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Winter road salt residue

Old 12-31-22, 08:09 AM
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Winter road salt residue

We have a couple of days of nice mild weather with temps into the low 50s and the wife and I would very much like to get out on the new bikes for bit. One thing that worries me is all the road salt and salt dust/residue still on the local roads as evidenced by the mostly white chalky cars driving everywhere. Yesterday I hoped on the bike and rode on the driveway and a short distance on my street for 10 mins during my lunch break and I did notice a lot of salt / residue on the road.

What to do?
1. Stop worrying, go ride and clean the bikes when done? If so, how best to clean the brand new bikes of salt residue short of hosing them down?
2. Hell no, keep the bikes in the garage until we get some rain and the salt gets washed off the roads?

Mike
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Old 12-31-22, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MikePFlyFish
We have a couple of days of nice mild weather with temps into the low 50s and the wife and I would very much like to get out on the new bikes for bit. One thing that worries me is all the road salt and salt dust/residue still on the local roads as evidenced by the mostly white chalky cars driving everywhere. Yesterday I hoped on the bike and rode on the driveway and a short distance on my street for 10 mins during my lunch break and I did notice a lot of salt / residue on the road.

What to do?
1. Stop worrying, go ride and clean the bikes when done? If so, how best to clean the brand new bikes of salt residue short of hosing them down?
2. Hell no, keep the bikes in the garage until we get some rain and the salt gets washed off the roads?

Mike
#1.

Two buckets of warm water: one with a little dish soap for washing the bikes, one that is clear, for rinsing them. Then dry them off with an old towel.

Last edited by Koyote; 12-31-22 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 12-31-22, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
#1.

Two buckets of warm water: one with a little dish soap for washing the bimes, one that is clear, for rinsing them. Then dry them off with an old towel.
Or just go to the car wash during warm spells. Honestly there is nothing wrong with using a car wash. The myths about water infiltration due to the high pressure are wrong.

Originally Posted by MikePFlyFish

2. Hell no, keep the bikes in the garage until we get some rain and the salt gets washed off the roads?
Or, if you don’t want to ride your “good” bike, get a beater.

Or a bike that laughs at salt. My choice is titanium.
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Old 12-31-22, 08:41 AM
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Being originally from an area where the use of road salt was quite common, I can say that washing and drying will work, but in the spring, tear the bike down and clean EVERYTHING. Salt has a nasty habit of getting into places that soap and water don't, and eventually you'll find out the hard way about salt corrosion.
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Old 12-31-22, 09:12 AM
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Here is a decent rinse aid we used in snow plowing/salting.


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Old 12-31-22, 10:14 AM
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If you are really concerned about it, and will be riding on salt covered roads a lot, spray the bike down with Boeshield, then clean the Boeshield off in the spring. You can rinse the bike during the winter as well. I use Boeshield on my motorcycle which is ridden all winter, including on snowy roads. When spraying, just follow the directions, let it sit before using the bike to let the Boeshield set up, and make sure your brake rotors are covered before spraying, or your rims if you have rim brakes. Better yet, remove the wheels before spraying. I spray the spokes as well, especially around the nipples. With rim brakes, just clean the braking surface with brake cleaner after spraying.

https://www.amazon.com/Boeshield-Aer...503232&sr=8-12


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Old 12-31-22, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by MikePFlyFish

What to do?
1. Stop worrying, go ride and clean the bikes when done? If so, how best to clean the brand new bikes of salt residue short of hosing them down?
2. Hell no, keep the bikes in the garage until we get some rain and the salt gets washed off the roads?

Mike
Rinse it off after the ride, lube everything and don't worry about it...Me personally I don't rinse my bikes because I live in a high rise building and I don't have a backyard or a garage. Sometimes I wipe them with rag. I wait until the spring rains come and wash all the salt off.
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Old 12-31-22, 10:35 AM
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It also depends what material your frame is made of...If it's carbon or aluminum or titanium don't worry about it. If it's a steel frame the best thing to do is to spray rustproofing oil inside the entire frame. Steel frames frames rust from inside out.
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Old 12-31-22, 11:00 AM
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I will never use Boeshield again. I bought a bottle at the recommendation of the LBS and treated my chain with it. Life interfered with riding and the bike sat idle in the garage for an extended period. Over the space of a few months the chain started to rust. I gave it a good saturation and wipe with my old standby, Tri-Flow, and it's looked like new ever since--in the same garage.

Tri-Flow is thin and needs more frequent application, so in the future I'll be experimenting with Super-Lube synthetic oil, which also has teflon but is of a higher viscosity.
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Old 12-31-22, 11:09 AM
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If you have *not new* bikes I’d go with that, foul weather accelerates wear by a ton. I got a road bike for Christmas that I won’t touch until spring.
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Old 12-31-22, 11:27 AM
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Another fan of the beater. I used to ride steel bikes with hand painted two part epoxy paint. I wasn't yet knowledgeable about frame saver but now I'd do that also. I kept the drivetrain very simple. First single speed, then fix gear. I greased all threads and had I known then, I'd have used marine grease for both threads and bearings. (The stuff for boat trailer hubs - at any auto parts store.) In those days I rode cyclocross tubulars and cheapo, heavy rims that, by March in Boston, were shaped like irregular polygons. April, the spokes got cut out, new rims laced on, new road tires, whole bike cleaned up, bearings pack and it was a fun ride until next winter when the cyclcocross tires went back on and the salt and pothole damage returned.

In the summer that beater was my city bike and stormy weather trainer. (Check the weather, ride upwind for 50 miles to a town, stop for lunch and spin the fix gear home with very tired legs. Fantastic for building the ability to recover mid-race.)
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Old 12-31-22, 12:10 PM
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I’ve been winter riding salty MI roads for decades, and while the salt is definitely damaging, it’s not catastrophic, and nothing a little rinse off can’t take care of.

I use a $10 hand-pump garden sprayer to rinse the bike off after a ride, and have used the same, geared, winter commuter for 16 years without any unusual wear and only typical maintenance.

I suppose a little of the salt neutralizer posted upthread added to the sprayer would be all the better. I may try it!
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Old 12-31-22, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by rollagain
I will never use Boeshield again. I bought a bottle at the recommendation of the LBS and treated my chain with it. Life interfered with riding and the bike sat idle in the garage for an extended period. Over the space of a few months the chain started to rust. I gave it a good saturation and wipe with my old standby, Tri-Flow, and it's looked like new ever since--in the same garage.

Tri-Flow is thin and needs more frequent application, so in the future I'll be experimenting with Super-Lube synthetic oil, which also has teflon but is of a higher viscosity.
I didn't intend for it to be used on a chain. Lube the chain properly, use Boeshield to prevent rust on the rest of the bike, where you would not want to coat with oil. I have not had Boeshield, properly applied, fail to prevent rust. Common sense has to be applied as well. Two years of riding on actual salt covered roads, and the Boeshield has worked well.
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Old 12-31-22, 02:29 PM
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20+ years commuting year round in West Michigan taught me a thing or two about protecting a bicycle from corrosion from salt. We dump somewhere around 523,000 tons of salt on Michigan roads each year. The grand ol' Lake Michigan is ingesting about 1 million tons of salt per year and it is slowly killing it. OK, now to my opinions.

Grease is the only thing that has worked for me to protect rack bolts and the like from corrosion. Oils and waxes wash off and must be reapplied weekly. A heavy grease like an auto bearing grease tends to stay in place. The best, albeit most dirty chain lube I have used is Phil Wood Tenacious Oil. It makes a hellava mess, but it works by producing a thick coat of oil that doesn't wash all all too easily. Second up is Tri-Flow. I always cleaned and re-lube the chain each weekend.

Least effective chain lube has been Boeshield. Washes off much too easily, and does not prevent corrosion very well. Was required to lube chain twice a week to keep up with corrosion prevention., and more often in slushy conditions. As for the frame, I only ride steel commuters and have never had a frame rot out from internal or external rust. I use zero rust preventative measures inside the frame tubes. The only thing I do is plug any vent holes in the frame. I use beeswax for this job, and plug any unused threaded holes on the frame as well.

Concerning using a car wash power washer, please for the sake of employment of winter season mechanics, use the car wash! We will eventually be replacing hubs and BB's due to water intrusion into the bearing surfaces. I have seen it too many times to count. If dunking a bike into water that is over the hubs is not recommended by any sane person, how is power washing acceptable?

As always, we each have our experiences and we each have our opinions. Take what you can from this post and the others and find out for yourself what works.
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Old 12-31-22, 03:08 PM
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For me personally, full fenders with extra long mud flaps are a must have accessory on every bike which I use for winter riding. They not only protect my clothes from road salt but also protect the head set and bottom bracket from salty road spray. I like my fenders extra wide for better protection... Also be sure to apply some grease or oil to every bolt and screw that is on your bike,
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Old 12-31-22, 03:46 PM
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Spray and rinse with water after a wet ride. The warm water will still freeze on the bike if you're out too long, but better than nothing.

I second the fender and long flaps. But the wet road with the sand and salt is still going to get onto the drivetrain. Spraying down is your only option to get rid of it.

I go through one bottom bracket per season on my winter bike, about 6000 km or so.
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Old 12-31-22, 05:24 PM
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Thanks very much for all the tips and suggestions. Tons of varied experience here so this is all the more helpful!

Mother Nature solved my immediate dilemma for this weekend.....a steady, soaking rain started while we were at REI picking up my wife's bike. Rather than the trunk mounted bike rack I removed the front wheel and put the bike in the trunk with the back seats down. The bike is an XS size with no doubt helped the trunk fitment and we were able to get the bike home and not have a brand new, unridden bike water blasted for 30 miles.

The forecast for the next two days is dry, sunny and mild (50s) and now most if not all of the road salt has been washed away . We both have Monday off so the plan is plenty of neighborhood rides for the next two days. They will be nice and easy, to get our bike bearings (terrible choice of word) and familiarize ourselves with it all.

Thank you all again for sharing idea and experience! Happy and healthy New Year to all!

Mike

Last edited by MikePFlyFish; 01-02-23 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 01-01-23, 05:20 PM
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mcours2006, that is the same experience I had until I replaced with the Shimano UN5* series BB's. I had one UN52 BB on a mountain bike, commuter bike and finally on a road bike. Went easily 50,000 miles and is still in service on a friend's bike. They are a fantastic BB.
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Old 01-01-23, 10:35 PM
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garden sprayer & bike towel. go ride your bike
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Old 01-01-23, 11:05 PM
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I agree with much of what was said here. Go for your bike ride and when you get home give the bike a good rinse and clean with soap. Pay close attention to the drive train as salt will muck it up with gunk pretty darn quick. Also, once spring hits give the bike a good tear down and give EVERYTHING a nice deep clean.
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Old 01-03-23, 09:19 AM
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Salt eats up brakes and drivetrain components. I don't do it for that reason.

If I were to ride a bike on salty roads I would just buy a cheapy from Walmart.
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Old 01-03-23, 10:11 AM
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Realistically, you’re probably okay frame wise unless you’re just completely negligent in getting the salt off. However, if it were a bike I really cared about, or something desirable to collectors, I wouldn’t ride it in the salt at all. Aluminum can still corrode in the presence of salt, and everyone knows that salt is harmful to steel. I only ride carbon when the salt comes out. I’d rather not worry about damaging my metal frames, since I have the option to leave them put away. I’m pretty certain you’d be good for all seasons on titanium, though.
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Old 01-03-23, 10:31 AM
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if you use Boeshield
https://www.boeshield.nl/wp-content/...Aerosol-EU.pdf

https://www.theruststore.com/sds/SDS...rosol-2015.pdf

https://www.whatsinproducts.com/type...%3E/16-034-003
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Old 01-03-23, 10:57 AM
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LOL Do you ever paint anything using spray paint? Yes, use any product safely. Boeshield is no different.
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Old 01-03-23, 11:31 AM
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Regardless of the frame material, and what you do to protect that, the most immediate problem with riding in winter/salt is your chain. Rinse and lube it after your rides.
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