Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Caring for a road bike soaked from rain

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Caring for a road bike soaked from rain

Old 03-05-15, 12:46 PM
  #1  
Buffalo Buff
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: mars
Posts: 759

Bikes: 2015 synapse

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Caring for a road bike soaked from rain

I've ridden through some downpours lately and I'm curious about caring for my bike afterwards.

Typically I'll wipe the entire frame, handlebars, seat, derailleur externals and rims down with paper towels, and give the chain a quick wipe. Bounce the bike on the ground for a minute to shake off excess moisture from the drive train. Then if I'm at home re-lube the chain.

I've given up on the idea of a foul weather bike and I just ride my Ridley every day now. Is there anything else I should do to care for it after riding in heavy rain?
Buffalo Buff is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 12:53 PM
  #2  
bmthom.gis
Senior Member
 
bmthom.gis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 2,980

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 4 Rival; 2014 Cannondale Trail 7 29; 1972 Schwinn Suburban, 1996 Proflex 756, 1987(?) Peugeot, Dahon Speed P8; 1979 Raleigh Competition GS; 1995 Stumpjumper M2 FS, 1978 Raleigh Sports, Schwinn Prologue

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 213 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Maybe yearly bottom bracket/hub maintenance? I don't think there is anything special you need to be doing.
bmthom.gis is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 12:54 PM
  #3  
lopek77
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: lower mitten
Posts: 1,555

Bikes: With round 700c & 26" wheels

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I just shake the bike to remove excess of water, and leaving it to dry by itself. I'm lubing the chain next day.
It's an aluminum bike with either stainless steel or aluminum components, so I don't worry much about it.

The only thing you will have to do differently if you ride a lot in wet - cleaning and/or repacking bearings, depending on what you have. Lubing things more often won't hurt...

I stopped blowing water out from components with compressed air, when I spilled bunch of a week old water form the frame when I was moving it to my car. I was riding 5 or 6 days with all the water trapped in the frame before I found it out

Keeping it clean is more important than keeping it dry IMO.
lopek77 is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 12:57 PM
  #4  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,744

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 131 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4770 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 761 Times in 475 Posts
IMO bicycles are outdoor vehicles and should be able to handle rain without any issues. Certainly the painted frame and decent bare metal parts can so no care is needed unless you don't want it to dry dirty or with water spots.

Some parts are more vulnerable to water, such as chains, steel hardware and bearings. I believe that the best cure is prevention, so I use lubes that can tolerate wet and protect these parts. I also periodically spray plated steel parts with a protectant such as WD-40.

The above not withstanding, some hubs, bottom brackets, headsets and pedals are more weather tolerant than others, so what you bike needs depends on the specifics. Here you can be guided by experience and specifics. If you do lots of wet riding, shorten your maintenance interval accordingly.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 01:51 PM
  #5  
Lazyass
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,335
Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2431 Post(s)
Liked 630 Times in 389 Posts
Spray bike down with a couple of full water bottles to get road gunk off and brake tracks/pads clean.

Wipe as dry as possible, including chain, with old towels used for that purpose along with bouncing bike to shake water loose.

Takes a couple of minutes. I'll relube the chain later after it's completely dry.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 03:05 PM
  #6  
Jiggle
Senior Member
 
Jiggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere in TX
Posts: 2,266

Bikes: BH, Cervelo, Cube, Canyon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Get a $1.99 spray bottle from WalMart and a gallon can of WD-40. Much cheaper than the aerosol cans.
Jiggle is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 03:20 PM
  #7  
Elvo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 4,746
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 621 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 357 Times in 196 Posts
I replace all cables, housing, pads, and fluid then run everything else through a degreasing bath, soak rinse, spray rinse, bake it in the autoclave, and hang dry.
Elvo is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 03:24 PM
  #8  
dtrain
L-I-V-I-N
 
dtrain's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Stafford, OR
Posts: 4,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
I replace all cables, housing, pads, and fluid then run everything else through a degreasing bath, soak rinse, spray rinse, bake it in the autoclave, and hang dry.
Monthly...or every ride? The baking is new to me - might have to add that in to my routine.
__________________
"The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

'14 carbon Synapse - '12 CAAD 10 5 - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur
dtrain is offline  
Old 03-05-15, 04:02 PM
  #9  
sced
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 3,802

Bikes: Holdsworth custom, Macario Pro, Ciocc San Cristobal, Viner Nemo, Cyfac Le Mythique, Giant TCR, Tommasso Mondial, Cyfac Etoile

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 309 Post(s)
Liked 214 Times in 105 Posts
A leaf blower is a great way to get rid of wetness in a hurry.
sced is online now  
Old 03-06-15, 11:29 AM
  #10  
Kopsis
Senior Member
 
Kopsis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,258
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Does your BB shell have a drain hole? If not, it might be a good idea to add one. Most water that enters the frame will find its way to the BB (since it's the lowest point on the frame). The seals on a lot of modern BB cartridge bearings are good enough to keep it trapped in there for quite some time.
Kopsis is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 12:04 PM
  #11  
cale
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,250

Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I see little benefit to using a petroleum-based solvent, such as WD-40. It is not a weather protectant, it doesn't solve any problems that a carefully placed drop of lubrication can't solve, and it really only benefits the makers of WD 40 who don't discourage its liberal use as a parts cleaner.

Last edited by cale; 03-06-15 at 12:12 PM.
cale is offline  
Old 03-06-15, 12:07 PM
  #12  
Seattle Forrest
Senior Member
 
Seattle Forrest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 23,208
Mentioned: 86 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18880 Post(s)
Liked 10,638 Times in 6,049 Posts
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO bicycles are outdoor vehicles and should be able to handle rain without any issue
This.
Seattle Forrest is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 06:56 AM
  #13  
Bassmanbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Treasure Coast, FL
Posts: 921

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Supersix EVO 3, 2015 Trek 520, 2017 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, 2022 Moots Vamoots Disc RSL

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 122 Posts
I would agree with FBinNY but I'm more concerned with the dirt and sand ruining my mechanical parts. I rode in the rain yesterday, and there was sand and dirt everywhere on my bike.

When I got home, I hosed it down to remove loose dirt and sand. Then using an old soft cloth, I gave it a bath with car soap, rinsing again with the hose. I wiped the bike as dry as I could with a soft dry towel. Then I degreased the chain and derailer with commercial bicycle degreaser. I dried that as much as possible with paper towels and let it sit in the garage to air dry. Today I will lube the chain with commercial bike lube and go over the paint job with Bike Lust.

I do a thorough job like that about once a month.
Bassmanbob is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 08:03 AM
  #14  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,201
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 177 Posts
Originally Posted by cale View Post
I see little benefit to using a petroleum-based solvent, such as WD-40. It is not a weather protectant, it doesn't solve any problems that a carefully placed drop of lubrication can't solve, and it really only benefits the makers of WD 40 who don't discourage its liberal use as a parts cleaner.
I often spray it on the chain after wet rides and the use shop towels to wipe the chain. It's original purpose was to displace water and it seems to work well. I add heavier lube later. If you just let the chain dry on its own it's possible for rust to show up.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 08:08 AM
  #15  
velociraptor
Fatty McFatcakes
 
velociraptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Krispy Kreme
Posts: 987

Bikes: Aero Cheeseburger w/ Sr(h)am eBacon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 245 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
At what point do you start seeing "diminishing returns" with cleaning a road bike?

Keep in mind that I'm an OCD little b*tch that desperately struggles to internalize my anxiety every time I see as much as a speck of dust on one of my pristine steeds.
velociraptor is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 08:59 AM
  #16  
spdracr39
Senior Member
 
spdracr39's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cabot, Arkansas
Posts: 1,538

Bikes: Lynskey Twisted Helix Di2 Ti, 1987 Orbea steel single speed/fixie, Orbea Avant M30, Trek Fuel EX9.8 29, Trek Madone 5 series, Specialized Epic Carbon Comp 29er, Trek 7.1F

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Unless you are submerging it in water just a basic clean and lube will do it.
spdracr39 is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 09:04 AM
  #17  
Jiggle
Senior Member
 
Jiggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere in TX
Posts: 2,266

Bikes: BH, Cervelo, Cube, Canyon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by cale View Post
I see little benefit to using a petroleum-based solvent, such as WD-40. It is not a weather protectant, it doesn't solve any problems that a carefully placed drop of lubrication can't solve, and it really only benefits the makers of WD 40 who don't discourage its liberal use as a parts cleaner.
It has been proven to be a very good rust protectant. The volatiles evaporate and a nice film is left to seal it from water. It's the only thing that keeps the insides of my shifters from rusting.

btw, petroleum is plant based and comes from the ground. You cannot get any greener than that.
Jiggle is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:04 AM
  #18  
cale
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,250

Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I often spray it (WD 40) on the chain after wet rides and the use shop towels to wipe the chain. It's original purpose was to displace water and it seems to work well. I add heavier lube later. If you just let the chain dry on its own it's possible for rust to show up.
If your chain is wet, why not dry it off with a shop rag? Using a chemical to remove water from a wet chain sounds like EXACTLY the sort of use that the makers of WD 40 would hope you would do. It is like using oil to push water out of a bath tub. It's just not necessary to discharge that many pollutants into the atmosphere. We're supposed to protect the earth, not use it for our own purposes. If you get my meaning, and I mean it in the sincerest non-argumentative way possible.
cale is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:08 AM
  #19  
fietsbob
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,599

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,343 Times in 850 Posts
WD= water displacement


Thorough? treat it like a cyclocross bike, mid week overhauls for sunday races..

btw, petroleum is plant based and comes from the ground. You cannot get any greener than that.
drink a cup of it and get back with the results.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:13 AM
  #20  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,201
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1186 Post(s)
Liked 289 Times in 177 Posts
Originally Posted by cale View Post
If your chain is wet, why not dry it off with a shop rag? Using a chemical to remove water from a wet chain sounds like EXACTLY the sort of use that the makers of WD 40 would hope you would do. It is like using oil to push water out of a bath tub. It's just not necessary to discharge that many pollutants into the atmosphere. We're supposed to protect the earth, not use it for our own purposes. If you get my meaning, and I mean it in the sincerest non-argumentative way possible.
Because drying the outside of the chain doesn't dry the chain. They invented WD40 for exactly this reason; it is intended to displace the water you can't get to with your rag.

If your chain is well lubed a little rain isn't going to bother it but if your ride for a couple of hours in rain, as I'm forced to do occasionally, the rain will wash away most of the lube and in these conditions WD40 is useful. A can of WD40 lasts me a couple of years. I commute about 12,000km/yr on my bike so I'm comfortable with my impact on the earth.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:15 AM
  #21  
cale
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,250

Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
It has been proven to be a very good rust protectant. The volatiles evaporate and a nice film is left to seal it from water. It's the only thing that keeps the insides of my shifters from rusting.

btw, petroleum is plant based and comes from the ground. You cannot get any greener than that.
There is no need for a rust protectant to be used on the exterior of bikes. You're, IMHO, buying into the product hype.

The volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, do indeed evaporate but don't disappear. The MSDS data clearly states that chemicals in aerosol enter the atmosphere and STAY THERE. Both the propellant and the product itself contribute to the greenhouse gases that are damaging the earth's atmosphere. One cyclist at a time, one hobby at a time, and so on and so on. It adds up.

Petroleum is no more plant-based than you are. But you're not being green so I guess you're not made of petroleum. The earth has a finite amount of matter. Until such a time as we add more matter from "out there" we will have only ourselves to rely on. You get to help decide how the matter is "organized".

I write with only the kindest intentions and mean no personal challenge to other posters.
cale is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:36 AM
  #22  
Pirkaus
Coffin Dodger
 
Pirkaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,136

Bikes: Motobecane Vent Noir, Lynskey R345, Serotta Nova Special X

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Liked 292 Times in 143 Posts
Originally Posted by velociraptor View Post
At what point do you start seeing "diminishing returns" with cleaning a road bike?

Keep in mind that I'm an CDO little b*tch that desperately struggles to internalize my anxiety every time I see as much as a speck of dust on one of my pristine steeds.
FIFY, because things need to be in order
Pirkaus is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:45 AM
  #23  
Pirkaus
Coffin Dodger
 
Pirkaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,136

Bikes: Motobecane Vent Noir, Lynskey R345, Serotta Nova Special X

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 794 Post(s)
Liked 292 Times in 143 Posts
I wash and lubricate my bike once a week during riding season
I pull the wheels, clean the chain, derailers, and brakes
Wash frame with car wash soap, chamois dry, the Slick50 spray wax
Same treatment for the wheels except no wax on brake tracks
On the trainer in the winter just a quick wipe down
Pirkaus is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:46 AM
  #24  
basqueonacaad
Senior Member
 
basqueonacaad's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: The Continental Divide
Posts: 113

Bikes: CDALE CAAD10

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The Nazes are coming to this party.
basqueonacaad is offline  
Old 03-08-15, 10:50 AM
  #25  
Jiggle
Senior Member
 
Jiggle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere in TX
Posts: 2,266

Bikes: BH, Cervelo, Cube, Canyon

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 212 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by cale View Post
There is no need for a rust protectant to be used on the exterior of bikes. You're, IMHO, buying into the product hype.
It is tragic how intentionally ignorant you are. I named the exact spot that I apply the product and the exact need. It fits that need perfectly.

Also what @gregf83 said. WD-40 is an excellent product.
Jiggle is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.