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Winter tip: rinse off your bike if you ride on roads with salt

May 10, 2022, 3:43 p.m.
Posts: 1774
Joined: July 11, 2014

Bit late here for for next winter you can learn from my expensive lesson. Brought my road bike into the shop recently for some work and they discovered a problem: disc brake pads retaining screw was corroded to the point they couldn't back it out or cut it out. Luckily the caliper mount bolts weren't as bad. I had gotten lazy this winter about rinsing off/cleaning my road bike after rides. I would always wipe the chain down with a WD-40 shop towel and then re-lube it, but I had gone months without spraying the frame/drivetrain/brakes etc. with water. Previous years I would do this every few rides and a deep clean with Muc-Off every 6-8 weeks. Never even thought about the salt on the road in Vancouver but the combo of that and riding near the water on damp roads (Stanley Park/UBC) were enough to cause a bunch of damage.

Long story short, needed new calipers as they cracked when they were trying to cut the pad bolt off, chain, cassette and chainring. Also got new pedals as my old 105's were so crunchy even with new grease I was giving up power every pedal stroke. Those parts had 5000km so not the end of the world but still a lesson learned.

May 11, 2022, 4:38 a.m.
Posts: 1446
Joined: Nov. 6, 2006

Don’t even need to be riding it. If your bike spends significant time on a bumper rack or NSR during salt season the same thing will happen unless you give those brakes and other small steel parts a rinse.

May 12, 2022, 11:49 a.m.
Posts: 1774
Joined: July 11, 2014

Yeah good point. Doesn't help that I store my bikes in an unheated/ventilated shed in Vancouver. Another tip the shop gave me is lightly greasing the brake pad retaining bolt, since those are so small if they get corroded it's nearly impossible to get them out without breaking them.

Went for a ride last night, bike feels amazing with new drivetrain.

May 13, 2022, 11:43 a.m.
Posts: 2184
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Thanks for the reminder.

Bike washing needs a PhD thesis examination.

Took pedals/BB apart yesterday on my 4 month old bike, had minor psychological episode after discovered both were contaminated. 

Felt like I was being so careful with the hose on mist away from any bearing/ not washing too often...but maybe not often enough? Or incorrectly for dirt type, or didn't appease the correct voodoo gods, or...

May 17, 2022, 12:19 p.m.
Posts: 1774
Joined: July 11, 2014

After springing for new Ultegra pedals I am going to be ultra (heh) careful with washing, but it seems unavoidable that water is going to get places if you ride in wet or wash your bike. I guess I understand now why hardcore roadies literally do not ride their "A" bikes in the rain.

May 18, 2022, 8:04 a.m.
Posts: 2327
Joined: Sept. 10, 2012

Sort of doesn't hurt to pull your seatpost out of the frame and clean/relube it on your winter bike - road or mountain.

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