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Dipping the wheels at start of TransAm--a good thing?

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Dipping the wheels at start of TransAm--a good thing?

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Old 02-09-09, 01:33 PM
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andydreisch
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Dipping the wheels at start of TransAm--a good thing?

I was always curious if the ceremonial dipping of the wheels in either the Pacific or Atlantic at the start of a TransAm was a wise thing.

Doesn't the salt water get into the wheel and cause problems? Not that this would stop me if I were to do a TransAm, mind you. The ceremony is an important one, after all.

Andy
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Old 02-09-09, 02:09 PM
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Old 02-09-09, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
It is foolish to get salt water anywhere near a bike.
says the guy who lives in san diego ... the rest of us deal with salt water on our bikes all winter.

dipping a wheel is not going to be a problem.
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Old 02-09-09, 02:17 PM
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Dip the wheel...don't baptize it
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Old 02-09-09, 05:12 PM
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I suppose if you want to be OCD about it, you could rinse it off with freshwater afterwards. But you will get much nastier stuff on your wheels (and bike and self) during the course of the tour anyway.
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Old 02-09-09, 05:33 PM
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I'd be more concerned about sand in the chain than the saltwater on the wheel.
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Old 02-09-09, 07:12 PM
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Do it if you want, it's a tradition. Just don't immerse the hub. I dipped.
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Old 02-09-09, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Dip the wheel...don't baptize it


My take on it...
FWIW I dipped back in 1977 and I still have the bike, so it must not have corroded it too bad.

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Old 02-09-09, 07:33 PM
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The rim is aluminum, so I don't see it being a huge deal corrosion-wise.

But, as mentioned before, the truth is that many, many bikes go through much worse than having a wheel dipped in salt water. Your bike will be fine.
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Old 02-09-09, 07:47 PM
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Concerned about a little salt water dip?
Don't party poop on the thrill of going coast to coast.
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Old 02-09-09, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Do it if you want, it's a tradition. Just don't immerse the hub. I dipped.
good advice
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Old 02-09-09, 10:55 PM
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oh ferchrissake
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Old 02-10-09, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by kpfeif View Post
oh ferchrissake
+1
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Old 02-10-09, 07:28 AM
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When ya get to Yorktown, take your photo at the monument, then—keep going. The Chesapeake is not the ocean. Dip away!
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Old 02-10-09, 08:51 AM
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We picked a bad place to do it and dragged our loaded bikes over hundreds of yards of deep sand. Unfortunately we were using a particularly sticky lube at the time. The brakes, chain, and dérailleurs were loaded with sand. We spent a good bit of time cleaning the bikes up at a nearby water spigot in the State park we were in.

The whole thing was a fiasco, but now it is just a humorous memory. On hindsight I would have picked a different spot or just carried the wheel to the water.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by kpfeif View Post
oh ferchrissake
+2.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
We picked a bad place to do it and dragged our loaded bikes over hundreds of yards of deep sand. Unfortunately we were using a particularly sticky lube at the time. The brakes, chain, and dérailleurs were loaded with sand. We spent a good bit of time cleaning the bikes up at a nearby water spigot in the State park we were in.

The whole thing was a fiasco, but now it is just a humorous memory. On hindsight I would have picked a different spot or just carried the wheel to the water.
Should'a just photoshopped the whole thing.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:34 AM
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I think the saltwater on the wheel isn't worth talking about. The sand on the tires getting onto the chain is probably more of a concern. From what I've seen, the biggest problem is probably getting your shoes and socks wet.

If your sense of whimsy says you need that picture of you dipping your wheel then go for it. I (along with thousands of others) did it in the Missouri and Mississippi when I rode the RAGBRAI. I have the pictures to prove it. The whole RAGBRAI experience was rather whimsical, in hindsight. These days I don't think I'd go to all that trouble unless I was riding coast to coast.

Take off your shoes and socks, take your panniers, tent, etc. off your bike, carry your bike on your shoulder down to the water, take your picture, and go dry your feet. Or don't.
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Old 02-10-09, 09:39 AM
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Unless your wheel is made of moonbeams and dryer lint, I think that this is a non-issue.
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Old 02-10-09, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by andydreisch View Post
I was always curious if the ceremonial dipping of the wheels in either the Pacific or Atlantic at the start of a TransAm was a wise thing.

Doesn't the salt water get into the wheel and cause problems? Not that this would stop me if I were to do a TransAm, mind you. The ceremony is an important one, after all.
When my wife and I rode from Los Angeles to Washington DC in 1977 (originally intending Boston as our destination), we took a vial of Pacific seawater and planned to pour it into the Atlantic. I'm not sure we did and I hope we didn't upset the ecology by this omission. OMG--is that when global warming began?!!!
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Old 02-10-09, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by kpfeif View Post
oh ferchrissake
+782.9

If you're afraid of a little salt water, I suggest never moving to Wisconsin with the intent of winter commuting.
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Old 02-10-09, 12:53 PM
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I think it depends on whether your wheels are 700c, 27-inch, 26-inch, 650B, or 20 inchers (Bike Friday).

The diameter of the wheel is highly correlated with the amount of salt water damage that occurs, even if only the tire gets wet. The capillary action of the tiny hollow rubber molecules will suck the salt up into the tire and distribute it, depending on the size of the tire.

It also depends on what altitude you do this at. Most people think of "wheel dipping" as an activity that only occurs at sea level. But if you were to pack up several gallons of salt water, haul it to the top of the Continental Divide, and then pour it on your bike the corrosive effects could be completely different, because of the impact of elevation gains (if you want to try this experiment yourself, but don't want to carry several of gallons of seawater on your bike, you might try dehydrating the water at sea level and then re-hydrating it with snow melt when you reach a mountain pass).

Of course, you could also invert your bike, and dip the saddle instead. I believe in Vatican City they call this "the blessing of the Brooks," and is considered a source of luck for any cross-country journey. Given that the Vatican is so small one could cross it by bicycle in about 3 minutes, I'm not sure we should be taking the Pope's advice on long-distance cycling, but I thought it would be useful to ensure that all rituals were considered here.

Carry on...

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Old 02-10-09, 01:08 PM
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For me, the symbolic act is more *me* touching the water, rather than the bike. I would leave the bike on the boardwalk/motel/campsite/whatever and walk down to the water for the ceremonial dip of the toe (actually, more like touching the water with my hand, somehow that symolises more "me" touching the ocean). After all, it's not really about that particular wheel or tire or even bicycle doing the trip, it's about *me* making it from coast to coast. I would not want to get sand on my bike, personally, but I can completely understand the sentiment.

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Old 02-10-09, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I think it depends on whether your wheels are 700c, 27-inch, 26-inch, 650B, or 20 inchers (Bike Friday).

The diameter of the wheel is highly correlated with the amount of salt water damage that occurs, even if only the tire gets wet. The capillary action of the tiny hollow rubber molecules will suck the salt up into the tire and distribute it, depending on the size of the tire.

It also depends on what altitude you do this at. Most people think of "wheel dipping" as an activity that only occurs at sea level. But if you were to pack up several gallons of salt water, haul it to the top of the Continental Divide, and then pour it on your bike the corrosive effects could be completely different, because of the impact of elevation gains (if you want to try this experiment yourself, but don't want to carry several of gallons of seawater on your bike, you might try dehydrating the water at sea level and then re-hydrating it with snow melt when you reach a mountain pass).

Of course, you could also invert your bike, and dip the saddle instead. I believe in Vatican City they call this "the blessing of the Brooks," and is considered a source of luck for any cross-country journey. Given that the Vatican is so small once could cross it by bicycle in about 3 minutes, I'm not sure we should be taking the Pope's advice on long-distance cycling, but I thought it would be useful to ensure that all rituals were considered here.

Carry on...
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Old 02-10-09, 03:27 PM
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The sand and saltwater in the camera takes your mind off the wheel.

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