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My winter bike "treatment" so far

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My winter bike "treatment" so far

Old 01-27-15, 10:31 PM
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My winter bike "treatment" so far

There hasn't been a lot of snow this year, but the roads are heavily salted. Every night after the bike drips dry in the garage, I quickly dab at exposed steel bits with some oil that I keep in a tin can, and a toothbrush. It takes less than a minute, and I do it while gathering my gear for the next day. Right now it's chain saw oil because I ran out of everything else, so it's very thick and sticky. It'll probably look like hell in the spring, but I've seen no new rust so far.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:17 AM
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I'd say there are some better products than chain saw oil for that but that will work to keep the metal protected. Also don't forget to grease your seat post regularly and make sure all your bolts are well greased as too. That salt spray is evil stuff that finds every nook and cranny it can. While you can't protect everything totally you can really mitigate the effects of the salt with liberal overuse of lube and grease. I try to keep my chain lubed but it ends up pretty trashed by the end of the winter, I expect to and I do put a new chain on every spring.
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Old 01-28-15, 11:54 AM
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After your ride and before you apply the oil you might wanna just give it a rinse with clean water to get the salt off.

I've also worried about salt affecting my bike. Last time I replaced my BB after a year of riding in snow and on salty roads the inside of the frame leaked out a bunch of rusty sludge. I let it dry and used some frame protector, whether or not it was too late I'm not sure, but thought maybe it'll prevent further damage. I also try to rinse and lube/grease whenever I get some time or when I notice surface rust building. In the end I think you just have to accept that your bike is gunna get damaged from winter riding. You can chalk it up to the cost of commuting. It'll still probably be years before any rust damage affects the integrity of the frame itself though.

Edit: Also be careful with sticky or thick lubes, they can attract grit and dust that will act like sand paper in small areas such as chains, bearings, etc... no good.
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Old 01-28-15, 02:15 PM
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I've found that for cleaning, bike-specific spray is good, and so is furniture polish. Spray either one on, wipe with a rag. The dirt practically jumps off and runs away.

I've been riding mostly my fender-equipped bike lately. Last night, I went out into the slush with my un-be-fendered bike. What a mess it is now! My backpack also has salt spray on it.
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Old 01-28-15, 03:37 PM
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We've had no snow or sleet so far this winter, and just one day with minor freezing rain. Thus, the DOT hasn't applied any salt the roads yet to my knowledge. However, we've had a lot of rainy weather, dating back the past couple of years. We rarely seem to go more than 2-3 days without more rain, and it's hard to keep your bike clean unless you wash it every weekend. I've washed my bikes several times over the fall and winter, and every time that I do it, I get caught in more rain. Fortunately, I've got three bikes with fenders and I've been riding them almost exclusively, because even when it's not raining the roads are often wet. My two bikes without fenders have hardly been ridden since the fall. If it sounds like I'm whining, forgive me. I would much rather have our weather than the snow, sleet and ice they're getting up north.
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