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Leaving utility bikes outside

Old 08-09-11, 12:43 AM
  #1  
bigdummy27
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Leaving utility bikes outside

I'm slowly working my bikes into my everyday life, comuting, errands, recreation, etc.. My wife likes the idea and we want to do more like pickup the kids with a bike instead of a car and also start taking them places with bikes. We are considering buying a bakfiet, but we live in an apartment. There is a parking lot behind the building and locking it there is an option but it is not covered. We're in NY so there will be snow when the time comes. One of the reasons we're looking at the bakfiets is because they are suppose to be design to live outdoors year-round. I like the form-factor of the bakfiets but after testing one I was surprised at how heavy they are.

I also looked at some of the "American" cargo bikes with the long nose form-factor. They are a lot lighter than the Dutch Bakfiets, for a cargo bike at least. And their geometry is better for climbing hills. I'm thinking of buying the framesets of the American cargobikes, like Metrofiet, Cetma, etc. and put on weather-proof components like roller brakes, Internal gear hub, etc. Does anybody know if these lighter frames will holdup to the outdoor conditions. Obviously they won't hold up for decades like the Bakfiets, they are literally built like tanks, but I just what them to last for at least 10 years. Any advice guys?
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Old 08-09-11, 03:38 AM
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Buy or make a cover? Can you put a "bike locker" in your parking space? My old Raleigh lived under the stairs at my apartment for 5 years, spent the rest of the time either locked up at bike racks or in the hospital laundry where I worked at the time.

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Old 08-09-11, 04:07 AM
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I see utility bikes kept outside all the time. Take a look at them.. Rusty chains. Corroded rims, loose spokes.. the least you could do is seek out a plastic cover to keep it out of the direct rain.. Another problem.. Junk Scrappers.. Sometimes they much too quickly assume a rusty bike is for scrapping. Friends has told me , they will quickly pick up unattached bikes.. Be sure and have it secured..
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Old 08-09-11, 06:25 PM
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I'm still keeping my car for emergencies. It is paid for already so I figure I hang onto it until it cost too much to maintain since I'll probably need to use it because I have a 4 year old and a 6 month old and they are bound to get sick or into an accident.

I looked into the bike lockers and they are quite expensive starting well over a thousand dollars and i don't think they will fit the cargo bikes. I'm going to look into a cover for the bike instead, but I still want to weather-proof it as much as possible.

Anyone has experience with disc-brakes and exposure to the elements. I know motorcycles and cars use them, but will they be more maintenance prone than roller brakes?
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Old 08-09-11, 07:12 PM
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Compare the cost of keeping your car with the cost of a taxi a couple of times a month...

I don't know how well bike discs do being out in the weather, but I would suspect that as long as they are quality ones they should be okay. Roller brakes normally do fine unless water gets down in them and they are not kept properly greased. I had to thaw out a hub for someone that had gotten water in it and it iced up.

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Old 08-09-11, 10:30 PM
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The nature of a hydraulic disc brake is the mech is mostly behind the oil-seals.
mechanicals are exposed on all sides.



i've had good service from sturmey archer's drum brakes , 2+ decades.
there are some IG hubs with drum brakes from SA ..

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Old 08-10-11, 06:54 PM
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I have a small bike shelter outside my apartment but the bikes can still get wet when it rains hard. To protect the Yuba Mundo I bought a good quality motorcycle rain cover at an autoparts store. Works well.

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Old 08-12-11, 06:30 PM
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Thanks wahoonc,

I was leaning towards the roller because of it been less maintenance.

Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Compare the cost of keeping your car with the cost of a taxi a couple of times a month...

I don't know how well bike discs do being out in the weather, but I would suspect that as long as they are quality ones they should be okay. Roller brakes normally do fine unless water gets down in them and they are not kept properly greased. I had to thaw out a hub for someone that had gotten water in it and it iced up.

Aaron
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Old 08-12-11, 06:31 PM
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I will definitely look into SA's drum brakes. I'm not going to be going very fast and i'm normally very careful so I think internal braking systems are the way to go.

Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
The nature of a hydraulic disc brake is the mech is mostly behind the oil-seals.
mechanicals are exposed on all sides.



i've had good service from sturmey archer's drum brakes , 2+ decades.
there are some IG hubs with drum brakes from SA ..
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Old 08-12-11, 06:33 PM
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Thats a very pragmatic type of cover. I'll look into it.

thanks

Originally Posted by owenfinn View Post
I have a small bike shelter outside my apartment but the bikes can still get wet when it rains hard. To protect the Yuba Mundo I bought a good quality motorcycle rain cover at an autoparts store. Works well.

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Old 08-12-11, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bigdummy27 View Post
I will definitely look into SA's drum brakes. I'm not going to be going very fast and i'm normally very careful so I think internal braking systems are the way to go.
I have a brand new set of SA hubs with the drum brakes that are going into a city bike build up for my son. I will try to remember to report back on them after I get the wheels and the bike built up. FWIW I have the XL-FDD hub, 90mm drum with a dyno, and the X-RD5 which is the 5 speed IGH with 70mm drum. They list a 90mm drum for the rear, but I couldn't find one in stock.

Aaron
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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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