Road Salt with a new bike

This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Chilly-Willy Chilly-Willy 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #788948
    Avatar of mramstad
    mramstad
    Participant

    I have a relatively new bike that I would like to keep in good condition. I have heard that road salt isn’t so nice on bikes so I don’t want to subject my bike to corrosive conditions if I don’t have to. My question is, with the recent snow on Monday should I pack my new bike in for the season or is there not enough road salt on the road to damage my bike yet. I have a 6 mile commute, 2 are on city streets in and the rest is on the greenway.

    I appreciate your opinion on this matter.

    Thanks,
    Michael

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #792516
    Avatar of lowrah
    lowrah
    Participant

    @mramstad wrote:

    I have a relatively new bike that I would like to keep in good condition. I have heard that road salt isn’t so nice on bikes so I don’t want to subject my bike to corrosive conditions if I don’t have to. My question is, with the recent snow on Monday should I pack my new bike in for the season or is there not enough road salt on the road to damage my bike yet. I have a 6 mile commute, 2 are on city streets in and the rest is on the greenway.

    I appreciate your opinion on this matter.

    Thanks,
    Michael

    Ice-melting chemicals are expensive (in addition to being detrimental to the environment!), so MnDOT will typically wait until it is absolutely necessary to salt. There is currently no ice, and no salt/ chemical sand out on the roads. It is safe to ride your bike.

    #792517
    Avatar of kn_mpls
    kn_mpls
    Participant

    You should be able to get miles on your “new” bike throughout the winter. There are plenty of days where the streets are clean and it’s so cold nothing’s going to melt. You also get days when it’s cold and dry in the morning but you get some wet streets from melting in the afternoon. That stuff can be nasty but you should be fine if you wipe andor rinse it off regularly. What you really want to avoid is the heavy slushy stuff.

    #792515
    Avatar of pho
    pho
    Participant

    Its not just the roads you have to worry about. They salt/sand the paved bike paths as well. I find this rather infuriating, but not overly damaging to my bike. Just do your best to clean it up at the end of the ride and no damage should occur. Fenders and a decent chain guard are highly recommended and will protect your clothing from damage and stains that never come out as well.

    I recall my rant from last year on this subject:
    http://mplsbikelove.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=20003
    but not many others seemed too concerned about it.

    As of now, though, roads and paved bike paths are all clean.

    #792518
    Avatar of jimh
    jimh
    Participant

    Most people willl tell you to ride a cr@ppy old bike in the winter. But I hate cr@ppy old bikes, and life is short. A cr@p bike doesn’t motivate me to get out and ride.

    I bought a new frame 3 years ago and have used it exclusively, right through the winters. It gets covered with crud but I periodically hang it over the laundry tub in the basement and wash it all off. Then I spray it with Turtle Wax, wait a few minutes and wipe off the excess. The spray-on wax is a liquid that finds it’s way into all the nooks and crannies with no effort required. I make sure all bolts and fittings are greased – for example, I remove the bottle cage, grease the bolts and put them back in. I put bolts in any unused threaded braze-ons.

    The frame still looks like new.

    #792519
    Avatar of Caaveman82
    Caaveman82
    Participant

    If it is steel just make sure to apply frame saver after every winter.

    During winter just try to keep it as clean as possible without stressing yourself out about it. Lube your chain often, couple times a week. Get a nice clean overhaul at the end of winter and you are good to go. Nice n’ simple.

    Even with winter riding, I am sure your bike will outlast most cars.

    #792520
    Avatar of lowrah
    lowrah
    Participant

    Frame Saver? If this bike is new and is going to be cleaned often, is Frame Saver really necessary? I understand it protects the bike from corrosion on the inside of the frame, which doesn’t seem like it would be an issue for a bike’s first winter, so I think this advice might be overkill. Is it typical to apply FS after every winter season?@jimh wrote:

    …I bought a new frame 3 years ago and have used it exclusively, right through the winters. It gets covered with crud but I periodically hang it over the laundry tub in the basement and wash it all off. Then I spray it with Turtle Wax, wait a few minutes and wipe off the excess. The spray-on wax is a liquid that finds it’s way into all the nooks and crannies with no effort required. I make sure all bolts and fittings are greased – for example, I remove the bottle cage, grease the bolts and put them back in. I put bolts in any unused threaded braze-ons.

    The frame still looks like new.

    I take out every bolt, put anti-seize on them, and put bolts in any unused bosses as well. Even though I care for my bike, I still end up with some very rusty bolts/ barrel adjusters, I replace my chain a couple of times, and all cables and housing after the winter, because water and corrosion get into every little space. Maybe I’ll try the liquid wax on the frame this year!

    #792521
    Avatar of Caaveman82
    Caaveman82
    Participant

    @lowrah wrote:

    Frame Saver? If this bike is new and is going to be cleaned often, is Frame Saver really necessary? I understand it protects the bike from corrosion on the inside of the frame, which doesn’t seem like it would be an issue for a bike’s first winter, so I think this advice might be overkill. Is it typical to apply FS after every winter season?

    Maybe it is, but honestly it doesn’t take long and it is advise I have been given by many reputable mechanics.

    It doesn’t take much for water to get into your frame, especially in winter if the crap is melting. I don’t know about your bicycle, but mine is not air tight.

    #792522
    Avatar of jimh
    jimh
    Participant

    @pho wrote:

    Its not just the roads you have to worry about. They salt/sand the paved bike paths as well. I find this rather infuriating, but not overly damaging to my bike. Just do your best to clean it up at the end of the ride and no damage should occur.

    I disagree – it’s extremely damaging. At first I tried riding on the sand but it was quickly pulled into the chain, the derailleur and the inside of the freewheel. To save the freewheel I had to completely disassemble and clean it. After that, I never rode on sand again. As soon as the sand goes down, I’m off the paths and back on the roads, annoying drivers.

    The Park Board won’t clear both the pedestrian AND the bike paths. They usually choose to clear just the bike path, and that means it becomes a shared path – cyclists the dog walkers. Walkers complain about ice (I guess they’re all new to Minnesota) and the county responds by dumping sand all over the trails; the ice then thaws and you are cycling on a wet beach.

    I’ve complained about this and gotten no response. It’s another example of how our supposedly #1 bike infrastructure gets quietly rolled up and put away for the winter.

    #792523
    Avatar of Caaveman82
    Caaveman82
    Participant

    @jimh wrote:

    I disagree – it’s extremely damaging. At first I tried riding on the sand but it was quickly pulled into the chain, the derailleur and the inside of the freewheel. To save the freewheel I had to completely disassemble and clean it. After that, I never rode on sand again…

    Try some full coverage fenders. My drive train stays as clean as can be even when I ride in nasty bs.

    #792524
    Avatar of jimh
    jimh
    Participant

    @Caaveman82 wrote:

    @jimh wrote:
    I disagree – it’s extremely damaging. At first I tried riding on the sand but it was quickly pulled into the chain, the derailleur and the inside of the freewheel. To save the freewheel I had to completely disassemble and clean it. After that, I never rode on sand again…

    Try some full coverage fenders. My drive train stays as clean as can be even when I ride in nasty bs.

    I have full coverage fenders and they only slow the inevitable progression of wet sand into every part of your drive train.

    #792525
    Avatar of omgmrj
    omgmrj
    Participant

    Just walk lol

    #792526
    Avatar of Chilly-Willy
    Chilly-Willy
    Participant

    @jimh wrote:

    The Park Board won’t clear both the pedestrian AND the bike paths. They usually choose to clear just the bike path, and that means it becomes a shared path – cyclists the dog walkers. Walkers complain about ice (I guess they’re all new to Minnesota) and the county responds by dumping sand all over the trails; the ice then thaws and you are cycling on a wet beach.

    “I guess they’re all new to Minnesota…” or maybe they’re older and less mobile than you, and appreciate having sure footing.

    #792527
    Avatar of JenNastix
    JenNastix
    Participant

    @omgmrj wrote:

    Just walk lol

    The ORIGINAL fixed gear.

    #792528
    Avatar of jimh
    jimh
    Participant

    @Chilly Willy wrote:

    @jimh wrote:
    The Park Board won’t clear both the pedestrian AND the bike paths. They usually choose to clear just the bike path, and that means it becomes a shared path – cyclists the dog walkers. Walkers complain about ice (I guess they’re all new to Minnesota) and the county responds by dumping sand all over the trails; the ice then thaws and you are cycling on a wet beach.

    “I guess they’re all new to Minnesota…” or maybe they’re older and less mobile than you, and appreciate having sure footing.

    Footing is not normally a concern on bike paths.

    #792514
    Avatar of omgmrj
    omgmrj
    Participant

    I should add that Road Salt with an old bike is not a problem at all.

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