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salt and steel(4 posts)

salt and steelwoodsyowl
Dec 7, 2002 10:03 AM
I am now the proud owner of a bouncing, beautiful, custom foco cross bike. But, I live in the north country where salt is used heavily on our road ways. Can I still ride the bike in winter WITHOUT washing it after each ride. [chain and gear lub excepted]. any tips?
re: salt and steeljjohnson05
Dec 7, 2002 1:51 PM
The first thing you should do is get a can of Peter Weigle's Frame Saver and spray the inside of all of the tubes. Foco tubing is terrific and will give you years of good service if you spray it NOW. Frame Saver is especially formulated to protect steel frames from all manner of rust and corrosion. It is available from better shops and catalog retailers. Your LBS can order it from Quality if they do not stock it.

As for hosing the bike off after riding, it's a pain, but it is a really good idea. Particularly for the aluminum parts like cranks, brakes and gear changers. WD40 (remember the WD stands for water displacer) sprayed in chain, gears, brakes and gear changer will chase the water away and leave a good protective lubricating film behind. The hardest thing is keeping the old garden hose from freezing. Lots of times I wind up using a bucket of warm water from inside the house. Good luck!
re: salt and steelflyweight
Dec 9, 2002 9:05 AM
I live just a few blocks from the ocean in San Francisco which means most of my rides take place in blankets of heavy fog. Definitely do the Frame Saver, it really works. I don't hose my bike off after every ride but I do wipe it down with a towel. I would also suggest taking out the seatpost 3-4 times/year and applying fresh, clean grease. That seems to be where I get the most contamination. I also overhaul the hubs twice a year. Headset and bottom bracket are Chris King and Phil Wood and after 4 years I've yet to touch them.
re: salt and steelTWD
Dec 9, 2002 10:17 AM
Back when I lived in snow country, I used an old steel mtb for winter commuting and road rides on snowy/salty roads.

One winter I neglected the maintenence on it and the bottom bracket and seat post rusted in place, and no amount of force would get them out. That's a worst case, of course, becuase these were some pretty extreme conditions, and it was an old tired bike, so I didn't do much to maintain it.

Just keep an eye on things, keep everything well lubed.
WD-40 does a great job of flushing all of the salt and grime off of stuff. Don't forget to put some real chain lube on afterwords though, as the WD-40 won't last long.

Also, get some full coverage fenders if you can. They keep about 80% of the crap off of you and the bike.