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  1. #1
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    Prepping Your Steel Horse for Winter

    I live in the wet and muddy NW and am anticipating riding throughout fall and winter this year. The difference this year is that I have a new frame that is steel instead of aluminum. What do people do to prepare their steel rides for the wet season? Also, how do you maintain your bikes after wet, muddy rides?

    In the past I have hosed off the bike while being careful to avoid directly spraying any bearings and then just let it hang to dry in my garage. I now have a second bike (built from the aluminum frame I had replaced) that I built with the idea of having a rain bike, but I feel guilty about dropping the coin and putting together my dream ride just to have it sit idle for the next 9 months or so. I guess, trails are mostly going to be closing around here anyways though. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    skillz to pay billz
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    leave the mud on, eventually it will form an impenetrable barrier to all alien materials including the ladies.

  3. #3
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    If you've "hosed off the bike" in the past without issue I don't think it being winter would really change anything....

  4. #4
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    I only plan on spraying the inside of the tubes with frame saver again. Other than that, I will spray it off after a ride and dry it. Ridden this way for years with no problems.

  5. #5
    meatier showers
    Reputation: Sparticus's Avatar
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    I live in the Eugene area and have been riding 52 weeks a year since 1985. Steel frames. Frame Saver is amazing stuff -- use it for sure. The high humidity here will take it's toll whether you ride the bike or just leave it hanging in the garage.

    --sParty
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  6. #6
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    Maybe it's the low humidity here in the Rockies, but I've never used any type of protectant and I've got 2 steel bikes from the 80's with no rust. I make sure to wipe down the bike and leave the seat post out if I've been out in the wet.

    Disclaimer: I don't ride much during the winter. Most of our trails are all snowed in during the winter anyway. Until I get a Pug, I won't be doing much MTB riding during the snow season.

  7. #7
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    Sparty, I don't know if you remember this, but we have ridden together before. When I was in high school I attended BC twice and got a Webcyclery jersey out of the experience. I have also travelled down to Loraine and ridden with you there, but this is verging on a decade ago.

    This is the first time owning a steel mountain bike and I was hoping to get recommendations about proper maintenance with respect to wet and muddy trail conditions. I have a few steel road bikes, but admittedly they do not see a lot of outside during the winter. I will grab some frame saver from the LBS soon. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    If you are out on the roads a bit where there is road salt and what not, it really is a good idea to spray the bike off and dry it afterwards. The frame saver works great though. When I got my current steel frame, I would go for a ride and of course there would be mud on it and what not. I would spray it off and then dry it. The next time I would go for a ride I would notice rust drip marks on the frame near some of the breath holes (ends of the seat/chain stays and bb) That simply told me that water obviously got in there when I was spraying it or when crossing creeks and what not. Since taking the bb, post, fork out and spraying the frame down pretty good, I have not seen that happen again yet! I figure as a precaution, I will do this again in another month just to give me some peace of mind.

  9. #9
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    Oh, don't forget to lube your chain as well! If you have mechanical brakes, spray the hing points w/ some teflon spray as well.

  10. #10
    meatier showers
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1SPD
    If you are out on the roads a bit where there is road salt and what not...
    Thank God the State & municipalities do not apply salt to roads in Oregon. In fact, I think it's illegal for them to do so.

    --sParty
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    you wanted to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat
    Jaybo... quit *****ing and move to Texas

  11. #11
    30-ton War Machine
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    I am on my first steel for quite some time and I live in WA. I did two frame saver treatments with a full 24hr cure time in between and then I take my fork out and hang the frame nose down and then switch it to nose up to get all the standing water out. The steel needs to breathe a little bit from time to time to keep it from rusting, or so I have been told...

  12. #12
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    Aluminum rusts/oxidizes too. I had problems on my winter WB rigid fork's aluminum steer tube just above the lower race. It's all white and pitted from the oxides from the first season. I now grease the p!ss out of the tube before I install.

    just saying


    caz
    I am a Mountain Biker therefore I am late

  13. #13
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Living in Eugene, OR meself. I framesave my frames about once a year, otherwise I don't really do anything. I wash off bikes by hitting the last few stream crossings hard. Everyone is happy, even the bikes. It'll take you a bit of time to rust through anyway, so you have time to learn your best technique.

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