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Thread: bike damage

  1. #1
    off the chain. six6one's Avatar
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    bike damage

    Winter is coming in sort of soon in my area (mass) and this year I dont want to stop biking because of it. I was just wondering how much damage the cold, snow, and salt from the roads does to bikes.

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    The Rabbi seely's Avatar
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    Its really best to have a "beater" bike, or at least one that is somewhat winter proofed. The salt wreaks havoc on any metal surface, just like your car unfortunately. All the wet and damp gets in places it shouldn't. No fun for your bike!

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    off the chain. six6one's Avatar
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    Its a really good thing I asked that question because I was planning on riding my new bike this winter. I would have shot myself if I damaged it in any way.

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    i have been riding my cannondale cyclocross all of last winter and my bike hasnt been damaged at all. the old city never salted the streets..lots of sand though; braking performance was generally bad due to the extreme cold. i think the heavy mud and grimy water when offroading in summer affected the bikes derailleur,though in winter things were generally clean.

    on the other hand my beater bikes (wallmart style) have gone to hell. used it through previous winters and summers and some parts are worn down, rusted, and broken.

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    I think if you put fenders on, and keep the bike clean, you should be in good shape. Winters are definitely hard are the drivetrain, though -- you'll probably go through chains pretty quickly, and maybe cassettes, too.

    One recommendation I've seen is to get two chains with master links. When one chain gets grungy, you can swap it out quickly, and clean it when you get the chance. I haven't tried it out myself yet.

  6. #6
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    Install fenders and install a mudflap under the front fender. Grease everything. That way, your bicycle will be OK for salt, salty water spray, slush and the like. If you ride in thick snow, there will definitely be some long-term effect, mostly in increased parts wear, but it's not critical. After all, most people don't have second thought about driving their car (mucho $$) in Winter.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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    Car wax can protect the outside of your frame. If you have an ultra-light race bike, then maybe avoid using it, but most low-mid end bikes are plenty strong enough and tough enough for winter riding. Grease all metal-metal contacts (seatpost, stem, pedals, nuts and bolts, to avoid corrosion and seizing.
    If you move the bike from cold to hot, beware condensation which gathers in the bottom bracket shell.

  8. #8
    off the chain. six6one's Avatar
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    Im most worried about the cold and snow rather than salt. My town uses sand instead. I think this might be the last year for my trek 6000, so Im going to use it this winter. Half of the parts on it are broken, and it would cost a considerable amount to fix. Ill put a fender on, but thats about it. Thanks for the information.

  9. #9
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    With lots of sand, it's fairly important to add a mudflap under your front fender, because sand is a good way to grind your drivetrain. See http://phred.org/~alex/bikes/fendermudflap.html
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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