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advice re: bike at the beach(6 posts)

advice re: bike at the beachBecky
Apr 1, 2001 2:47 PM
I'm moving to the Delaware coast this summer for an internship and I would very much like to take my Cannondale roadbike with me. However, I'm concerned about the effects of the sand and the salt air on my bike, especially since my apartment will not be air conditioned and I expect that the windows will be open all of the time (in addition to exposure to sand and salt while riding). What do I need to do to protect and maintain my bike under these conditions? Or is taking it along too risky to the condition of the bike? I just bought it- I don't want to see anything happen to it!
re: advice re: bike at the beachmuncher
Apr 2, 2001 3:27 AM
You have to face the fact that it's going to try to rust where it can. Best plan is to wash it well with fresh water after you ride it, making sure you really dig and sand out of the drive bits, dry it down after, and keep it covered when you are not riding. Stick some WD in all the allen head holes etc, or a smear of lube. Good tip is to get a bit of inner tube and make a "collar" over the top and bottom of the head tube, and where the seat joins the frame. You can also get covers for your front and rear derails to keep sand/wet out (they are called skinz here in the UK and are pretty cheap). If you have to store it for any period, spray it (not the rubber bits) with something like Dampstart/WD40 etc to keep the corrosive atmosphere at bay.

Use it though - sounds like a nice place to ride...
What part of Delaware Shore?Scott B
Apr 2, 2001 6:39 PM
Becky, are you going to be around the Bethany/Dewey/Rehoboth area? That is one of my all-time favorite places in the world to ride - nice wide shoulders, flat roads, open vistas. I couldn't imagin spending any time there without a bike. I really don't have any other maintenance tips to add, other than to say that since your Cannondale frame is (presumably) aluminum, then your main concern as to the frame is protecting it from sand/grit. Aside from a good hosing after riding through areas where sand may have gathered, you might want to consider a wax polish (lemon pledge works well) to give the frame some protection.
What part of Delaware Shore?Becky
Apr 3, 2001 4:13 AM
Lewes, actually. I lived there last summer too and rode my old Trek hybrid to work every day and all over Sussex County. The riding was great- I can't wait to log some miles on a lighter, faster bike!
It sounds like you're reasonably familiar with the area...can you recommend a good LBS? I never did find one that I really liked last summer....
What part of Delaware Shore?Scott B
Apr 3, 2001 3:58 PM
There's one on Route 26, in Bethany, about a mile or so west of the Coastal Highway - they're one of the few shops I've found in the area that is anything other than basically a beach cruiser rental place. Also, there is, or used to be, one high end shop in Rehoboth, again on the main drag, less than a mile west of the beach. These aren't super convenient to Lewes, but it's the best I can do. I vacation out there from the DC area, so really don't use the shops out there, but those would be my two best bets.
Titanium is the best for the beach ...Humma Hah
Apr 2, 2001 6:46 PM
Titanium actually likes salt water -- cracks grow slower in titanium when immersed in seawater.

Steel may rust like crazy. If the frame is steel, before you go, clean and dry the frame, and spray a rust-proofing oil like Boeshield inside the frame to prevent rust. If your LBS does not carry such a product, check at airports -- that's the market for which it was orginated, protecting the steel tubing used in aircraft, from which bikes are often made.

A dab of oil on each spoke nipple is a good idea.

Oil the chain frequently. Rinse the bike with fresh water (if its really fresh -- the locals may warn you if there's a little salt in the tap water which may promote rust).

Touch up all paint scrapes. Fresh grease in all the bearings.

When you get back, tear the whole thing down, clean it, and relube it.