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How to take care of bike after rain?

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How to take care of bike after rain?

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Old 09-11-07, 07:27 PM
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bonnicagi
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How to take care of bike after rain?

Pretty self explanatory...

My bike got soaked after an expected shower...i towel dried what I could, but is there anything else I should be doing?

I don't want any rust on my baby...I have some chain lube..should I be lubing the chain?
What else should I be doing?

Thanks - i've looked on google and can't find a straight answer...
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Old 09-11-07, 07:31 PM
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Jarery
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I do the same to my bike as I do to my car after it gets wet.....
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Old 09-11-07, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by bonnicagi View Post
Pretty self explanatory...

My bike got soaked after an expected shower...i towel dried what I could, but is there anything else I should be doing?

I don't want any rust on my baby...I have some chain lube..should I be lubing the chain?
What else should I be doing?

Thanks - i've looked on google and can't find a straight answer...
The expensive parts on the bike use grease anyway so some rain won't really hurt them. Definitely lube your chain to prevent rusting. Make sure to wipe the rims to get rid of brake grit. Brake grit also goes to the spokes so clean that too. Clean the brake pads for any foreign objects. Lastly if your bike is steel you are SCREWED! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!

I'm kidding. Seriously, YOU ARE SCREWED! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Old 09-11-07, 07:38 PM
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After riding in the rain, I always take the chain off for a full cleaning in solvent. There are lots of opinions concerning chain cleaning - and my intention is not to turn this thread into a discussion resembling a religious dispute. But, in my opinion, the best way to remove the grit that gets thrown into your chain while riding in the rain is a solvent bath followed by throrough lubing.

If the rain was heavy or I rode through some standing water, I pull the seat tube and hang the bike upside down overnight to get water out of the frame. I always find a little water in there after a good downpour.

I also run a file over my brake pads to get rid of embedded grit, and clean the rims.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:16 PM
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We've got some experience with biking in the rain here in Portland, Oregon. You basically see two types of bikes here in the winter. Those that get used, covered with grime and grit without their riders giving it second thought, and those that sit while their owners worry about getting them dirty. Come to think of it, same thing happens with cars. I suppose if you've got time to obsess over a means of transportation you could...but then, I know people that spit polish their shoes daily. Whatever works.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:26 PM
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Carry some cheap microfiber car cleaning cloths to get the water off. I mean the really cheap ones, I buy 12 for $10 at Target, but I have been known to lose them. Wipe the water off when parking for long periods.

If you bike out in the rain often then goto a LBS and ask for an anti-corrosive frame spray. There are a few out there and all work basically the same by coating the frame internally to prevent oxidization.

Beyond that any good lubricant is not water dissolvable so at worst look over your bike every month or so (personally I do a once over every weekend, but I average ~100 miles a work week for most of the year) and clean your chain, relube if necessary. Look at you pedals to see if the grease is dirty, the same for any bearings, and remove and grit which has built up in the grease.

On you regular overhaul check for any rust on your cables and replace if necessary. If you plan on riding semi regularily in rain then look into swapping cable routing to an enclosed system with rubber booties. Again, a LBS should have all you need or will tell you if it is possible on your frame (almost all frames can run with a full length cable housing).

For the random occasional ride nothing beyond a quick drying and a once over should be necessary.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
After riding in the rain, I always take the chain off for a full cleaning in solvent. There are lots of opinions concerning chain cleaning - and my intention is not to turn this thread into a discussion resembling a religious dispute. But, in my opinion, the best way to remove the grit that gets thrown into your chain while riding in the rain is a solvent bath followed by throrough lubing.

If the rain was heavy or I rode through some standing water, I pull the seat tube and hang the bike upside down overnight to get water out of the frame. I always find a little water in there after a good downpour.

I also run a file over my brake pads to get rid of embedded grit, and clean the rims.

I don't know how anyone has the time to put this much effort into a daily use commuter. Me I just ride until my chain gets sticky and starts skipping occasionally, then I lube it. I might lube the wheel bearings when I change tires for the winter and spring. I buy a new chain every spring. Mostly I just keep a close eye on the condition of my bike until I predict an emminent failure and then replace what's about to break.
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Old 09-11-07, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by biknbrian View Post
I don't know how anyone has the time to put this much effort into a daily use commuter. Me I just ride until my chain gets sticky and starts skipping occasionally, then I lube it. I might lube the wheel bearings when I change tires for the winter and spring. I buy a new chain every spring. Mostly I just keep a close eye on the condition of my bike until I predict an emminent failure and then replace what's about to break.
It takes 10-minutes to clean the chain in solvent. You just put it in a pop bottle with solvent, shake for a minute, then put it back on the bike. It's not hard. I usually commute 200-240 miles per week, 6-work days per week.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:01 PM
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My bike had to sit out in the rain all day today as it started raining while I was in class. This isn't the first time that's happened, but I remember making a promise years ago when it was that I'd never leave it out in the rain. Probably happened many times, though.

Looks like its chainwheels and chain might need some de-gooping, but otherwise, it's no worse off than before.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:14 PM
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I never clean or wipe my bike. I lube stuff pretty frequently. It sits in the rain at work and in the garage with heat and AC at home. It seems to be fairly contented. If I had to put the chain in a pop bottle every time it rains I think I would push it off a cliff and walk to work.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:22 PM
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Eh to clarify, by wipe down after rain I only meant he seat tube top, headset area and such. Only places water can enter the frame.

Still nice to carry microfiber clothes commuting though as they are nice for clean up on a day you are late or such.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:23 PM
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If it's a steel frame, use Frame Saver. Otherwise, just lube the chain when it gets noisy and do routine maintenance when it needs it. No need to go nuts.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:23 PM
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Depends which bike. My rain bike: I just clean it at the end of winter. But I keep it always well lubed. My road bike: well that's a different story. Dry it off as soon as possible. Wipe the chain down and re lube at the same time.
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Old 09-11-07, 10:43 PM
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On the same note, I ride my bike to the bus stop and then take the bus to campus. Is there anything wrong with leaving my bike outside in the weather?(Rain or Heat)

I have done this by accident a few times, inspected my bike once I got home and then wiped it down and lubed it. Anything wrong with that?
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Old 09-11-07, 10:51 PM
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Nah, but if you plan on using it rain or shine the small cost of a frame anti-oxidizer is worth it (such as Frame Saver).

Remember even aluminum have places where they can rust if not taken care of, but again a fram spray an a regular overlook should be about all that is necessary. If you have rusty cables then replace with stainless to get as much life out of them next time etc.
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Old 09-12-07, 12:12 AM
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How to take care of bike after rain?

Originally Posted by bonnicagi View Post
Pretty self explanatory... My bike got soaked after an expected shower...i towel dried what I could, but is there anything else I should be doing? I don't want any rust on my baby...I have some chain lube..should I be lubing the chain? What else should I be doing?

Thanks - i've looked on google and can't find a straight answer...
Good question!

Having lived on the west coast of Canada (big-time rain place) for 25 years, here's what I've found works.

Get the bike out of the rain. Take the panniers off, lift it six inches, and drop it--several times, to shed the water. Lean it against the wall (or put it in the bike stand) and give the drivetrain a quick rub down with a dry rag (old socks work great). Spin the cranks backward while holding the rag/sock around the chain.

If the bike's been in heavy rain a few times (lube's wearing off), spray the chain with WD-40 while spinning the cranks backward, then put the lube bottle on the seat as a reminder to re-lube before the morning ride (along with a dry sock to remove excess).

Let the bike dry overnight, preferably in a warm, dry, well-aired place.

Re-lube the drivetrain in the morning. Apply enough to get into the pins, and wipe off the excess with the rag/sock (again, spinning the cranks backwards), or it'll just attract more gunk. [putting one drop per pin works really well, and only takes about 45 seconds. Seems anal, but it keeps your drivetrain from looking like the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez "incident"). Check the rest of the bike regularly for rust, and lube as necessary.

Old toothbrushes work well for scrubbing developing rust out of bolt heads. The whole process (less the scrubbing of bolt heads, etc.) takes less than three minutes, including the re-lube in the morning.

Choose the lube based on the amount of rain you ride in. Lots of rain: oil-based/Teflon-based lube. Little rain: paraffin-based lube (unless you want to apply the lube after each rain--but this stuff works fantastically in dirty conditions--dry or wet--as it sheds goop from the chain).

That's what works in my experience. Looking forward to hearing from others.

Allan

P.S. Check your cables periodically. If necessary, remove the cables from the housings and wipe them down with a lightly-lubed rag, then reinsert (or replace them if the ends are frayed--they're inexpensive). Makes shifting and braking much more pleasant.

Last edited by allan_dunlop; 09-12-07 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 09-12-07, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by allan_dunlop View Post
Good question!

Having lived on the west coast of Canada (big-time rain place) for 25 years, here's what I've found works.

Get the bike out of the rain. Take the panniers off, lift it six inches, and drop it--several times, to shed the water. Lean it against the wall (or put it in the bike stand) and give the drivetrain a quick rub down with a dry rag (old socks work great). Spin the cranks backward while holding the rag/sock around the chain.

If the bike's been in heavy rain a few times (lube's wearing off), spray the chain with WD-40 while spinning the cranks backward, then put the lube bottle on the seat as a reminder to re-lube before the morning ride (along with a dry sock to remove excess).

Let the bike dry overnight, preferably in a warm, dry, well-aired place.

Re-lube the drivetrain in the morning. Apply enough to get into the pins, and wipe off the excess with the rag/sock (again, spinning the cranks backwards), or it'll just attract more gunk. [putting one drop per pin works really well, and only takes about 45 seconds. Seems anal, but it keeps your drivetrain from looking like the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez "incident"). Check the rest of the bike regularly for rust, and lube as necessary.

Old toothbrushes work well for scrubbing developing rust out of bolt heads. The whole process (less the scrubbing of bolt heads, etc.) takes less than three minutes, including the re-lube in the morning.

Choose the lube based on the amount of rain you ride in. Lots of rain: oil-based/Teflon-based lube. Little rain: paraffin-based lube (unless you want to apply the lube after each rain--but this stuff works fantastically in dirty conditions--dry or wet--as it sheds goop from the chain).

That's what works in my experience. Looking forward to hearing from others.

Allan

P.S. Check your cables periodically. If necessary, remove the cables from the housings and wipe them down with a lightly-lubed rag, then reinsert (or replace them if the ends are frayed--they're inexpensive). Makes shifting and braking much more pleasant.
I do basically the same. When I get home, I spray most of the moving parts with a WD-40 like lube, then when everything is dry (and I have time) I use a chain cleaning kit similar to this
. On the weekend I'll use a brush and cleaning liquid to really get in all the tight places to get all the funk out. So far everything works pretty good.
 
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Old 09-12-07, 04:30 AM
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It depends whether I'm expecting it to rain the next day or not. If I think I'm going to get a dry spell, I'll wipe down and re-lube the chain. If not, I'll just spray the chain, cables and whatever else needs it with WD-40 and let it all happen again the next day. Having coped with a wet tour of Scotland recently, I just don't see the point in giving the bike a major clean just to get it in the same state again the next day.
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Old 09-12-07, 07:40 PM
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My rain-care?

1. Put a plastic bag on the saddle when I park and it's possible to have rain. Leather saddles and rain don't go well together... and with a plastic saddle, it's my rear end that doesn't like it.

2. Re-lube the squeaky chain. In summer, I tend to use "dry" lubricant because it doesn't attract sand that much. However, it means I have to relube the chain after any serious downpour.
In Winter or when we have too much rain, I use "wet" lubricant so I don't have as much maintenance work to do.

3. About once or twice a year, I "wash" the bike with WD-40. It goes a long way to keep water from forming rusty spots inside Allen bolts and the like.
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