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My beloved steed + Canadian winter... wax and lube options?

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My beloved steed + Canadian winter... wax and lube options?

Old 10-31-15, 12:07 PM
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lizcatd
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My beloved steed + Canadian winter... wax and lube options?

I've been looking into prepping my bike for horrible Canadian winter slushy salty conditions.

Should I wax my frame? It's aluminium and it has a few scratches and scrapes that could be susceptible to corrosion. If so, any wax suggestions?

Also any thoughts on lube? I currently only have dry lube on hand.

I'm going to get some fenders soon before it gets really messy out there. I've already got wider tires and disc brakes so yay for that.

Is there anything else I should be doing to get her ready for snow?
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Old 10-31-15, 12:30 PM
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There have been a few threads about commuting in the winter that may have some good ideas for you. You can do a search for them on the forum.

You don't need to wax your frame. The salt and slush isn't going to do much to the aluminum. It's the non-anodized parts of your bike that are going to deteriorate--bolts, chain, etc. You can just give them a quick wipe down after a slushy ride, or hose it down and let it dry indoors, if it's practical.

Winters in Toronto aren't too bad, and if your commute is downtown you likely will be okay without studded tires. But that's something to consider as well if it's a longer ride, and if it's near the suburbs.

How long is your commute? And whereabouts are you riding?
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Old 10-31-15, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by lizcatd View Post

Should I wax my frame? It's aluminium and it has a few scratches and scrapes that could be susceptible to corrosion. If so, any wax suggestions?
Don't worry about aluminium frame corroding, no need for any wax...One of my aluminium MTB frames has 9 winters on it and hasn't corroded yet and I don't even wash all the salt off that bike.
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Old 10-31-15, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
There have been a few threads about commuting in the winter that may have some good ideas for you. You can do a search for them on the forum.

You don't need to wax your frame. The salt and slush isn't going to do much to the aluminum. It's the non-anodized parts of your bike that are going to deteriorate--bolts, chain, etc. You can just give them a quick wipe down after a slushy ride, or hose it down and let it dry indoors, if it's practical.

Winters in Toronto aren't too bad, and if your commute is downtown you likely will be okay without studded tires. But that's something to consider as well if it's a longer ride, and if it's near the suburbs.

How long is your commute? And whereabouts are you riding?
Maybe I've been looking in the wrong places! I'll be sure to keep searching.

Toronto winters aren't too bad usually but the last one was pretty snowy... or at the very least I am just getting used to cold weather riding. My riding is mostly downtown and on bike paths, so that makes it's easier. It's about 8km from the west end to the downtown core. I'm also hoping to just keep riding in general throughout the year. I dislike gyms and I don't want to lose all my fitness gains from this summer but staying off the bike all winter.

My main concern was whether to wax or not. I've been reading mixed opinions. I'd rather not to be honest, seems like a hassle?
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Old 10-31-15, 01:15 PM
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You'll need a good, thick "wet" lube for your drivetrain.
Something like Phil's Tenacious Oil from MEC will do the trick.
Just make sure to wipe off any excess after applying.
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Old 10-31-15, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by lizcatd View Post
Maybe I've been looking in the wrong places! I'll be sure to keep searching.
Here's a good place to start.
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Old 10-31-15, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by lizcatd View Post
My main concern was whether to wax or not. I've been reading mixed opinions. I'd rather not to be honest, seems like a hassle?
I've never heard of the need to 'wax' a bike. Car, yes. But not a bike. What would you use, like Turtle Wax or something similar?

What bike are you currently riding?
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Old 11-01-15, 05:47 AM
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I bike through the winters in Nova Scotia and don't wax my bike. I have never seen the need to do so.

A good wet lube for the winter is a must. For the past few years I've use a grease on the chain and replaced the chain in the spring. I used fluid film because it seemed to lube better than Finish line wet.
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Old 11-01-15, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I've never heard of the need to 'wax' a bike. Car, yes. But not a bike. What would you use, like Turtle Wax or something similar?

What bike are you currently riding?
I saw it mentioned on GCN here but I also heard about it elsewhere... I wish I could remember where. I just have a vague recollection of a conversation about the nicks on my bike's finish and how that could be an issue in the winter.

I'm currently riding a 2015 Kona Rove**. I wouldn't have worried so much about the finish but we've been in a few big crashes which has left a few gashes in the paint and I'm worried that could be a corrosion problem later. I adore this bike so I want to keep her in good condition. (I know, I should ride a beater in the winter, but I got a sweet bike so I could ride it all the time! That may shorten her lifespan but I'll keep her in good condition to at least extend it.)

**Edit: Should specify, it's the Kona Rove Al. Still love it though

Originally Posted by canadian deacon View Post
I bike through the winters in Nova Scotia and don't wax my bike. I have never seen the need to do so.

A good wet lube for the winter is a must. For the past few years I've use a grease on the chain and replaced the chain in the spring. I used fluid film because it seemed to lube better than Finish line wet.
I'm assuming grease isn't too heavy...? Or sticky? I might just see how the wet lube goes depending on how mucky this winter gets. Last winter was bad but I've seen a few fairly dry Toronto winters (here's hoping we'll have another this year).

Last edited by lizcatd; 11-02-15 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 11-01-15, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
So I completely missed that thread... Thanks gregjones!
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Old 11-01-15, 05:18 PM
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You could always do some touch up paint on the exposed metal area to protect. Just a matter of matching the colour.

Nice bike, BTW.

You'll have to regularly clean and lube your drivetrain, especially the chain, when you're riding in wet conditions. It's a hassle, but it's got to be done, not only to prevent corrosion, but to keep the drivetrain working properly.
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Old 11-01-15, 06:27 PM
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Before Michigan winters I will wax the frame to help, but I use steel and need the extra protection from the corrosives the road commissions spread around. I also take the BB out and slather the inside with Phil's waterproof grease after a good cleaning. I use White Lightning Wet Ride in the winter and have had good luck with it. I clean the chain more often using a Park Tool chain cleaner and Zep citric acid.

Marc
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Old 11-02-15, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Nice bike, BTW.

You'll have to regularly clean and lube your drivetrain, especially the chain, when you're riding in wet conditions. It's a hassle, but it's got to be done, not only to prevent corrosion, but to keep the drivetrain working properly.
Thank you! And yeah... I figured regular cleanings would be a necessity. I really enjoy taking care of my bike (almost as much as I enjoy riding it!) Though winter is a special kind of hassle so I will try to be all zen-and-the-art-of-bicycle-maintenance about it.

Edit: I should specify, my ride is the Rove Al. Not quite as nice as the Rove but still a thoroughly lovely steed.

Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
Before Michigan winters I will wax the frame to help, but I use steel and need the extra protection from the corrosives the road commissions spread around. I also take the BB out and slather the inside with Phil's waterproof grease after a good cleaning. I use White Lightning Wet Ride in the winter and have had good luck with it. I clean the chain more often using a Park Tool chain cleaner and Zep citric acid.
Thanks for the tips Marc!

Last edited by lizcatd; 11-02-15 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 11-02-15, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by lizcatd View Post
Edit: I should specify, my ride is the Rove Al. Not quite as nice as the Rove but still a thoroughly lovely steed.
I figure, since you mentioned that you had an aluminum. Still a nice bike. Just as well since the Rove is a steel bike, so you would have had corrosion as an issue.
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Old 11-02-15, 09:14 AM
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Keep the salt off of your spokes.
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Old 11-02-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
I've never heard of the need to 'wax' a bike. Car, yes. But not a bike. What would you use, like Turtle Wax or something similar?
It wouldn't hurt (unless you have a matte paint). Automotive waxes would work just fine to protect the hard parts of your bike - if nothing else: you'd be shinier after the wax.
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Old 11-02-15, 12:02 PM
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I just slobber oil onto my chain when it starts to squeak, then replace it in the spring. I always want to make it last until the rains end (July) but never can.
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