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special maintenance/cleaning after riding through salt water?

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special maintenance/cleaning after riding through salt water?

Old 12-05-21, 05:58 PM
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special maintenance/cleaning after riding through salt water?

did a search and surprisingly saw no recent topics with "salt water" in the title.

we had king tides today, and a big chunk of a path i had no way round was submerged in bay water, aka salt water.

max depth was probably around a foot, maybe a bit more, it was over the top of my feet in the balanced position on the pedals. total waterlogged distance wasn't too great, perhaps a quarter mile added up, longest stretch around 500 feet, which was long enough that i had to pedal through it. this was around 10 miles into a 50 mile ride, and the bike was fine for the rest of the ride, just a bit noisier than usual. i assume my dry lube was pretty well cleaned off by the water. brakes (hydro disc) were VERY loud after, but a few long drags on descents and they seem back to normal.

my plan was to rinse the bike with fresh water and relube the chain and my cleats, but is there anything else i should do?
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Old 12-05-21, 07:19 PM
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Bottom Bracket?
If you got salt water into the frame tubing, I would think you are inviting corrosion, even with some frame saver type protection
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Old 12-05-21, 07:27 PM
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If you need to get through salt water, buy a boat. You should have never ridden a bike through salt water at that depth.

Since it has already happened, I would very thoroughly clean any and all parts of the bike that came into contact with the salt water. Any bearings that were submerged (sounds like the pedals were submerged, which means the bottom bracket was under water, too) should be pulled apart and cleaned thoroughly...or alternatively, just plan on replacing them in the near future. If the chain was submerged, I would just replace it now. If your bottom bracket was under water, I would pull the BB and clean the hell out of the BB shell. Ditto for wheel hubs.

I would also pull the tires off of the wheels and give rims, spokes, and nipples a good cleaning. Aluminum does not rust, but it does corrode - and salt will cause that.

Seriously, dude, you messed up. Next time you see salt water, just turn around.

Last edited by Koyote; 12-05-21 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 12-05-21, 07:47 PM
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Rinse your bike with some fresh water and let it dry. Then lube your chain and lube other components and continue riding. Don't worry about it .
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Old 12-05-21, 08:09 PM
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With all the salt and slush on the roads in the winter in my neck of the woods, I am essentially riding through salt water for 3-4 months out of the year, albeit in shallower depths than you did.
The only real concerns I would have would be any water trapped inside frame tubes, and wheel hub and bottom bracket bearings. I would immediately service both wheel hubs, as well as the bottom bracket, and flush out & dry the interior of the frame near the bottom bracket, and maybe the fork blades if they took on any water.
I would clean and relube your chain with your normal procedure, wipe disc rotors with a rag damp with iso alcohol, and maybe service the pedals, if they are serviceable.
You might find that your spokes might be difficult to adjust in the future if they have alloy nipples and the spoke threads were not prepped well. There may be infiltration into the rim also, which could make a bit of a mess in the future. FWIW, the wheels on my winter bike dont get any real special (once a year hub overhaul) attention and are still in pretty good shape after a few years of use.
Ride on!
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Old 12-05-21, 08:20 PM
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thanks all. as expected some different opinions on the severity of this 😂😂

the nipples are alloy (DT Swiss Pro Lock Alloy hexagonal), so iíll pull the tires and clean everything inside there. servicing the hubs (roval AFD) is beyond my abilities. after a good wash, inverting and rotating the frame upside down sideways and all over doesnít seem to cause any drips or trickles or sounds of water, so i have a feeling thereís no, or not much water in there. brakes, cassette, chain, pedals are all rinsed and degreased and relubed. rotors cleaned. everything else just heavily rinsed.

will probably take it to the LBS in a few weeks to have a thorough checkup, itís due anyway.

Last edited by mschwett; 12-05-21 at 08:35 PM.
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