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Rain / Commuting / Maintenance

Old 06-30-19, 06:58 AM
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YepIRide
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Rain / Commuting / Maintenance

I am a full-time bike commuter this summer. Inevitably, rain happens on the ride. What type of maintenance do other commuters do after getting occasionally poured on while riding home?

thanks!
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Old 06-30-19, 07:09 AM
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BobbyG
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I run the chain through a rag, and use dollar-store brush scrubbers to clean the gunk from the gears and deraillieur. I re-lube the chain, then wipe down the frame. I usually wait until the next ride to do this (if it's not raining again).
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Old 06-30-19, 10:35 AM
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... occasionally poured on while riding home?
if only ...

it's October thru Junuary, here .. bikes with IGH, and mudguards, disc or drum* brakes ..


* most reliable needing least service..




....
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Old 06-30-19, 03:46 PM
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If it is just occasional showers, I don't worry about it much. Especially if it is hot enough that everything dries off quickly. Brush the dirt off?

You will have to lube the chain more frequently, and perhaps chain replacements. Watch for stretching.

Also, watch for grime embedded in the brake pads.
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Old 06-30-19, 08:11 PM
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I put on dry clothes and have a beer.

But seriously, bikes are a lot less delicate than people tend to think, and clean rain does minimal damage if the bike is allowed to drip dry. I might get a tiny amount of surface rust on the chain, since I use a dry lube, but it's purely cosmetic.

Far worse is salt spray if you live near the sea, or road salt in hard winter areas.
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Old 07-01-19, 08:03 AM
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I don't commute regularly, but I did on Friday & left my bike under a wooden covering but it got a little wet anyway. my leather saddle was covered w plastic, so no harm there. but Saturday morning I decided to take advantage of the "wetness" & gave it a cleaning & lube. discovered I should change the front derailer cable soon. there is some fraying ...

soapy bucket & soft long handled brush. wiped everything down. some wd40 here & there as needed for further cleaning & water displacement. wiped everything down. lubed the chain & derailers. wiped them down

I think bike commuting can add a lot of road grime cuz you are riding on general use roads with lots of cars & all the junk that comes off cars like rubber, grease, oil & road kill parts & fluids. riding those same conditions with some rain mixed in can make a gooey, sticky spray that is worth removing from the bike. also cleaning a bike helps promote inspecting the bike
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Old 07-01-19, 02:40 PM
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wd40 on a rag to wipe down the bike including wheels.......remember wd40 is a degreaser so i dont spray in on the deraileurs chain or calipers......
definitely make sure your chain is clean, as grit will expedite wear...
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Old 07-01-19, 04:50 PM
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With road grime, eventually you reach an equilibrium where the new grime displaces the old grime.

This might be the place to put in a PSA for fenders and chainguard. Fenders help keep your bike cleaner in wet weather. Chainguard lets you use a heavier chain lube without it getting on your pants. I've been riding my all-weather bike in all weather for about 20 years, and it has shown minimal deterioration except for where the low quality chrome plating on some parts rusted. Oddly enough the Sturmey Archer hub leaks just enough oil to keep itself covered in a protective coating which also oils the chain. Clever design.

In my locale, summer storms are hard to predict, so it's a coin toss whether my bike will get wet on any given trip.
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Old 07-01-19, 08:23 PM
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I pack newspapers into my bike shoes before dinner, pull them out after dinner. That greatly speeds up the process of drying the shoes out.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by randallr View Post
I pack newspapers into my bike shoes before dinner, pull them out after dinner. That greatly speeds up the process of drying the shoes out.
If you know it's going to rain and don't want your shoes wet, that's a great alternative (also useful when it's really hot)

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...cycling-sandal
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Old 08-08-19, 08:04 PM
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Belt drive with IGH works for me all year
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Old 08-08-19, 08:43 PM
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I have two winter/rain/city bikes that live for the rainy day rides. I do very little for them. Hose them off with a garden hose and attachment that does both powerful jet and fine spray. Both sides get hosed from both front and back, mist except jet through the brake pads and inside the fenders. Drop it a few times from about a foot to shed most of the water, then carry in into the garage (so I don't bring in the bark of my path). Leave it standing against the workbench. Once fenders are drained, I hang it up from its hook.

Now, this is a luxury of owning a house. Those cleaning didn't happen in my apartment days and that (I only had one then) rain bike got filthy. And they still don't get cleaned over the months of freeze with the faucets shut down.

Those bikes have - all possible bearing packed in marine grease and Finish Line MTB wet lube on the chain. Nice seats with plastic fabric. All threads greased with that same grease. Powdercoat paint jobs. Fenders and good rain tires. Being wet doesn't phase them at all.

Ben
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Old 08-08-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
If you know it's going to rain and don't want your shoes wet, that's a great alternative (also useful when it's really hot)

https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...cycling-sandal
I wish I had converted to sandals YEARS ago. No more wet socks, they breathe better, are lighter, and are easily adjusted for the foot-swelling that happens on really long, hot rides.
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Old 08-08-19, 09:31 PM
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I ride in my SPD sandals, and quite enjoy the summer shower commutes. I run a KMC rustbuster chain on my rain bike with full fenders and low slung front mudflap, so my drivetrain might get wet from above, but not dirty from below. I always run a dry lube, so if it is washed off by the rain, i dont worry too much if the bike was soaked on the way to work, as the chain wont rust. After i ride home in the evening, I will clean the drivetrain if needed, and relube the chain. With the rain bike sporting full cable housings, disc brakes, aluminum frame, carbon fork, and cambium saddle, i dont have any other wet-weather concerns other than chain lube, which is a minor concern at that!
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Old 08-09-19, 09:38 AM
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Wipe the chain off (I use paper towels), and re-lube if necessary. Bounce the bike on its wheels to knock the worst of the water off, put it someplace it can dry.

After a few rains, I'll wash the bike (mostly so the brakes won't squeal, partly so I don't get filthy touching it). Re-lube all the pivot points on the brakes and derailers, wipe exposed cables with oily fingers, maybe drop some oil on the cable adjusters to try to keep them from rusting any more.
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Old 08-09-19, 09:53 AM
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My commuter has belt drive and drum brakes so I don't do anything.

But on my other bikes, like most have said.
Wipe off and re-lube chain. Maybe a couple drops on other pivot points.
Wipe the brake stuff off the edges of the rims
Maybe take any clumps off the jockey wheels
Usually clean off under the bottom bracket area cause that gets the most shmutz and the cables run down there
If the bike is still wet I might give the frame a real quick wipe to get about 75% of the dirt with minimal effort
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Old 08-09-19, 10:02 AM
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If you can't "hear" the chain, then nothing. If you can hear it, a drop of lube on each link
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Old 08-09-19, 10:19 AM
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I don't do a lot for my bike except cover the seat with a plastic grocery bag.

I wear a thin fabric baseball cap under my helmet so the visor to keep the rain from my glasses. For my feet, I wear close toed croc sandals with neoprene diving socks. My feet are going to get wet no matter what, so they might as well be quick drying footwear that drains.

https://www.theshoecompany.ca/en/ca/product/crocs-swiftwater-fisherman-sandal/276201040?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3OSWjpn24wIVCdbACh0-OgOEEAQYBiABEgKlM_D_BwE

As for clothing, not much more because I'll be sweating under the poncho, rain jacket or cut-out garbage bag anyways.

Last edited by Daniel4; 08-09-19 at 10:23 AM.
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