Rain Riding - Maintenance?

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Rain Riding - Maintenance?

Postby TethAdam5 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:09 pm

I'm currently a very devoted commuter, and nothing short of a lightning strike up the ying-yang would stop me trying to ride to work.

This morning in Perth was pretty heavy rain all the way in to work (35 mins of constant rain, plenty of puddles), and apart from drying off the bike, is there anything else I need to do to keep everything in order?

I do a general maint (tighten wires / degrease / lube chain) every 3-4 weeks anyway, but should I carry a water disperser (Inox?) or similar to drive the water off everything - or just dry it all off with a towel?

I'm planning to ride through the Perth winter, so it's likely there'll be plenty of wet days ahead, and I don't want a ruined bike come next Spring.
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by BNA » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:56 pm

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Postby Minority » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:56 pm

I haven't got any maintenance tips for you, just admiration for your perseverance!

It certainly did bucket down this morning
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Postby LuckyPierre » Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:18 pm

If you're doing regular maintenance, then the biggest issue you'll face is your chain / drive train. I use light chain lube, so I re-lube each time my bike gets wet (but it hardly ever rains in Canberra these days).
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Postby singletracking » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:17 pm

Has anyone tried using chainsaw blade oil?

I read that the pro mtb mechanics used it in horrible conditions because it stays on the chain.

I did a muddy ride this weekend past and ended up with nothing left on the chain, so it got me wondering about what was the best chain lube for riding in the rain.
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Postby Bnej » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:57 pm

singletracking wrote:I did a muddy ride this weekend past and ended up with nothing left on the chain, so it got me wondering about what was the best chain lube for riding in the rain.


Your traditional wet/sticky chain lube will stay on in the rain. But the stickiness that keeps it on the chain will also let dirt stick to it, so it will not be clean.

White Lightning Epic goes okay in the wet and doesn't get too dirty if you wipe it down completely. I've been using it for a while now but when I run out I'm going back to a wax because I ride in sand more than I ride in mud.
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Postby MotoBloke » Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:49 pm

Some chain-lubing insights from the motorcycle world:

Background info: Almost all, except sprint-racing/SX/MX racing chains on motorcycles are 'o-ring' or similar chains - where a grease in kept inside - hence the use of o-rings to retain that grease.

Rain riding
Clean and lube more often when riding in the wet. Water droplets will get into the bearing part of each link and displace the oil/grease. So, it vital to give a quick relube after the chain is dry.

Sandy/dusty riding
Either use gearbox oil (80/90 weight) lube and thoroughly wipe excess off the outside - say with a kero-dampened rag, or use a wax style, graphite or sets-dry-teflon/PTFE lube - all of which need to be 'o-ring safe'. It's vital not to use anything that will have dust or sand stick to it. Many a dirt-road touring motorcyclist will rather run their chain dry, than oil it resulting in the dust mixing with it to form a grinding paste!

Automatic chain oilers for motorcycles use an oil of fairly light weight, chain saw oil being at the heavy end of that spectrum. Adventure and touring rider will turn off the auto-oiler for dusty parts of their journey.

The current fashionable favourite of the sports bike fraternity (short and clean-ish rides) is either simply an aerosol version of lithium grease - available at engineering suppliers like Coventry Fasteners - it sets white in colour, or some of the proprietry ($$$) MC aerosol chain lubes.

Kerosene and brushes or a box full of rotating scrubbers jigger with a sump for kero are the most effective for the MC do it yourselfers.

MC frequency of cleaning and oiling is usually each day for wet riding, each tankful of fuel for road bikes or up to 500km max.
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Postby HappyHumber » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:32 pm

singletracking wrote:Has anyone tried using chainsaw blade oil?


I've been experimenting with it a little. Lightly thinned with a machine oil helps it penetrate a bit better - but +1 to a few other comments here: be conservative with the application and spin/wipe off the bulk of the excess there and then. A lot of people probably wouldn't bother - but I kind of find the price you pay for 'specialist' bike chain lube a bit exbortitant.

It's probably the wrong type of year to do it (ie. whilst it's wet) but I'm about to try a similar homebrew conconction for the dryer times. 3:1 White Spirits to synthetic motor oil. I think it was Graeme (Kalgrm) who suggested this to me a while ago - but apparently it's got some proponents on the FixedGear Gallery forum.

(edit: digging around I stand corrected on the ratio.... ref one of the more original FGG threads here. Complete with US vs. Rest of the world debate on what constitutes Mineral vs White Spirits)
Last edited by HappyHumber on Mon Jun 09, 2008 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:44 pm

G'day

Riding in the same conditions as you, I run wet-lube at the moment (not that impressed mind you) and I clean and re-lube my chain every 500 km (max), but more likely every 400 to 450 km.

I personally wouldn't be going as long as 2 to 3 weeks at this time of the year unless your km are a lot less.

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Postby il padrone » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:03 pm

Rain :?: What's that??

I'm using Finish Line Cross-country Lube. And it's been a long time since last lubing :o But the chain is still clean and lightly lubed, with no tendency to squeal. Very happy with the lube, at other times I've used Triflo, Finish Line Dry Lube, Motorex Dry Lube and Pro Link. The last three all tended to be high consumption lubes, so I've gone back to Finish Line XC for its less frequent application.

I guess I really should get out and do some chain cleaning :oops:
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Postby Matt_Matt » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:18 pm

I think we need to sticky a "Chain Lube FAQ"
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Postby il padrone » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:38 pm

I read that at first glance as "we need a sticky chain lube FAQ" :lol:
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Postby il padrone » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:46 pm

il padrone wrote:I guess I really should get out and do some chain cleaning :oops:


Actually, looking back, the bike I'm mostly riding now is an old Shogun Metro frame that I built up as a traditional gents commuter last Oct/Nov.

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It wasn't ridden much last year, then used for commuting and a few tours ~1200kms from late Jan to late March, when I had my 'off', so no riding until a 10 days ago. The chain has been re-lubed a couple of times, but has not been cleaned at all so far :?

Like I said rain, what's that? We don't seem to get any of that stuff around in Melbourne now :( Sure keeps the bike clean though.
Last edited by il padrone on Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Aushiker » Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:46 pm

il padrone wrote:I'm using Finish Line Cross-country Lube. And it's been a long time since last lubing :o:

I would suggest that statement needs qualifying ... I could make a claim that I have a chain that hasn't needed a lube for a year, two years and so on. It doesn't mean much if the km are zero or very low. Or I claim I have some miracle lube and had done 10,000 km between lubes, now that may be interesting or I course I am full of it :)

Having some idea of the distance ridden and the conditions experienced over those km would be useful, to put your experience with the lube in context.

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Postby lisanne » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:13 am

il padrone wrote:I read that at first glance as "we need a sticky chain lube FAQ" :lol:


hahah so did I! :oops:
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Re: Rain Riding - Maintenance?

Postby sogood » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:24 am

TethAdam5 wrote:This morning in Perth was pretty heavy rain all the way in to work (35 mins of constant rain, plenty of puddles), and apart from drying off the bike, is there anything else I need to do to keep everything in order?

Haven't read anyone mentioning it, but it's very important to lift the frame up by the front wheel to get it vertical and allow all the water accumulated within the frame to drain. This should be done after every wet ride and bike wash. Without it, water accumulated in the BB would adversely affect the components in there. Also, if you are on a steel frame, some anti-rust (?fish oil or similar) may be applied inside the tubes.
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Re: Rain Riding - Maintenance?

Postby HappyHumber » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:41 am

sogood wrote: .... but it's very important to lift the frame up by the front wheel to get it vertical and allow all the water accumulated within the frame to drain.

...water accumulated in the BB would adversely affect the components in there.


...or you could do I what I do and drill a drainage hole in the bottom of your BB shell. 8-10mm centered at the lowest point (best marked with the bike upright and wheels installed) Something I've done routinely now on my last couple of build ups.

I rode my Steamroller new a few times before I stripped it. I got caught out in the rain once. A week or two later when pulled the BB - I was amazed how much water 'poured' out. That' can't be good.
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Postby janus77 » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:07 am

Living in Sydney, I've been riding in the rain a lot recently.. I try to lube every 2 rides or so.. even every day if I remember when it's wet. I really only remember because the gear changes go to shyte if I don't lube after riding it a few times in the wet and it feels crappy to ride.
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Postby 531db » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:30 am

janus77 wrote:Living in Sydney, I've been riding in the rain a lot recently.. I try to lube every 2 rides or so.. even every day if I remember when it's wet. I really only remember because the gear changes go to shyte if I don't lube after riding it a few times in the wet and it feels crappy to ride.


Gear changes to shyte? - don't have that problem on my fixie(s).
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Postby sandman » Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:07 pm

531db wrote:
janus77 wrote:Living in Sydney, I've been riding in the rain a lot recently.. I try to lube every 2 rides or so.. even every day if I remember when it's wet. I really only remember because the gear changes go to shyte if I don't lube after riding it a few times in the wet and it feels crappy to ride.


Gear changes to shyte? - don't have that problem on my fixie(s).


You're just hardcore Pete. God aka Shimano gave us a variety of gears to choose from, thats why there are gear selectors on bikes 8) :shock: :lol:

So the line goes " So where were YOU when they were handing out gears ? " <sandman ducks for cover> 8) :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby Hawkeye » Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:41 pm

531db wrote:Gear changes to shyte? - don't have that problem on my fixie(s).
No, you've just transferred it to your knees. <Ducks and runs :lol: :lol: >
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Postby hangas7 » Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:26 am

I have just purchased a can of "Air Jet Spray" from Dick Smith's.

I haven't used it yet, but reckon it would be handy to blow off the water from my cassette/chain after riding in the rain.

Will let you know how well it works.

Cheers

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Re: Rain Riding - Maintenance?

Postby thomas_cho » Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:17 am

sogood wrote:
TethAdam5 wrote:This morning in Perth was pretty heavy rain all the way in to work (35 mins of constant rain, plenty of puddles), and apart from drying off the bike, is there anything else I need to do to keep everything in order?

Haven't read anyone mentioning it, but it's very important to lift the frame up by the front wheel to get it vertical and allow all the water accumulated within the frame to drain. This should be done after every wet ride and bike wash. Without it, water accumulated in the BB would adversely affect the components in there. Also, if you are on a steel frame, some anti-rust (?fish oil or similar) may be applied inside the tubes.


Some frames have drain holes at the BB, my Kenevans has some drain holes there. But agree on your point, water accumulating at the BB spells disaster. I once helped my friend replace the whole drivetrain on a Specialized Carbon frame bike, his Bottom bracket cratridge was rusted ... lots of gunk in there.
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Re: Rain Riding - Maintenance?

Postby Aushiker » Sat Jul 12, 2008 2:42 pm

thomas_cho wrote:Some frames have drain holes at the BB, my Kenevans has some drain holes there.

G'day from sunny Darwin :)

My Giant CRX 1 has "drain holes" at the base of the BB shell, but I don't think they are that effective. When I recently replaced the BB there was a pool of mud in the shell.

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