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HiYoSilver 11-10-04 10:46 AM

What's the latest buzz on winter riding and road additives?

How much of a problem is there with winter riding and winter road treatments? I would like to continue riding this winter, but don't want to trash my bike. In CO, CDOT uses either "Ice slicer", granular salt plus other stuff or liquid deicers, i.e. magnesium chloride.

Reasonable answer may address one or more of these subquestions:

Road salt-- what does it do to a bike over one winter?

Mag Chloride-- what does it do to a bike over a one winter?

Do you clean your bike after each ride or once a week?

What is best to clean bike with? Doesn't a good cleaning require some relubbing as well?

Anything else I need to know?


hi 'o

mtessmer 11-10-04 01:01 PM

One thing to consider is to basically leave it out in the cold (unheated garage will work). By bringing it in and out all the time (hot/cold/hot/cold, etc.) can cause condensation to form inside the tubes which could lead to rust. I leave mine outside all the time (my garage at night), spray it down with lube every night after my commute (if it's a wet one) and clean it at least every other week. I've been doing this for twenty two years and it works for me here in the Minneapolis area.

HiYoSilver 11-10-04 02:16 PM


thanks. Garage is unheated so I think it is perfect. I was just concerned as some studies show a .5% material loss after 2 weeks of exposure to mag chloride. It seems the best recommendation is to clean every couple days during exposure. "Dry days are not safe days".

Here are a couple interesting arcticles:

Michel Gagnon 11-10-04 03:33 PM

My solution : full fenders and a long mudflap below the front fender. That way, I keep road grime and salt OFF the bike.

HiYoSilver 11-10-04 03:45 PM

got full fenders. Forgot about mud flap. Did you make your own mudflay?

Michel Gagnon 11-11-04 09:36 AM

Yes. Alex Wetmore has good plans at (search for mudflaps). THe only difference is that I used zip ties to attach them to the fenders.

BTW, most bikes have a rear mudflap too, but this is because I am often towing a trailercycle.

HiYoSilver 11-11-04 10:01 AM

Interesting. Too bad doesn't have an image of premade flags. I was going to buy one from REI, but I like the additional length better.


lperkins 11-11-04 04:01 PM

This may sounds silly, but could you coat your bike in a wax to help keep the frame clean. Even some Pledge?

Just wondering if anyone has tried this?


Mars 11-12-04 08:01 AM

I have never noticed much effects from the salt or chemicals, but here is what I HAVE found: watch your rims. If your town uses sand, it will get on the brake pads and can really abrade the rims. Maybe a wipe down of pads and rims every couple of days or after a day with lots of sand?

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