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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On brakes/rims. Is there any way to avoid it when riding in the rain? It's annoying, I try to clean it off but it seems to just keep coming off on the rag/paper towel/whatever no matter how much I wipe off the rims. And then as soon as I ride again, it's back. There's also some lovely little steel-wool-like shaving things on the break pads. I'm sure that's a good sign, yeah?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
:-( nobody cares about my grey death sludge :p
 

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road bike resurrector
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don't ride in the rain hehe :D
 

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Its dirt and water creating an abrasive mixture which wears away at your aluminium rims. The only wet weather solution is sacrificial parts ie disc brakes.
 

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It's powdered aluminium, ground off your rims by the grit on the brake pads. Some pads are worse than others at picking up grit and shaving metal off the rims. Try really cleaning your wheels -- running water, some sort of soap, brush, rinse well. You can get them reasonably clean. Clean the brake pads well, maybe even take a little sandpaper to them. Maybe try a brand of pad that doesn't pick up shavings so readily (like Koolstop salmon).

But you'll get some black crud whenever you ride in the rain, because the water will always carry some grit to the pad/rim interface, and the dirt particles are harder than the aluminium.
 

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j-dogg said:
don't ride in the rain hehe :D
Do you know where "PDX" (airport code) is? Your advice to the OP translates to "ride in July only."
 

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Simple green and water on a paper towel. Then a wet paper towel, then a dry paper towel.
I do this about once a week in the winter/spring, plus an abbreviated version after a nasty ride.
Wipe down the brake pads too.
 

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Sounds like a excuse for a disc and fender equipped uber rain bike!

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JCavilia said:
Do you know where "PDX" (airport code) is? Your advice to the OP translates to "ride in July only."
+ 11111111
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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don't use your brakes...or...
wash your bike. don't bother w/ paper towels and the like, get a brush and hose it off. if you get it right when you get home, you probably won't need any cleaner. if the tires get dirty, try simple green or westley's bleachy white (auto tire cleaner), it does wonders.
 

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I'm a misanthropic man...
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For the 15+ years I lived and cycled in Portland that stuff was the bane of my existence. It's the main reason that my current 'cross/touring/training bike has disc brakes.
 

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I agree that braking in the rain creates a mess on the wheels.

When I was commuting to work and would get rained on, here's what I would do when I got home:

I kept a Windex spray bottle filled with Simple Green or some citrus cleaner/degreaser. I would spray the rims and tire sidewalls then hose the bike down with a pump sprayer. Then I'd flip the bike around and repeat on the other side. No fastidious cleaning with rags. It did a pretty good job and took all of five minutes. If I was really ambitious I would spray the derailleurs and the frame too. Never took a brush to the bike; a more thorough cleaning would be done some other time but this method cleaned the bike so well that not much else was needed.
 

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Peter P's method sounds good to me. When I'm detailing with wheels removed, bike on the repair stand, etc., I spray the braking surfaces of the rim with Simple Green, then use one of those green Scotch brand scrubby thingies to clean the rims. It's easy, not a lot of scrubbing, and the rims look like they just came out of the box.
 

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Peter P. said:
When I [am] commuting to work and [do] get rained on, here's what I [do] when I [get] home:.
Have a martini.

On Saturday I put some lube on the chain (if I remember).

Once a month or so I'll clean it a little better.

Having a dedicated rain bike (fixed gear, so no derailleurs to clean, and only the front wheel gets brake crud) is helpful.
 
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