminum is also susceptible to salt. It's supposedly less susceptible.

  5. #5
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    The biggest problem, by far, will be corrosion on threaded surfaces. A little care in keeping the bike as dry as possible and greasing the bejeebers out of those threads in advance, will go a long way.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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  6. #6
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    My steel frame didn't rust at all last winter.
    However I forgot to grease a few nuts and I had to replace them.
    The whole back wheel was a mess of rust.

    From my last 2 winters the frame is the last thing I was worried about, the brakes/shifters/derailleur/chains were my main worries.

  7. #7
    your god hates me Bob Ross's Avatar
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    My winter bike is a 25-year-old steel (4130) Bridgestone that I got second-hand, when it already had a couple of rust spots on it. Since then I've ridden it through two northeast winters and haven't done anything more than wipe it down with a rag or paper towel when it's obviously wet. No Framesaver, no WD-40, no wax... once in a rare while I'll wipe down the frame with a Pledge Wipe, but that's it.

    And those rust spots are still exactly the same size/shape/color as they were when I got the bike.

    I predict that frame will last forever. As long as you're not leaving it outside in the snow I'll bet any decent steel frame will outlast its owner, regardless of how crappy your winters are.

    Just be sure to lube the hell out of the chain...

  8. #8
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    I've had no problems with my steel frames...they are all usually treated with frame saver on the inside when I buy them and I wash & wax the frame at some point in the fall before the temps get below freezing. I don't wash the bike with water again until spring, though I may wipe it down. As others have mentioned...it's the bolts and threads...and your drivetrain...that you have to worry about more than the frame. I use lots of WD40 throughout the winter months...and usually do an overhaul of the bike(s) in the spring.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    My winter bike is a 25-year-old steel (4130) Bridgestone that I got second-hand, when it already had a couple of rust spots on it. Since then I've ridden it through two northeast winters and haven't done anything more than wipe it down with a rag or paper towel when it's obviously wet. No Framesaver, no WD-40, no wax... once in a rare while I'll wipe down the frame with a Pledge Wipe, but that's it.

    And those rust spots are still exactly the same size/shape/color as they were when I got the bike.

    I predict that frame will last forever. As long as you're not leaving it outside in the snow I'll bet any decent steel frame will outlast its owner, regardless of how crappy your winters are.
    I agree! I do oil the chain about twice as often in winter but that is about it for winter care. There might be possibly at the most 10% more damage in winter than in summer, at least in my experience, but not enough to worry about. I don't dry it, take it indoors, give it a bath every night or that sort of stuff I've read occasionally here. (City folk!)

    All my bikes are winter beaters. Life is simple.
    mainlytext.com/bike.html Bicycling in winter, the entertainment version

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