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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Wet weather bike tips

    Hi there:
    I'm new to road ridding, just went out to ride and the roads where wet,
    what should I do to the bike after the ride?
    what are the important things to look at after a wet ride?

    thanks for your input

  2. #2
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    First off wipe the bike down and be sure to lube the chain so it doesn't start to surface rust. Also make sure that you clean off the wheels to get any dirt off the braking surfaces and that there is no grit in the brake pads.

  3. #3
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    I'll add...stay off the roads when they are wet if you can help it...nothing good can come from it.

    If you are feeling the effects of "cabin fever", left with no choice but to hit the wet roads, then be sure to wash your bike. Also clean the chain/gears. Next hit the chain/gears with silicone.

    Stu

  4. #4
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    Yes, there is nothing good that happens to a bike by riding it in the rain. However if it was just wet roads and not actual rain coming down, then it is not as bad. After the bike is completely wiped down. A good cleaning of the drivetrain with a de-greaser, then rinse and dry and apply a good synthetic lube. The best bike wash explanation I have seen is the one on the Purple Extreme website here http://www.purpleextreme.com/cleaning.html
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stu_the_weak
    I'll add...stay off the roads when they are wet if you can help it...nothing good can come from it.

    Stu

    If you're serious about cycling, you'll have to ride in the rain, sleet, snow, cold, etc. There's plenty of good that can come from riding in the rain. Keep the bike clean, lube the chain and don't worry about it. Watch out for slick paint stripes and metal, but don't not ride just because it's raining.

  6. #6
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    Thumbs up Fenders, man, fenders!

    Fenders will keep you and the bike relatively clean. They'll also prevent water from being pumped up by the rear wheel onto the seat post. The water drips down inside the seat tube onto the BB, where it will stay and destroy the bearings. Fender also prevent water from being pumped up by the front wheel into the headset bearings. No muddy, greasy road grime up your back and in your crotch! No plumes onto those unlucky enough to be riding behind you!

    If you get caught in rain without fenders, remove the seat post and tip the bike upside down so the water flows out the seat tube. People forget that, and a year later the seat post is stuck in the seat tube forever.

    Not a bad idea to have a beater bike with fenders that can be taken out when the roads are wet, and the nice bike can be spared the hassle. You can put slightly fatter tires on it for traction on wet pavement, knowing it won't be your "go fast" bike for club rides and events.

  7. #7
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    I may be a minority, but I love riding in the rain. Full-coverage fenders are a must. A cycling cap to shield your eyes from said rain is also very useful.

    Post-ride, I just rub/dry the frame down to get grime/grit out of the bike : this is where the fenders are immensely useful. There is so much less crap *on* the bike to start out with. Then comes a chain wipe down + relube. Pulling the seatpost so that the water that got into the frame that pooled in the BB can dry out is a great idea also. This take about 15-20 mins tops.

  8. #8
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    In Vancouver (and I'll guess Seattle and Portland as well), if you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride.

  9. #9
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    Get fenders, lube yer chain regularly and stop worrying. Anything on yer bike that breaks due to exposure to the rain is garbage anyway. Lube everything like normal and you'll be fine.

    And get real fenders that go down the back of the front wheel until they're only a couple inches from the ground.

    Or just get wet and don't worry about it. I've done both, I've got bikes set up for both.

    Some things to remember- a tire as narrow as a road tire cannot hydroplane at any speed you can make your bike go. So don't worry about that.

    The tape they use on streets for crosswalks and intersections is slippery as hell when wet.

  10. #10
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    i ride in the rain (portland) frequently, fenders are good, i don't do a full wipe-down re-lube after every ride, switching to a heavier lube (finish line cross country) helped a lot. lately i've been riding w/o a front fender and haven't noticed a whole lot of difference, i do wipe off the underneath of the BB to keep the cables free of crap. day-to-day maintenance is pretty low, i do a good chain cleaning and re-lube anywhere from once every two weeks to once a month or so. my bike didn't cost an arm and a leg so i'm not too fanatical about keeping it clean, just in good riding condition. lately its been riding and shifting better than ever w/less maintenance (probably the new lube).

  11. #11
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    p.s. i also enjoy riding in the rain, unless its very windy also. there's something fun about getting wet. probably why i like muddy mountain bike rides too.... reminds me of being a kid.

  12. #12
    vexatious enigma
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc
    In Vancouver (and I'll guess Seattle and Portland as well), if you don't ride in the rain, you don't ride.
    Yup, it's the same in Seattle
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  13. #13
    vexatious enigma
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    Have the right attitude about riding in the rain. Don't go out with the thought in your mind of "Oh I hate this day, the weather sucks I wish it would be over" that's a good way to ride the bike for a while then never ride it again. If you don't ride in the rain once in a while you're not riding so just get used to the idea that you'll get caught in it some day. Having the right mental perception will take it from the daily grind of crap weather to just another condition that you ride in.

    Maintenance wise:

    Lube the chain
    Stay away from draincovers and metal sheets
    The paint on the road will probably take you out so stay away from that too
    Clean the brake blocks and rims
    Fenders --- unless you like a sandy spray and replacing oodles of parts
    Don't use expensive parts --- commuting and rain riding will ruin just about all your parts.
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  14. #14
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    nothing wrong with riding in the rain

    it keeps me riding. I can't believe that people actually think you shouldn't do this. Dress properly, fenders, full fenders and wipe down the bike afterwords or at least between trips or every few trips. I have to say, sometimes I just put the bike away. Also, do be prepared to replace drive components quicker than on a bike only ridden in sunny weather but then again, you're riding it right? Brakes will go quicker, chains and gears (what's left).
    One thing I do after EVERY ride, is wipe off the brake surfaces on the rims. These will collect grit and start getting really noisy and I suspect wear the rims down pretty fast too I think.

  15. #15
    vexatious enigma
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinrjensen
    it keeps me riding. I can't believe that people actually think you shouldn't do this. Dress properly, fenders, full fenders and wipe down the bike afterwords or at least between trips or every few trips. I have to say, sometimes I just put the bike away. Also, do be prepared to replace drive components quicker than on a bike only ridden in sunny weather but then again, you're riding it right? Brakes will go quicker, chains and gears (what's left).
    One thing I do after EVERY ride, is wipe off the brake surfaces on the rims. These will collect grit and start getting really noisy and I suspect wear the rims down pretty fast too I think.
    They will wear out very fast if you don't maintain them --- I would know
    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDaddio
    Unlike Roebuck, you do "do" people.
    Maybe Judas did it for a Klondike bar.

    Life in the fast lane with no brakes

  16. #16
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    Fenders are the key to hours on the bike. A wash kit is the key to the rest of the day -- it makes the difference between religious washing and letting the bike go (which leads to mechanical problems, excessive wear, less comfort on the bike, etc.). A clean bike makes riding in the rain a lot more motivating. Here's what I found:

    1. One of the car-wash solution concentrates. I use NuFinish concentrate -- one capful in a pail of water gets grease and dirt off easily, avoids spotting, and just wipes off afterwards without worrying about a hosedown.
    2. Two brushes -- one with an 18-inch or so handle and featuring soft split bristles and made specifically for washing cars (the head is soft and about 4 inches square), and a small 6-inch handled bristle brush with a 1x2 inch head.

    The long-handled brush does the overall swabdown without having to work hard and cleans everything except right around the brakes and bottom bracket.

    It isn't just the brake blocks that need cleaning. In the wet you get all kinds of junk built up around the brakes, fork crown, and the bottom bracket (and on the backside of the crankset). The short brush gets in there and cleans everything off. The carwash concentrate does a good job of taking off the grease and grime, and the brushes just help move the big stuff off. Use the small brush on the chainrings and they will be nearly spotless afterwards. Same for brake blocks, rims, etc.

    When you are finished, just wipe down with a terry shop towel. Then oil the chain and you're ready. Once I've run a pail of hot water, the whole thing takes less than 3 minutes to wash, another minute to oil the chain. This method doesn't get water into bearings or wash out their grease since there's no pressure -- not even a hose splashing on the bike. And it works fine in an apartment, on a balcony, wherever.

  17. #17
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    Allow yourself plenty of extra room to brake when riding. I use and recommend Kool Stop Salmon brake pads. They're equally good in rain and dry conditions. Always wear bright clothing no matter what time of day. Stay off road markings e.g. stop lines, crosswalks, etc. They are plastic and slippery as ice when wet. When I was commuting I always used full fenders. They really do help. Yep, they look dorky but I didn't care.

    I clean & lube the chain, chainrings, and rear cogs, front & rear derailleurs after every rain/wet ride. No exceptions. The grit that accumulates will multiply wear. Chains, cogs, etc. are expensive.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  18. #18
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    I'll ride in the rain and I'll ride in the cold... But not both!!!

    I would rather ride in the rain then in the wind.

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