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  1. #1
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    Upkeep question

    What do you guys do to keep everything in working order during the winter with all the snow and salt? just looking for pointers on what maintenance to do in order to avoid breaking down.

    thanks

  2. #2
    Bedwards Of The West
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    Thankfully I don't have to deal with salt. I'd think that regular fresh-water wash-downs would be in order if that was the case, and I would probably ride an aluminum bike for the commute instead of steel. At the very least I'd say hose it down every few days when salt is present.

    I do the same thing I do in summer... wash and tune as it needs it, and lube it when it's getting dry. I let it get dirtier in winter, because washing it it such a pain when it's freezing out. I also use full-length cable housing everywhere, and that helps minimize the areas where things can go bad.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigE610 View Post
    What do you guys do to keep everything in working order during the winter with all the snow and salt? just looking for pointers on what maintenance to do in order to avoid breaking down.

    thanks
    High quality parts will resist corrosion erosion from salt and sand better than low quality parts...

    Even the old style square taper cup and cone BB's die quickly when exposed to salt and slush.

    I need to wash mine every three weeks or so, depends on the build up....you can tell the shifting gets less crisp the chain gets slow....all as the salt crust builds up....

    spoke nipples are bad for siezing up completely (again high qualtiy is better).

    I ride a bike with high quality components I got there because I got tired of replace parts frequently....

    BB's even two or three months, head sets once a year, wheels once a year...etc.

  4. #4
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    I switched from the messy weekly bike bath winter chore to the Armour All cleaning wipes (not the shine stuff), available in a big tub at Walmartís auto section. Removes crud, shines, and can be threaded through tight spots. This is easiest if you have a bike (mechanicís) stand. Then lube the chain and maybe a spritz of silicone for the derailleurs. Once in a while Iíll wash the wheels in the kitchen sink. If you have rim brakes, wiping the brake surface with a little nail polish remover on a paper towel will do wonders, all that black stuff that comes off affects braking. Just be careful if you have any wheel graphics (they can smudge), or use something milder like rubbing alcohol.

  5. #5
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    My first winter I destroyed the drivetrain on my walmart bike. That was probably my fault as much anything, since I didn't know about chainstretch, and I barely lubed the thing.

    Now I swap on a crappy drivetrain for the winter months.

    My hollowtech singlespeed transforms into a 1x8 with squaretaper BB, alivo~ish cranks, unramped chainring, lowend cassette, and deore derailleur. I run a front fender to protect the headset, and the bottom headset cup has a piece of old tube around it to keep crud out. I really like not having a front derailleur, because those things are crud magnets. I've got full-length cable housing like CB said. And all my frames are steel, so every fall I spray in some boeshield (since I couldn't find framesaver).

    My only ongoing maintenance is that every few days when I get home I do a quick wipe down of the chain/pulleys/chainring, and lube the chain if needed. That quick, frequent cleaning makes a huge difference. After last winter my chain was just at 1/16" so it got tossed, but everything else is on winter 2 or 3 or 4.

    Most my maintenance is in the spring. I repack the hubs and headset, strip and clean my BB7s, grease my pedals, and swap back to my summer drivetrain.

  6. #6
    Wierdo
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    We don't have salt here, just water and road grit so I don't have to worry about getting salt off my bike. Therefore, my maintenance is focused on the drivetrain.

    After riding in the rain, I'll take a rag and wipe down the drivetrain: chain, derailleurs, cassette and front rings. When I hear the chain getting loud or even the tiniest squeak, I know that the drivetrain needs a little more cleaning and lubrication. Around once a month in the winter I pull the chain off and soak it in mineral spirits to really clean it out before re-lubing and reinstalling. Chains wear faster in the winter because of the extra gunk they are exposed to so I check mine for wear on a regular basis. I used to do it by measuring the chain but finally spent a few bucks on a Park Tool chain checker which makes the operation fast and foolproof. If you stay on top of chain wear, you'll get many miles out of your cassette and front rings.

    I don't worry about keeping the rest of my bike clean. It's just going to get dirty again anyway and a shiny bike means nothing to me. A clean drivetrain is everything.

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer View Post
    I switched from the messy weekly bike bath winter chore to the Armour All cleaning wipes (not the shine stuff), available in a big tub at Walmartís auto section. Removes crud, shines, and can be threaded through tight spots. This is easiest if you have a bike (mechanicís) stand. Then lube the chain and maybe a spritz of silicone for the derailleurs. Once in a while Iíll wash the wheels in the kitchen sink. If you have rim brakes, wiping the brake surface with a little nail polish remover on a paper towel will do wonders, all that black stuff that comes off affects braking. Just be careful if you have any wheel graphics (they can smudge), or use something milder like rubbing alcohol.
    good advice right here. I like this method

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