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Prepping a bike for island living aka Calling out those living along the ocean

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Prepping a bike for island living aka Calling out those living along the ocean

Old 06-05-11, 06:14 AM
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Leopard_Wrasse
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Prepping a bike for island living aka Calling out those living along the ocean

Hey all,

Moving from Illinois to the Caribbean and hopefully plan to take my bike. What sort of precautions should I be taking with the bike? Obvious concern is the salt environment. The bike won't be going in the water, obviously, but it will be within 20 yards of the water for the most part, so salt spray is possible on windy days, and will be no more than 1 mile from the coast at any time. Should I simply plan on having rust problems ruin my bike and equipment? Just leave the bike in Illinois? Take a few simple steps ahead of time then not worry about rust?

TIA
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Old 06-05-11, 06:45 AM
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I live in the subtropics right on the intracoastal waterway. You want to keep the bikes stored inside at all times. If you keep them in the garage, make sure you shut the garage door. It gets really moist at night and will kill a bike. Don't store in a carport, or a screened patio. Even if you cover or wrap them they still get rusty. It's just as bad as having them outside. Oh, and during the winter months when you may not have the a/c on and have the windows open in the house, keep the bike in the closed garage or a closed shed.

I wash my bikes every time I use them to combat salt water. It's in the air. And dry them.

Bikes get pitted up quickly around here if you don't do what I do. My squeeze kept 2 bikes in our neighbor's carport wrapped up in a car cover for about 3 months. When he unwrapped them they had pitting on the metal holding the fenders on and the spokes.
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Old 06-05-11, 06:59 AM
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Switch any chrome or steel nuts and bolts out with stainless steel. Change the chain out too. Or buy a cheap cruiser and replace it every few years. We had a beach cottage in NC for a few years and had several cheaper cruisers that spent their entire life down there. Seemed to get about 5 years or so out of them before they became totally unrideable.

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Old 06-05-11, 06:59 AM
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I lived in a UK coastal town for a couple of years and left my steel bike out 24/7. I rode it along the seafront during storms and it was regularly sprayed with saltwater.
I protected the inside of the frame tubes with WD40 (you can use framesaver).
I packed all the bearings full with grease to prevent ingress.
I kept all metal-metal contacts lightly greased, eg, bolt threads, seatpost, stem and pedals.
All exposed bolt heads and cables were waxed and I coated the frame in several layers of turtle wax.
I experimented with chain wax but found that std lube was better
I didnt suffer any rust, pitting, corrosion or any other bad effects.
You can get chains with an anti-rust treatment.
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Old 06-05-11, 11:48 AM
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I live more than 20 yards from the beach for sure, I'm closer to 3 miles from it, but my mtb of approx 12 years with no special treatment is still in fine shape. I do regular maintenance, lube chain frequently, bearings periodically, but thats about it. The frame is aluminum. I'd be interested to hear from those living and riding along the beach in California, as maybe I've been lucky ( so far ).
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Old 06-05-11, 12:04 PM
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Surface rust is a largely cosmetic issue, youneed to have the hardware installed
with a dab of grease on the threads, and the aluminum seatpost and quill stem
siezing together if ignored, is a common issue , easily dealt with by regular maintainence..

Whipperman, FWIW, makes drive chains in stainless steel .. cost more ,
and the nature of stainless is it cannot be hardened as well as carbon steel alloys.
plating can make the chain more rust resistant,
but regular lubrication covers it well .
Regular maintainence is the key..

I live 10 miles from the Pacific, right on the Estuary of the Columbia river,
Brackish water on 3 sides.
my bike [s] live indoors when not parked on the street around town.
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Old 06-06-11, 01:59 AM
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Get a can of Boesheild T-9 and spray down the whole bike. Wipe off excess. Salt air can corrode even aluminium bits. Steel frame, definitely spray the T-9 or framesaver in the tubes.
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Old 06-10-11, 12:08 AM
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My Specialized was destroyed by Hawaii in about three years. Didn't seem to matter what I did.
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Old 06-10-11, 10:19 AM
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The only thing you need to prep a bike for the Islands is a coozie cup holder and basket for the cooler. A decent cruiser from a bike shop will get rusty in spots but should still ride fine for many years. You might also need a galvinized chain like a rust buster.
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