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  1. #1
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    Winter Maintenance Schedule

    About to start my first winter commute in Manhattan - about 45 mins each way. There will be a lot of rain / snow salt. I'm lucky enough to have a nice racing bike that i will be using (no space in my studio for another cheap winter bike) and wondered ....

    Any suggestions on how to weather proof my bike?
    How often do you lubricate your chain / gears?
    What do you use?
    How often to you wash salt / crud off?

    And anything else you recommend?
    Thanks -

  2. #2
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    You really have to get the salt off the bike

    Get a nickel plated or stainless steel chain.

    Probably revist the BB bearings get a double lip seal (MTB style, rather than road style).
    Also check out the seals on the wheels (especially the rear)...if not really good you will have to pack them with grease say every month.

    Lubicate often twice a week I like Pedro's Ice Wax actually...

    Don't be afraid of using alot of grease...

  3. #3
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    Hi Jeff - what do you mean by 'seals on the wheels'? thanks -

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimK2010
    Hi Jeff - what do you mean by 'seals on the wheels'? thanks -

    I am far more familar with MTB wheels rather than road wheels....

    but

    Lets say you have cartridge bearings in you wheels....

    Cartridge bearings can be purchases with No seal, or a non contact single lip seal, or a non contact double lip seal...

    The non contact double lip seal is common on MTB bikes, but has way more drag than a single lip seal or no seal, either of which are found on road bikes...

    So when your wheel bearing die you can considered buying a better seal system..(double lip non cantact seal)

    If on the other hand you have cup and cone bearings then on better quality MTB wheels there is a rubber boot that keeps dust, dirt and water out...on road wheels again this seal may or may not be there, if it is not there or a "loose seal" then the salt is gonna get in there and destroy the bearing so you will either need a better wheel set, and/or stuff it full of grease and clean it frequently.
    Last edited by jeffscott; 10-22-2010 at 11:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    +1 on advice above.

    Seat posts should be removed, liberally greased, and reinserted to seal and prevent water and salt entering the frame there. This only need be done this time of year. Most important with steel frames. Bikes with the classic quill stem (1" threaded steerer and threaded headsets) need a thick coat of grease around the quill before reinserting it for the same reason. Frozen seat tubes and stems are not fun.

    I tried to moist or dry wipe everything to get salt off and wax helps keep the salt from sticking. Touchup paint on scratches, even clear coat helps.

    Stainless steel cables and teflon lined housings are WONDERFUL! Can't believe we had galvanized and had to try to keep them lubed.

    Chain lube on the deraileur pivots to purge salt. Clean chain and sprockets as needed.

  6. #6
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    As I recall ('62-'80), NYC is the king of slush - snow usually doesn't last long, and salt is used mostly on sidewalks, if at all - well, compared to ME & VT anyways... I imagine it is harder for you than most to wash your bike in an apt (no garage, etc), so I would rely more on a good pre-winter servicing all-around (hubs and other bearings) if you can do it or afford it, and lubing the chain with any good bike lube once/week or so. I like silicone spray (hardware store) lube for derailers, brake pivots, etc.(don't get it on brake pads) once/wk too. The spray kind of flushes out grit. If it gets salty, you can try washing it down (before lubing) outside with a pail of warm water with a little carwash or dishsoap in it & a rag, if this will fly in your neighborhood.

  7. #7
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    We the people ...

    The basic thing is to clean off the salt with water. Water is bad for bearings yes. But salt is worse. If you habe a bathtub showwer in you little studio (and the 5 years that I lived in Manhattan I did not) about once a week give it a little shower, then towel and air dry. AFTER it is dry lube. Don't forget the headset and the brakes. But really if you can pop the wheels off and shove it in a closet or under the bed and just get a winter beater or something. No matter how well you do this it will kill your bearing. ALL your bearings. Places you didn't know you had bearings.
    In the great Ford vs Chevy debate, I choose Porsche.

  8. #8
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    another month before winter starts

    I live in the far northwest Suburbs of Chicago.
    I ride a Single Speed Fixed Bianchi San Jose.
    I lube my chain maybe every two weeks
    I wash my bike with a bucket and sponge maybe every two weeks
    it usually starts to snow here around the first of December
    Last year it was December 6th
    I rode my San Jose From 12/08/09 to 03/01/10 1060 miles
    In march i just throw a new chain on.
    I use tri flow spray cause it easy.
    the bike has 6000 plus miles on and is ridden mostly in winter
    I'm on my second tange Bottom bracket
    Let it Snow
    Snow Bike
    SJ Snow 2-15-10
    And On my Day off I rode This
    New Sneakers and Post
    It was about 15 degrees this day
    Snow Bike 2010

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone, this is really helpful. As I live in NYC and am beholden to Time Warner for my horribly expensive dribble of internet I was unable to check this thread over the weekend as I’d rather be outside than watching it take 30 minutes to load.

    Anyway I will do all of this ...

    I have a dumb “half bath” in my studio which is basically a shower that you can fit a small stool in with you if you ever feel like sitting down while you soap but won’t take a bike. I can wash it on the sidewalk tho as I live on the ground floor.

    Is it better to dry wipe the salt off or do the warm wash with a sponge approach?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimK2010
    Thanks everyone, this is really helpful. As I live in NYC and am beholden to Time Warner for my horribly expensive dribble of internet I was unable to check this thread over the weekend as I’d rather be outside than watching it take 30 minutes to load.

    Anyway I will do all of this ...

    I have a dumb “half bath” in my studio which is basically a shower that you can fit a small stool in with you if you ever feel like sitting down while you soap but won’t take a bike. I can wash it on the sidewalk tho as I live on the ground floor.

    Is it better to dry wipe the salt off or do the warm wash with a sponge approach?
    Gotta use some water to get the salt off......especially out of the seals etc.

  11. #11
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    Wash it? nope, she stays outside and frozen. Aluminum.
    Lube it? A lot, chainsaw lube(make sure it has anti-corrosive) on a cheap chain. Don't buy nickel plated or stainless, the rivets and rollers are generally the same high carbon steel as lower versions. They'll rust. Give the drive train a degreasing wipe and heavy lube after every exposure during a storm. Keep it lubed or it will rust before your eyes.
    Service it? Only the hubs, pack em with thick marine grade grease.
    Freehub? Flush it before the deep cold hits.
    Grease all points where two different metals meet, if your fork is magnesium.. that is trouble.

  12. #12
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    Electrik - my frame is Alu and carbon, how does salt affect this? (it has some bad scratches that i will fill)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Wash it? nope, she stays outside and frozen. Aluminum.
    Lube it? A lot, chainsaw lube(make sure it has anti-corrosive) on a cheap chain. Don't buy nickel plated or stainless, the rivets and rollers are generally the same high carbon steel as lower versions.try the Cn-7701 from Jenson at $25 They'll rust.not that chain Give the drive train a degreasing wipe and heavy lube after every exposure during a storm. Keep it lubed or it will rust before your eyes.
    Service it? Only the hubs, pack em with thick marine grade grease.
    Freehub? Flush it before the deep cold hits.
    Grease all points where two different metals meet, if your fork is magnesium.. that is trouble.Nope magnesium is fine had mine on for four winters so far and absolutly no damage

    Oh well

  14. #14
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimK2010
    Electrik - my frame is Alu and carbon, how does salt affect this? (it has some bad scratches that i will fill)
    As far as i know carbon is great, the only somewhat big issues i know of is that there may be some corrosive grease, like brake fluid or something which can damage the carbon epoxy... so maybe wash it more? If you fill the clear-coat back in that will go a long way.

    Aluminum oxidizes also, but once it oxidizes it protects itself with a thin layer of whatever the degraded aluminum is. If you wash aluminum a lot it may make things worse. There is also an issue if your city uses liquid deicer(magnesium chloride)... that will corrode aluminum a bit faster... personally I haven't had many issues with corrosion other than a magnesium fork lower which corroded out.

  15. #15
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Oh well
    Hey Jeff, that CN-7701 chain, you're absolutely sure both the rivets and rollers are all stainless or nickel plated? I've never met a chain i can't rust out.

    You may not have had issues with magnesium, but that depends on the conditions where you live. A few guys, including me have had fork lowers corrode out. I can give you some old pictures if you don't believe me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Hey Jeff, that CN-7701 chain, you're absolutely sure both the rivets and rollers are all stainless or nickel plated? I've never met a chain i can't rust out. Nope

    You may not have had issues with magnesium, but that depends on the conditions where you live. A few guys, including me have had fork lowers corrode out. I can give you some old pictures if you don't believe me.Love to see the picture

    I ride studs about 6 months of the year, maybe 2000 km for a winter we have lots of salt and chinooks then back to the refrigerator. One CN 7701 lasts the winter, in the last four years none have shown any rust spots at all.

    The magnesium lowers have had the paint chip of in multiple places inculding the dropouts. No significant dropout wear has occurred.

  17. #17
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    Any suggestions on grease to use?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    As far as i know carbon is great, the only somewhat big issues i know of is that there may be some corrosive grease, like brake fluid or something which can damage the carbon epoxy... so maybe wash it more? If you fill the clear-coat back in that will go a long way.

    Aluminum oxidizes also, but once it oxidizes it protects itself with a thin layer of whatever the degraded aluminum is. If you wash aluminum a lot it may make things worse.The aluminium oxide layer is one of the most adherant and tough metal passivating films washing doesn't do anything to it There is also an issue if your city uses liquid deicer(magnesium chloride)...only problem with mag chloride has been scewed up brake pads that will corrode aluminum a bit faster... personally I haven't had many issues with corrosion other than a magnesium fork lower which corroded out.

    To cause the aluminium film to come off requires somthing like a wire brush,

  19. #19
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    I ride studs about 6 months of the year, maybe 2000 km for a winter we have lots of salt and chinooks then back to the refrigerator. One CN 7701 lasts the winter, in the last four years none have shown any rust spots at all.

    The magnesium lowers have had the paint chip of in multiple places inculding the dropouts. No significant dropout wear has occurred.
    Hah, you know what is funny... you told me it was bizarre it when i said magnesiumn lowers corrode in another thread.

    Anyways, here is a pic from the first winter.


    Its now a lot worse(2 winters more), not just the disc tab, but basically allover the fork.

  20. #20
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    To cause the aluminium film to come off requires somthing like a wire brush,
    That is good... i've not noticed corrosion, but the bare aluminum does get cloudy... maybe unrelated clear-coat issue. My worry was with the extra chloride ions from the liquid deicer the aluminum damage would be accelerated.

  21. #21
    namagomi
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimK2010
    Any suggestions on grease to use?
    For which components? Or maybe you just mean anti-seize paste?

  22. #22
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    Electrik - grease for the hubs / seat stem etc as recommended .... not sure if "any old" stuff wi ll do or if there is bike specific ...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by electrik
    Hah, you know what is funny... you told me it was bizarre it when i said magnesiumn lowers corrode in another thread.

    Anyways, here is a pic from the first winter.


    Its now a lot worse(2 winters more), not just the disc tab, but basically allover the fork.

    That is obviously very bad damage thank you for posting the picture. We have a dilemma my Fox Talus fork has absolutly no damage whatsoever...

    So why does you fork have so much.

    Bare magnesium with the oxide layer brushed off, and bare aluminium with the oxide layer brushed off would provide an electrolytic cell for corrosion to occur.

    To provide on ongoing environment for that to happen requires that the oxide layer be continually removed, to allow the corrosion to proceed.

    So a few questions

    What type of brake or adapters to you have.

    What type of grease etc was applied for the first winter...cause once the pitting starts it ain't gonna stop, cause the little bits keep falling off to expose more metal.

    Any brake vibration or noise issues, not frequencies beyond our hearing are present and could cause the corrosion erosion effect...

    In the end I would suggest that that corrosion level is a rare situation, since I have yet to see anything like that here.

    A poor casting with porosity would also result in that type of effect, the cracks in the metal allow water and salt into the metal that allows corrosion to start, then the corrosion products (often with a low density than the parent metal) force the crack a little further open, and the process repeats.

  24. #24
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    How long does it take for aluminium to form its oxide layer?

    While i'm waiting for that should i leave the scratches bare of cover with tape?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimK2010
    How long does it take for aluminium to form its oxide layer?

    While i'm waiting for that should i leave the scratches bare of cover with tape?

    The aluminum oxide layer forms almost instaniously.

    Think Thermite finely divided aluminum burns fiercly.

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