Commuter maintenance questions.-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: komekomegaijin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Commuter maintenance questions.

    Hi Fellow commuters,

    I ride a relatively mellow 14kms each way to work as often as I can. I used to not mind riding in the rain as I can keep my luggage dry (in a B.O.B. Yak) and I can keep relatively dry. I stopped riding in wet weather though due to what it was doing to my bike. The chain lube (Finish Line Teflon Dry) would wash out in about 15 mins. I almost wore out a pair of rims (rim brakes) in a year when I've never worn out rims before and wore out a bottom bracket so much that the spindle had play (which again, I've never done before). I only noticed this severe wear since I started commuting regularly, especially in the rain. Once I stopped riding in the wet the wear has also stopped.

    Anyway, to get to the point, as many of you commute daily I'm wondering what regular maintenance do you do, what lube's been working for you, and how does you're bike hold up in the wet with all that road grime in the water? I really want to be able to commute everyday, regardless of the weather, but concerned about the significant wear and tear and not sure how to best maintain my bike.

    Thanks for any input and as usual, if I should be looking somewhere else, or there's another thread I should have found, please point me in the right direction.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I think u need to change yr brake pad every 2-3months. Or even shorter.

    I never worn out a rim in a year time.
    As for bottom bracket, yeah! After almost of 1 year of abuse, it has the qucky sound but mine is a cheap stock seal BB. I intend to change a new one but just to lazy to do it since it is still ridable. :P

  3. #3
    i also unicycle
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    wipe your rims and brake pads down after riding in the rain. get a chain lube that hangs on better in wet conditions, still probably have to apply every time you're in the rain though. for the bb- pulling the seatpost and having the bike sit upside down should help, but frequent pulling/regreasing might be the only fix, or be prepared to replace with a $35-50 sealed square taper annually.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
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  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    I wouldn't use a dry chain lube in wet conditions. Go with a good wet lube. I'm not sure how available it is in Japan, but Tri-Flow works very well. I'd also recommend getting some full-coverage fenders, if you can fit them on your bike. This will help keep a lot of water and road grime from splashing up into your front derailleur and drive train. Also, in addition to wiping off the rim's braking surfaces and brake pads, periodically remove and inspect the pads for embedded metal shards and debris. This you can usually remove with the corner of a razor blade. This is also a good time to buff the braking surface of the pads with sandpaper.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    x2 on the long fenders...front especially...this saves the chain and BB quite a bit of abuse. I have a newer external cartridge BB and 2 piece crankset on my commuter (FSA Gossamer with Mega Exo BB) and it's been through 2 winters, so far so good. I have removed everything and re-greased the threads, etc to prevent the BB creaking sound twice in two years. I have used a long front fender both winters.

    I am on year 4 with my current chain, and I have always used White Lightning wax-based chain lube. I live on a dirt road, and I have always felt like Tri-flow attracts the dirt (I always have some around, I use it on the mtb pivot points, etc). It's just messy compared to the dry stuff...seems like a dirt magnet. I haven't had a problem with using a dry lube in the winter months and wet weather.

    (my ride is 6 miles...just under 10 km)
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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