Helping protect parts from salt- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Helping protect parts from salt

    I'm going to start riding my year-round bike to work tomorrow since my cheap winter bike died on me (bottom bracket is FUBAR and its not worth fixing). However, I won't be able to wash it daily. Would a spray coat of WD-40 help keep some of the salt and crap off it like it does with mud?

  2. #2
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    I doubt it, but I haven't tried it. I use Armor All Cleaning Wipes to un-gunk, and silicone spray on the derailleurs, once a week depending on conditions. Maybe some spray car wax or "detailer" if motivated, or maybe some Pedros Bike Fizz first if it is super stuck on. Most important is chain lube, add some, wipe to clean; add more, wipe to relube.

  3. #3
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    On my ride home I will fill up a squeeze bottle of warm water and small brush to give a quick dust off of slush. Then a quick rinse before taking my ride in. You can rinse off a fair bit with a squirt bottle.

    Full fenders will help keep the salty spray at bay. What I like to do after a slushy ride is take a damp rag and wipe down the chain, cassette, chainrings. Then relube all that plus the pivot points on derailleurs. An old toothbrush works great for getting muck off jockey wheels too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by snailspace View Post
    On my ride home I will fill up a squeeze bottle of warm water and small brush to give a quick dust off of slush. Then a quick rinse before taking my ride in. You can rinse off a fair bit with a squirt bottle.

    Full fenders will help keep the salty spray at bay. What I like to do after a slushy ride is take a damp rag and wipe down the chain, cassette, chainrings. Then relube all that plus the pivot points on derailleurs. An old toothbrush works great for getting muck off jockey wheels too.
    I am a little worried about spraying it down with plain water since it does get parked in an unheated garage over night. I did ride it around a little tonight when I got it home from the bike shop and I have a feeling I will have trouble not stopping to fast.

  5. #5
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    Don't skimp on the anti-seize. I had to take off a few things recently that I put on before I thought I'd be commuting year round, thought I'd break the allen wrench trying to get it off.

  6. #6
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    I don't know where you are but WD-40 is not a great rust protector. I don"t think blasting alot of a good rust protector on it is a bad idea, just clean regularly as well. My friend is a engineer with a shipping line, he swears by Fluid Film:

    Fluid Film Rust and Corrosion Prevention | Canadian Tire

    Other good ones are Honey Goo and Rust Check.
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  7. #7
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    I'm in Central MN. Fluid Film will be cost prohibitive down here, only places I can find it for sale is around $100.

  8. #8
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    I do less every year, since long-term I haven't really seen much lifespan difference between parts used in road salt and parts used for regular summer mountain biking.

    A few parts that do seem a bit more vulnerable to heavy salt:

    - Brake pistons (you don't want to spray rust inhibitor in there either, just wash out the salt when you can)

    - Brass spoke nipples in stainless eyelets on aluminum rims. Some kind of strange galvanic reaction made all my spoke nipples crumble after 3 winters. My other wheelsets without the SS eyelets were unaffected.

    - Suspension fork innards. Do a rebuild in the spring.

    I've come to the conclusion that replacing a few wasted parts every now and then is a reasonable alternative to a beater bike that may have suspect reliability.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  9. #9
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    Man I'm glad they don't use salt around here.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I do less every year, since long-term I haven't really seen much lifespan difference between parts used in road salt and parts used for regular summer mountain biking.

    A few parts that do seem a bit more vulnerable to heavy salt:

    - Brake pistons (you don't want to spray rust inhibitor in there either, just wash out the salt when you can)

    - Brass spoke nipples in stainless eyelets on aluminum rims. Some kind of strange galvanic reaction made all my spoke nipples crumble after 3 winters. My other wheelsets without the SS eyelets were unaffected.

    - Suspension fork innards. Do a rebuild in the spring.

    I've come to the conclusion that replacing a few wasted parts every now and then is a reasonable alternative to a beater bike that may have suspect reliability.
    Bike is a Diamondback Response XE. Mechanical Discs front & rear, front is a currently a Tektro Novella and the rear is an Avid BB7. Will be upgrading the front in the near future. Fork will also be getting upgraded in the near future. I will be getting a chain cleaner and probably get some brake cleaner (for cars) for the brakes & to clean off the derailleurs before re-lubing them with some silicon spray.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    Man I'm glad they don't use salt around here.
    Try living in central MN, lots of salt.

    And about your signature, is your wife telling you to drive a valid reason for driving to work?

  12. #12
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    regardless of anything else

    You have to wash the salt crude off the bike....frame and all...

    If you don't it will get into the bearings etc and that is money to fix.

  13. #13
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    Anyone have any tips for washing the bike indoors? I'd like to take it outside and run some water over it but it's not been getting above freezing. Right now I'm just wiping the bike down as best I can with a damp rag.

    The salt use is ridiculous, they salted the roads here when it rained. Wasn't even close to freezing, might as well ride my bike into the ocean...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    Anyone have any tips for washing the bike indoors? I'd like to take it outside and run some water over it but it's not been getting above freezing. Right now I'm just wiping the bike down as best I can with a damp rag.

    The salt use is ridiculous, they salted the roads here when it rained. Wasn't even close to freezing, might as well ride my bike into the ocean...
    I put my bike up on the stand, then i have a relatively large flat plastic tub Say 18 inches by 12 inches by 6 inches that I put under the bike....it catches most of the water and dirt...

    I don't even really try to catch the water (i am in the garage)...

    I am quite sure if you just try to be neat it would work fine...maybe spread a bath towel down as well?

    Even just a damp rag to help wipe it off will work...you would have to rinse and squeez out in a sink a few times though.

    It is really nice to rinse the BB front and rear der, and the brakes....a small tub can catch that water easily

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    A few parts that do seem a bit more vulnerable to heavy salt:

    - Brass spoke nipples in stainless eyelets on aluminum rims. Some kind of strange galvanic reaction made all my spoke nipples crumble after 3 winters. My other wheelsets without the SS eyelets were unaffected.
    You sure those nipples were brass? That will happen to aluminum nipples, but not brass.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino View Post
    You sure those nipples were brass? That will happen to aluminum nipples, but not brass.
    it is well known in the sailing world that stainless and brass donot play well together.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by smccloud View Post

    And about your signature, is your wife telling you to drive a valid reason for driving to work?
    hmmm... for safety reasons? To my thinking that's more of a valid reason to spend more on gear
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    hmmm... for safety reasons? To my thinking that's more of a valid reason to spend more on gear
    Well, on the days it is around -30 or -40 w/ wind chill I can understand it (I do have to cross the Mississippi). Today was in case they plowed the apartment log.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    it is well known in the sailing world that stainless and brass donot play well together.
    True, but aluminum is even worse.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcaino View Post
    True, but aluminum is even worse.
    Actually you see lots of aluminium boats with stainless steel fittings....very common, and it seems to work fine.

    Both of these aluminium and stainless are passivated ie aluminium is covered with a very tough aluminium oxide film and stainless steel is covered by a very tough chromium oxide film.

    Unless the service includes erosive effects such that the film is worn away they are quite happy together.

    Also large amounts of stainless with small aluminium pieces isnt so good...think stainless with aluminium rivets.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    Actually you see lots of aluminium boats with stainless steel fittings....very common, and it seems to work fine.

    Both of these aluminium and stainless are passivated ie aluminium is covered with a very tough aluminium oxide film and stainless steel is covered by a very tough chromium oxide film.

    Unless the service includes erosive effects such that the film is worn away they are quite happy together.

    Also large amounts of stainless with small aluminium pieces isnt so good...think stainless with aluminium rivets.
    My experience with aluminum vs. brass nipples in winter commuting in aluminum rims with stainless eyelets has been that the brass far outlasts aluminum.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  22. #22
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    I don't have enough background in oxidation-reduction chemistry to comment further, but the spoke nipples were definitely brass and they are definitely wasted. The eyelets were the only real variable. Other wheels have had no problems, although I don't think I've used aluminum spoke nipples since the 1990s.

    The weird thing is... spokes are stainless steel, aren't they?

    Maybe a different grade of stainless? I got nothing.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by formula4speed View Post
    Anyone have any tips for washing the bike indoors? I'd like to take it outside and run some water over it but it's not been getting above freezing. Right now I'm just wiping the bike down as best I can with a damp rag.

    The salt use is ridiculous, they salted the roads here when it rained. Wasn't even close to freezing, might as well ride my bike into the ocean...
    A bucket with hot soapy water and one with hot water and a small amount of simple green or vinegar. Knock all the big stuff off with the hot soapy water. Use a clean rag and the second bucket to rinse the rig. Dry with a shop towel. I put a tarp or shop towels down to catch the excess water.

    If there's a bunch of slush on the bike I use a stiff bristled brush to knock the ice/slush off outside before washing inside.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    I don't have enough background in oxidation-reduction chemistry to comment further, but the spoke nipples were definitely brass and they are definitely wasted. The eyelets were the only real variable. Other wheels have had no problems, although I don't think I've used aluminum spoke nipples since the 1990s.

    The weird thing is... spokes are stainless steel, aren't they?

    Maybe a different grade of stainless? I got nothing.
    Different grades of stainless will not make a huge difference, basically it is the chrome becoming active that is the problem...

    I have been riding Mavic, aluminium spokes nipples and rims....no problem with seizing up...

    Shimano aluminium rim, stainless nipple Ti spoke no problem..

    and recently a cheaping Alex rim with steel nipples and spokes with aluminium rim.

    Simple fix wash the salt off more frequently.

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