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Dust and Sand on Components(10 posts)

Dust and Sand on ComponentsComputerman
Feb 18, 2003 11:35 AM
I just bought my first good road bike (Trek Y-Foil 77) and I was told by my local bike shop that dust and sand are the components worst enemy. Personally, I think I'm the bikes worst enemy right now until I get used to these clipless pedals. But, that's another story. I have to drive 3 miles down a gravel road one way or 6 miles down a gravel road the other way to get to a paved road to ride the bike on. Needless to say, the bike goes on the bike carrier on the back of my van and gets a free ride to the paved road before I get on it. Even doing that, it still gets dust and sand all over the chain, bearings and components. Obviously there is oil and greese on the chain, bearings and components so the dust and sand sticks to it. I tried washing it off with my water bottle but water doesn't rinse much dust off when it's got oil on it. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do to preserve my bike and components? Is there an effecient way to clean it before I ride or is there something I can put on or over the bike to keep the dust off when it's traveling down the gravel road?
Put it inside the van!KeeponTrekkin
Feb 18, 2003 12:11 PM
And if there's stuff in the van, leave it at home or put it on the roof.

P.S. many have shared your experience with clipless pedals.
...or in a big garbage bag.(nm)Rusty Coggs
Feb 18, 2003 12:13 PM
That would be fitting...No_sprint
Feb 18, 2003 12:30 PM
it is a Y-Foil. teehee. just kidding. :)
Well....asphalt assault
Feb 18, 2003 12:59 PM
My mountain bike is in dust, sand, mud, snow and any other crud you could imagine and I see no problems. I doubt there's that much difference in the MTB Shimano components that I'm running and the road components on your bike...just keep your stuff lubed and you'l be ok.

You would be better off putting the bike inside the van though...or get a roof rack, the rear of the van is a very dirty place indeed.
It's about chain lifeKerry
Feb 18, 2003 4:40 PM
The dust will really only affect chain life on a road bike - the dust and the lube will form a grinding compound that will accelerate chain wear. On an MTB, you don't expect the kind of chain life that is common on the road.
That stinks...biknben
Feb 18, 2003 1:04 PM
That's an annoying situation. It's a shame to dirty the bike just getting to a paved road. A roof rack would be better than the rear rack but obviously expensive. Can you fit it inside the vehicle?

Unless you carry the bike in a different manner you're gonna have to deal with the dust. The lube you use can make a difference. I recommend using a dry type lube on your drivetrain. White Lightning is one option but there are many others out there. Avoid anything like WD-40. It will attract and hold the dust like a vacuum.

After each ride or even after each trip down that road run you chain through a dry rag to take as much of the dust off as you can. You won't be able to get it all but it will help.

Expect that you will have to clean your chain more often than usual. That sucks!
Ride the gravel roadjhr
Feb 18, 2003 1:05 PM
you will stir up less dust and sand than the car will. When you get back from your ride wipe the frame and other components with a spray wax/polish product (I use Giant bike polish, but many prefer lemon pledge or end dust). For the chain just apply some more lube until it reaches a point where it needs to be cleaned proper (100-500 miles depending on how much grit gets on it)(dry lubes [wax base] are much more sand resistant). When it reaches a point of being nasty dirty remove it (sachs chains and powerlinks rule). I clean my chain in the sink with dawn dishwashing liquid, orange blast cleaner and a big stiff brush. Scrubb the chain (top, bottom, sides, its like brushing your teeth), untill it is clean, rinse throughly with water, pat dry with an old towel, and then hang it somewhere to dry for about 1/2 and hour. Re-install it, and reapply lube. Old hand mechanics consider chains disposable items. If you change you chain every 1000 to 2000 miles you will save alot of wear and tear on cassettes and chainrings.

Best of all if you do 100 rides a year you will add 600 miles to your yearly mileage, and improve your bike handling skills in the process.

ditto the ride the gravel roadlonefrontranger
Feb 18, 2003 1:50 PM
Silly to put the bike in the car just to ride to pavement in a situation like that. Out here in CO we have miles of unpaved roads that are some of the best road rides and climbs in the state, especially since they are the least traveled by automobile traffic. Bonus: you will become a much better bike handler by learning to ride on dirt roads.

Road bikes were the first mountain bikes. Ever seen old 50's and 60's shots of the mountain passes in the Giro and Tour de France? I guarantee those weren't paved roads.

Not only does my road bike see a ton of dirt road usage around here, my 'cross bike wears Campag Centaur 10, the same stuff many folks' road bikes do. I ride it in mud, dust and sand all day long.
re: Dust and Sand on ComponentsComputerman
Feb 19, 2003 7:33 PM
Thanks everyone. The lube I got is Extra Dry Chain Lube by Wrench Force. The van is my wife's van. Do I need to say anything more about having room in the van??? LOL!!! No offence ladies... I would definitely learn to handle the bike better if I rode it on our gravel road. It's VERY loose, unpacked gravel.
I appreciate all ya'lls replies.