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Winter bike care

CotterendCotterend Posts: 73
edited November 2017 in Road beginners
This winter I need to stay on the bike instead of hibernating miserably indoors. Currently I'm out most days, 30 to 40km on roads often muddied by farm traffic and animals. Thankfully, almost no salt.

Many, many years ago I mountain-biked through the winters and spent an absolute fortune on bike repairs. I'd like to avoid both the cost and the breakdowns this time, if I can. Can anyone advise on how to look after my bike through winter use?

I have a Giant Defy 2 Composite. It has no mudguards and I guess finding the right guards is one of the first tasks to keep the censored off the bike as well as my good self.

Louise

Posts

  • Cotterend wrote:
    This winter I need to stay on the bike instead of hibernating miserably indoors. Currently I'm out most days, 30 to 40km on roads often muddied by farm traffic and animals. Thankfully, almost no salt.

    Many, many years ago I mountain-biked through the winters and spent an absolute fortune on bike repairs. I'd like to avoid both the cost and the breakdowns this time, if I can. Can anyone advise on how to look after my bike through winter use?

    I have a Giant Defy 2 Composite. It has no mudguards and I guess finding the right guards is one of the first tasks to keep the censored off the bike as well as my good self.

    Louise

    The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug.
    I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,031
    I know this is the beginners' forum, but 'spikey things'???

    Agree with wet wipes to clean off, but you need to re-apply lube afterwards too, and then clean off the excess with an old rag.
    The merits of different lubes could run for many pages with many different opinions. The key is making sure you always have a light coating on the chain but not so much it turns to thick paste.
    FWIW I get by on 100km/week commute on semi-rural roads with a wipe and relube every week or two (weather dependent), on a similar bike to you. I actually don't bother with a front guard, and use a clip-on MTB guard on the back, but I have a change of clothes and shower at work.
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,031
    edited November 2017
    Wiping the grey paste off the wheel rims and brake blocks helps too, if you have rim brakes.
  • Get a jet washer and a bottle of Muc Off. Avoid spraying at anything with bearings in it ( headset, BB, hubs / freehub ). Use wet wipes for the chain, get a little ultrasonic bath, and clean the cassette sprockets in that, with Muc off, every now and again. Keep everything lubed, and the bike will be fine. An old pair of boot laces, are great for cleaning in nooks and crannies. I even use a quick link in the chain, and take it off, then clean it in the ultrasonic bath every now and again, I’ve managed to get a few uses from a quick link before now, but do keep an eye on it, and replace it if it’s gone a bit wappy.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 12,659
    Clean as usual, but more often.
    Remove and clean the jockey wheels one at a time monthly. They get clogged up the most.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Hose down after every ride - takes 30 seconds.

    Once a week fully degrease, clean and re oil chain.

    Spray some GT into all the little nuts and bolts so they don't rust up.

    As it's a composite please please please ensure it's dried after every ride.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • .....

    As it's a composite please please please ensure it's dried after every ride.

    Why? What happens if ridden hard and put away wet?

    ..... and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). .....;

    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.

    Just 'cos I'm a girl!!!!

    Thank you all for the advice. It looks like putting a split link in the chain is going to make it all a lot easier.

    Louise
  • Cotterend wrote:
    .....

    As it's a composite please please please ensure it's dried after every ride.

    Why? What happens if ridden hard and put away wet?

    Nothing, they don’t dissolve or anything.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Cotterend wrote:
    .....

    As it's a composite please please please ensure it's dried after every ride.

    Why? What happens if ridden hard and put away wet?

    Nothing, they don’t dissolve or anything.

    Hmmmmmmmm. .............. Are you sure?
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Don't start all that carbon fibre dissolves in the rain rubbish again!

    You're correct in thinking that getting some mudguards is the most helpful thing. If you ride in the censored weather without guards the lower headset, bottom bracket, the entire drivetrain and the brake calipers are continually sprayed with a very unfriendly mix of water, grit and salt. It can also spray the back of the seatpost and make it's way into the frame. And crucially for me, into the seat of my bibtights; can't be doing with that at my age!

    My winter bike which has full chromoplastic guards is still on it's original headset and I have only replaced the BB once in 10 years.

    The Defy I think has tighter clearances and will only take the Giant specific guards? I don't think they give full protection to the brake calipers, but they must be a lot better than nothing at all.

    Winter maintenance consists of a gentle wash with warm water / bubbles if it gets really mucky, but otherwise just a wipe down and relube after a wet ride. Trying to keep a bike spotlessly clean through the winter is an exercise in futility, and you'll spend more time cleaning than riding the thing.
  • ...Use wet wipes for the chain, get a little ultrasonic bath, and clean ...

    This is the road 'beginners' forum. I agree that calling a sprocket ‘spiky things’ is dumbing it down a bit too much. But advising a beginner to get some wet wipes and as next point on the shopping list to buy an ultrasonic bath is the other extreme… :lol:
  • Cotterend wrote:
    This winter I need to stay on the bike instead of hibernating miserably indoors. Currently I'm out most days, 30 to 40km on roads often muddied by farm traffic and animals. Thankfully, almost no salt.

    Many, many years ago I mountain-biked through the winters and spent an absolute fortune on bike repairs. I'd like to avoid both the cost and the breakdowns this time, if I can. Can anyone advise on how to look after my bike through winter use?

    I have a Giant Defy 2 Composite. It has no mudguards and I guess finding the right guards is one of the first tasks to keep the censored off the bike as well as my good self.

    Louise

    The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug.

    That's the worst example of mansplaining I've seen on here.
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    "The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug."


    A fine example of why women avoid cycle clubs?
    Not a chance that would have been said if it had been signed off 'Paul' for example.
    Wxnker
  • Swap the wet-wipes out for trade wipes and pretty much as above.
    Use a pipe cleaner or thin brush (I use a left over dr browns baby bottlr brush) to clean in between the chain rollers.
    Wipe the rims down regularly or they'll wear out but using swiss-stop blue pads helps.
    After cleaning wipe over any bare metal, especially screw heads etc with an oiled rag.
    Don't waste money on "bike lube" for the chain, use a thick gear oil like EP90 as this will not wash off in the first splash of rain and does a good job of staying on the chain.
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    cld531c wrote:
    "The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug."


    A fine example of why women avoid cycle clubs?
    Not a chance that would have been said if it had been signed off 'Paul' for example.
    Wxnker

    this.

    Louise: please ignore that buffoon cld. uncalled for post.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • cld531c wrote:
    "The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug."


    A fine example of why women avoid cycle clubs?
    Not a chance that would have been said if it had been signed off 'Paul' for example.
    Wxnker

    this.

    Louise: please ignore that buffoon cld. uncalled for post.

    It was ShimanoBottomBracket who made the post not cld531c.
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    cld531c wrote:
    "The single biggest thing you can do is regularly clean and relube the chain and the spikey round things the chain goes around (they are called sprockets on the back wheel, and chainrings between the pedals). Wet wipes will do. Grap the chain with a wet wipe and rotate the pedal arms.
    Its annoying getting between the spikey things but its important to keep them all reasonably clean. Dont forget the 2 plastic spikey things below the sprockets. These are the jockey wheels, these need a quick wipe too.
    Soapy water will do for the frame and forks. Dont try to eat anything you pull out of the tread on your tyres as it could be a piece of dog poo or in my case, a mouldy dead slug."


    A fine example of why women avoid cycle clubs?
    Not a chance that would have been said if it had been signed off 'Paul' for example.
    Wxnker

    this.

    Louise: please ignore that buffoon cld. uncalled for post.

    Why? I wasnt the one calling them spikey things and referring to eating slugs? EDIT: I was cross so my quoting skills were poor so if you were calling the writer of the quote in italics a buffoon I wholeheartedly agree (but it isnt me)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    Many apologies cld - your non quoting quoting skills confused me!

    Don't ignore that fine fellow cld - he rocks. I'd stick to ignoring that other bloke that cld quoted.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    I'm exonerated! phew! :-)
  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,571
    For now :). :)


    We're watching you my son. :):)
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,961
    My list is as follows;

    1. Full guards if you can fit them. These protect the bottom headset bearing and the bottom bracket bearings from direct road spray.
    2. Add mudflaps to the full guards (which you can make from rubber, plastic etc and bolt on to your full guards with a couple of small stainless steel bolts, washers and nuts). These improve point one regarding spray over the bottom bracket on the front guard, also help prevent as much road spray over your feet and if you ride with others, the rear prevents the person behind getting sprayed by your rear wheel. Most guards simply don't cover far enough around the rear of the tyre to prevent this, so need the modification.
    3. Start the winter with everything in good maintenance order, which will help prevent seizure of things like seatpost/ clamps etc. I make sure my seatpost has assembly paste applied and all bolts like stem/ seatpost clamp, bottle cage mounts are installed with copper slip grease which prevents seizure. Ensure your drivetrain is in good working order and shifters/ brakes and cables are all clean and working correctly.
    4. Before every ride, preferably the night before to prevent faffing in the morning, ensure you give the bike a once over. Check drivetrain and lube as required, ensure brake tracks are clean and periodically ensure rim brake blocks are free from detritus such as alloy shards. With discs (much better on a winter bike in my opinion), just check operation and pads for wear. Ensure gears change correctly and have not seized up (which can happen after really wet and cruddy rides if not cleaned properly).
    5. After every winter ride (if at all wet), give the bike a wash. I keep mine in the house so have to in order to pass the boss's inspection. :wink: If it is not too dirty, and especially if the bike is still wet, a simple hose off and rub down with a car wash mitt removes just about everything. A more thorough wash including a bucket of soapy suds and said wash mitt, followed by a rinse off is usually all that is required even if really crappy. I have a 'pet dryer', which is like a high powered industrial hair dryer which I use after washing and rinsing. This dries everything and drives moisture out of everywhere, including the chain and means that nothing is left wet/ damp, even the bar tape is dry. This prevents corrosion setting in. A quick re-lube and the bike is good to be put away. This whole process takes less than 15 mins, so anyone who says that you will spend more time cleaning than riding is talking guff. Many people just don't bother and ride a filthy bike in the winter - each to their own, but I am pretty sure that my components wear less when cleaned and lubed and free of all that ground down sandy 'paste' that gets over everything in winter.

    And that's about it. Works for me. :wink:

    Only thing worth adding is that as time passes/ finances permit, it is well worth getting a dedicated winter bike when you can. Opt for something with disc brakes and enough clearance for full mudguards (I bought a cyclocross bike which also allows much wider tyres, which are preferable in winter). I go for robust rather than light on the component side as they tend to last longer and are cheaper to replace.

    Hope this is helpful.

    PP
  • Wow, people are unbelievably easy to offend here! (No offence)
    I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
  • Wow, people are unbelievably easy to offend here! (No offence)

    It’s an Internet forum, are you really surprised?
  • When my bike gets dirty I buy a new one.
  • fudgeyfudgey Posts: 859
    Firstly, where do you live? Anywhere near Swindon or Cirencester let me know, you buy the parts ill fit them.
    This weekend i gave my all rounder a stripdown, clean and rebuild.

    Was long overdue. Parts replaced are chain, gear cables and need to order a rear brake cable as that frayed when removed the calliper.

    Mine had got to the state of the rear brake seizing, chain worn out and properly filthy.

    I removed the front and rear mechs, cranks and callipers. Full clean and degrease.
    Washed the frame and cleaned with tar remover then gave it a coat of wax.
    Cleaned the cassette, didnt take it off this time just used a brush and degreaser - binned the chain.
    Reassembled with new gear cables/outers and chain.

    The bike has done probably 5000 miles used in all weather so needed it.

    I then cleaned the best bike, degreased the cassette and chain, and then the cassette on the spare wheel.

    This all took a few hours on Saturday.

    To do one bike properly id say maybe 3-4hours with a few cups of tea.

    Wetwipes are ace, i use them often for a wipedown

    Let me know if you aren't a million miles away and need help.
    My winter bike is exactly the same as my summer bike,,, but dirty...
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    Swap the wet-wipes out for trade wipes and pretty much as above.
    Use a pipe cleaner or thin brush (I use a left over dr browns baby bottlr brush) to clean in between the chain rollers.
    Wipe the rims down regularly or they'll wear out but using swiss-stop blue pads helps.
    After cleaning wipe over any bare metal, especially screw heads etc with an oiled rag.
    Don't waste money on "bike lube" for the chain, use a thick gear oil like EP90 as this will not wash off in the first splash of rain and does a good job of staying on the chain.

    are trade wipes just the same things as wet wipes, but with the obligatory bike tax on them ? Id not heard that tip before,sounds ideal really, as I was looking to source the blue "trade paper towel" to do the same job, as Id run out of kitchen roll and toilet paper just makes it really worse trust me on that horrid oily tiny bits of paper stuck everywhere.

    I know one of the guys in the office who has an ultra sonic chain cleaner, but has always been of the opinion, you havent been cleaning your chain properly if you need to use it...never asked why he bought one then :lol:

    I dont know my winter bike care routine is really lax compared to some of these suggestions, I dry it off if it gets wet, I do have mudguards, but to stop me getting wetter not the bike, I probably pay more attention to lubing the chain in winter, but clearly not enough cleaning as it probably lasts under 1000km, and I only clean the "spiky bits" (sigh) :roll: when I swap the chain, or when it gets clogged up with mud or its not working properly, and Id never power wash a bike, and not just because I dont have a power wash, I think how ever careful you are you still run the risk of forcing water into bike bits you dont want it.
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