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Frame Materials and Commuting in the Rain(7 posts)

Frame Materials and Commuting in the Rainmgolebiewski
Mar 11, 2003 11:51 AM
I a looking at a new bike and based on my usage I am a little worried about Steel or Ti and rust/corrosion. However, I am not sure my concerns are really valid.

Most of my riding comes from an 11 mile each way commute to work 4-5 days/week. I do longer distance on the weekends but that is not where the majority of my mileage comes from.

In addition I live in Seattle. That means that wet rides are a very common occurrence and that using my old bike as a “rain bike” will likely not work (it just can’t handle the miles I have ~4000 miles on that Tiagra drivetrain and it is showing signs of wear and probably not worthy of much repair).

How much extra care will I need to do to keep a Steel bike in top shape in this climate? Will I need to worry about drying off the bike when I get to work?
re: Frame Materials and Commuting in the RainMR_GRUMPY
Mar 11, 2003 12:40 PM
Just make sure that the inside of the frame tubes have been sprayed with "Frame Saver" orcoated with linseed oil. Also make sure that water doesn't collect in the BB shell.
Ti corrosion? That's a new one!Kerry
Mar 11, 2003 5:16 PM
A Ti frame will not "rust." Steel should be good with something as sophisticated as frame saver or as simple as TriFlow (or any other sprayable lube) down the pipes. FYI, Al will corrode as well, aggravated by salt, as my several year old C'dale commuter will attest.
re: let the old bike die a natural death.dzrider
Mar 12, 2003 5:53 AM
Between E-bay, local shops and want ads you can patiently hunt for a good deal on a used bike. Meanwhile ride the old one til it dies. I don't think there are huge advantages to one frame material over another for commuting. I've done mine, granted in drier New England weather, on a 20 year old Trek steel bike.
frame saver and constant workB123
Mar 12, 2003 8:25 AM
I'd throw some frame saver into the frame.

With tiagra you'll need to rebuild the hubs and bb fairly regularly, like every month or two. After wet rides I usually take the seat post out and tip the bike upside down in a stand. Most of the water drains out that way. It leaks in through the bb and seep holes I guess.

I also run a fixie, but that won't work well in the hills of Seattle. My beater bike is a 20yr old steel touring bike that I converted to a single speed. It sat on the local college campus for decades until I picked it up as a freshman. The frame is rusty but strong, your frame should last awhile.
Probably not the only steel bike in Seattle...cory
Mar 12, 2003 8:55 AM
Granted that I live in Reno, where we get about 6 inches of rain a year, but I used to live on the coast, and even there, rust was never a problem. You'd want to use something like Frame Saver, probably, but it just doesn't seem to be as big a threat as we make it out to be. One of my bikes came through five years on the SF Peninsula, a couple of years in Santa Cruz and three in Santa Monica before I brought it here, and the only rust it showed was on a couple of chipped places I didn't get around to touching up.
You will be fine with a steel frame.Ambishawn
Mar 12, 2003 9:00 PM
I just bought a 1987-88 Trek 360 from my best frend and its a steel frame that's been out in the yard for years. The chain and some of the cheap steel parts show rust but the frame is O.K. I plan on turning this frame and fork into a fixed gear bike due to it's horizontal dropouts. It's good practice to hang the bike by the front wheel for storage and use Frame Saver for the insides of the tubes once in a while. If you go Ti, that's great but your gonna have to spend more money in most cases.