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Discussion Starter #1
So I am taking the plunge and starting to commute daily instead of a few days each week. I take pretty good care of my bikes but I have always been somewhat worried about riding in the rain. With that being said...

What is the best routine for cleaning and maintaining a bike after a ride in the rain. I figure it isn't that difficult but this board is the best place to ask!
 

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c0braje7 said:
So I am taking the plunge and starting to commute daily instead of a few days each week. I take pretty good care of my bikes but I have always been somewhat worried about riding in the rain. With that being said...

What is the best routine for cleaning and maintaining a bike after a ride in the rain. I figure it isn't that difficult but this board is the best place to ask!
I wouldn't sweat it too much. Personally, I don't do anything special after a rain commute. I use a heavy wet lube (finish line green) which lasts for a long time, even when I ride it in the rain. I relube it every few weeks, and occasionally use a dry lube, which helps to dissolve all the gunk that builds up. If you have a steel frame, you may want to make sure the inside of the seat tube is rustproofed with Frame Saver.

I think the key to rain commuting is to have a bike that requires little maintenance, so that maintenance doesn't become an excuse not to go. That means getting hubs with good seals, a seat that doesn't soak up water, and, most importantly, full fenders, with a mud flap on front that comes down far enough to block gritty road spray from getting on your feet and in your drivetrain. The little clip on rear fenders keep the spray off your back, but don't keep it off your legs, feet, and drivetrain.
 

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Every little counts...
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Drill a hole in the BB to drain water out. Agree on heavy oil, I use Phil's Tenacious when racing in the wet.

You'll appreciate why most prefer sealed gears (Nexus) or SS/fixed for wet commuting. Not much to maintain.
 

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jaded bitter joy crusher
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Followup question

One of my steel frames has 1/8" holes drilled in the backs of the chainstays just in front of the dropouts. After a very wet ride am I likely to get enough water out of the frame (especially BB area) by tipping the bike up to let it drain out the chainstays, or will I do a lot better by removing the seat post and pouring it out the seat tube?
 

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I live in the NW

c0braje7 said:
So I am taking the plunge and starting to commute daily instead of a few days each week. I take pretty good care of my bikes but I have always been somewhat worried about riding in the rain. With that being said...

What is the best routine for cleaning and maintaining a bike after a ride in the rain. I figure it isn't that difficult but this board is the best place to ask!

and commute about four days/week....all winter long on a fixed gear/SS bike. just make sure you have adequate fenders and just hose the thing off if it gets too dirty. probably maintain/clean the bike about every two weeks.
 

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Big is relative
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one more thing

If your commute involves deep puddles or heavy downpours, you should ocassionally take your wheels off and turn them slowly while listening for water in the rim.
 

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I keep a couple of rags at work & an old towel at home. I wipe the bike down, including the chain, immediately after the ride. It only takes me 2-3 min. When I get caught in the rain, I clean & relube the chain once per week.
 

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c0braje7 said:
So I am taking the plunge and starting to commute daily instead of a few days each week. I take pretty good care of my bikes but I have always been somewhat worried about riding in the rain. With that being said...

What is the best routine for cleaning and maintaining a bike after a ride in the rain. I figure it isn't that difficult but this board is the best place to ask!
1. Before you put the bike away, lift it up about one foot off the ground and drop it. The shock from the fall will shake off most of the water.
2. Raise the front wheel off the ground and spin it fast, then slam on the brakes. This removes most water from the front wheel, at least from the tire, hub and spokes.
3. Raise the rear wheel off the ground, shift into the small sproket and the large chainring, pedal the bike fast with your hands, then slam on the brakes. This removes most of the water from the rear wheel and chain.
4. With a towel, wipe down the bike from top to bottom.
5. Spray the chain down with WD-40. This does nothing to lube the chain, you're just lightly cleaning it while using the WD-40 to dissipate any water still trapped in the chain.
6. Wipe down the chain with a rag real well, then relube with chain lube.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the help everyone. The fixed gear idea is a good one but I have some really big hills between my house and work. I will try a few rain rides and see how things work out. I am actually kind of looking forward to it.
 
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