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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 11-23-10, 05:34 AM   #1
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Location: Gloversville, NY
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Cro moly for my winter ride?

Noob here and just found the forum. I'll do a better intro later. I have a Schwinn Moab with a cromoly frame. Should I worry about rust if I use it for a winter ride? Is aluminum the preferred ride for winter? Thanks.
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Old 11-23-10, 06:38 AM   #2
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I ride steel in the winter and have no problems. A lot of other people do too. Rust isn't really a big worry for most people, and there are 40+ year old steel bikes out there all over the place doing just fine.

Just don't store it in the elements and if you ride in pouring rain, allow the bike to dry completely -- some people take out the seatpost and turn the bike upside down in case any water needs to drain, but I'm too lazy for that.

You can use framsaver or some other rust-inhibitor inside the frame if you want to. I treated my Surly with boiled linseed oil when I first got it, but haven't done or thought about doing anything since.
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Old 11-23-10, 08:13 AM   #3
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I used a chromoly steel road bike in a coastal town and stored it outside 24/7, summer and winter.
The bike was regularly ridden through sea-spray and in the rain.
Rust was never a problem. Wax the frame, treat the inside, grease the appropriate threads and metal-to-metal mating surfaces.
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Old 11-23-10, 08:17 AM   #4
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Also an aluminum frame will corrode with salt too. Keep everything painted, and lubed. Nail polish is handy for scrapes in the paint.
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Old 11-24-10, 03:00 PM   #5
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You don't need to take the seat and post out ... just turn it upside down. the water will find its way out, the same way it went in. : o)
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Old 11-24-10, 03:10 PM   #6
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If you tear it down and use boiled linseed oil or some other stuff to coat the inside of the frame tubes
you will have less to worry about on the inside too
water comes in as vapor, by condensation it wets the inside of tubes when they're cold.

Keep up the maintainence, or treat the bike as a consumable and just buy replacements.

corrosion in steel is called rust , after all

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-24-10 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 11-24-10, 11:56 PM   #7
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My winter bike is steel.

I really haven't seen a big problem with rust. I did treat the tubes with Frame saver a couple of years ago. However, there are a few paint chips that were showing rust. I sanded them off with a brillo pad and waxed the frame, so it now look reasonable.

I have more of a problem with the components on the bike. My cheapo crank started looking a bit rusty after last winter. Brakes bolts, as well as the v-brake noodle, the chain, rear rack bolts all showed some rust pitting. I treated those to a brillo sanding and added car wax where I could.

I probably wouldn't want to use a Colnago as my winter bike, but the deterioration isn't as dramatic as you might think. By my estimate I can easily get another 5 years out of this cheapo hi-ten frame, although I'm guessing a few iterations of component change....
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Old 11-25-10, 05:39 AM   #8
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Steel bikes left/stored/neglected outside are like a damaged/partialy cracked carbon bike... not if ,but when it fails ... its catastrophic .
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Old 11-26-10, 08:37 PM   #9
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I ride a 1989 Univega Competizione as my winter/rain bike. I have a couple of suggestions.

I stripped my bike down to bare metal and then sprayed it with about eight coats of Rustoleum enamel. I also painted the inside of the head tube, BB shell (not the threads!), seat tube, and into the downtube as well as I could. Seems to be a good way to potect the frame from internal rust.

Fenders do a good job of protecting you and your bike from spray. Splatter on the seat post leaks down into the seat tube and this is a major cause of internal rust. I ride with fenders, and last season I did 2300 rain miles. When I removed the seatpost and BB, it was bone dry inside.

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