Author Topic: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?  (Read 4266 times)

Hoosier Daddy

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Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« on: May 14, 2015, 04:47:11 PM »
For those who ride your bike to work etc. Do you typically ride it when it rains as well? I have no qualms about getting wet, but I LOVE my bike and don't want to risk it getting rusty etc... Have any of you found coatings etc. that you like to use so you can ride in the rain?

zoltani

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 05:07:35 PM »
What is your bike made of? What constitutes a "nice" bike?

FWIW I have an all steel touring bike, and it was expensive, so I guess it is nice. I have ridden it in all weather, off road, gravel, dirt, anything I can throw at it. In my mind a bike is a tool and it is made to do a job. If we didn't ride nice bikes in the rain in the PNW they would never get ridden.

Rain will cause you to need new wheels more often if you have rim brakes, and just generally wear out components faster, but the frame should be fine. There is some stuff you can spray inside the frame to protect against internal corrosion, but you must remove ALL components down to the bare frame to use this tsuff, can't remember the name of it at the moment.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 05:24:49 PM »
My bike is a commuter bike made of aluminum: Cannondale Bad Boy.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2015, 05:25:39 PM »
Fuck yes!  Rain doesn't hurt anything if you follow very minimal and basic maintenance.  (Grease what needs to be greased, lube your chain and brake pivots, fix scapes in your paint if you have a steel frame.)

I don't use my nice bike in the snow because we dump tons of salt down . . . Which really does destroy stuff on your bike.  I have a cheap component winter bike for that.  Rain is no biggie though.

Hoosier Daddy

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2015, 05:36:46 PM »
Fuck yes!  Rain doesn't hurt anything if you follow very minimal and basic maintenance.  (Grease what needs to be greased, lube your chain and brake pivots, fix scapes in your paint if you have a steel frame.)

I don't use my nice bike in the snow because we dump tons of salt down . . . Which really does destroy stuff on your bike.  I have a cheap component winter bike for that.  Rain is no biggie though.

Thanks for the information! I need to look into greasing brake pivots... I have never done that... I have disc brakes... do they need grease as well?

Regarding your comment on fixing scrapes on a steel frame: Is that to mean that if you have an aluminum frame you don't need to worry about scrapes in the paint becoming rusty? I fell one time and scrapped a small part of paint on my handle bars so would need to fix that somehow if necessary.

I like your crappy winter bike idea haha I will have to get one of those myself lol.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2015, 05:59:12 PM »
Just did this morning. Alloy frame, so it should be right.

Not sure if it means I need to relube the chain more often :)

Retire-Canada

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 06:30:53 PM »
Fuck yes!  Rain doesn't hurt anything if you follow very minimal and basic maintenance. 

Yup. If you don't have fenders your bike will get a bit dirty, but you can wash it.

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kendallf

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 09:14:56 PM »

Thanks for the information! I need to look into greasing brake pivots... I have never done that... I have disc brakes... do they need grease as well?

Regarding your comment on fixing scrapes on a steel frame: Is that to mean that if you have an aluminum frame you don't need to worry about scrapes in the paint becoming rusty? I fell one time and scrapped a small part of paint on my handle bars so would need to fix that somehow if necessary.

I like your crappy winter bike idea haha I will have to get one of those myself lol.

You can oil or grease the pivots on mechanical disc brakes, yes.  If they're hydraulic, don't worry about it.  If your frame is aluminum, don't worry about rain or scrapes.. no big deal.  Your handlebars are almost certainly aluminum also. 

I ride the race bike in all sorts of shitty weather.  Same with the touring bike.  That's what they're for. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2015, 06:10:27 AM »

Regarding your comment on fixing scrapes on a steel frame: Is that to mean that if you have an aluminum frame you don't need to worry about scrapes in the paint becoming rusty? I fell one time and scrapped a small part of paint on my handle bars so would need to fix that somehow if necessary.


Aluminum doesn't seem to rust out really . . . it might corrode a tiny bit, but nowhere as quickly as a steel frame.  My winter bike is aluminum and the frame is in great shape after three winters.

With my nice steel bike I bought some nail polish that's the same colour as the frame and touch up the paint whenever scrapes go through the paint and you can see the frame.


I would recommend getting full fenders for your front and back wheels if you're planning on regularly riding through bad weather conditions.  They will prevent a lot of crap from being thrown on to your drivetrain and headset which means less cleaning and less issues with corrosion.  Plus you don't eat as much dirty road water as you're biking along.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2015, 06:24:00 AM »
I only have one bike, so it gets ridden through all conditions. Salt season sucks but just a few minutes here and there will prevent the worst of the damage (extra lube on chain, some lube wiped on fasteners, etc to prevent rust).

Eventually I'd like to have a better bike and this bike will remain the winter crap bike, but that's a long ways off.

Better Change

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 06:37:48 AM »
I've ridden both of my bikes in all kinds of gross Midwest weather.  My hardworking commuter bike (a Trek FX) has made it through multiple winters, but I kept up with maintenance to make sure it's still in good shape. 

I treat my more expensive roadie with lots of love after a hard ride in the rain.  It gets a full bath and re-lubing.  I find that rain = lots and lots of road gunk in the chain and cassette, so I make sure I get most of that out.  If I can't give it a bath that day, I'll make sure it at least gets wiped dry.

mschaus

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 08:35:35 AM »
Also to keep in mind: The only reason the manufacturer put disc brakes on an urban bike (like your Cannondale) is for better performance in the rain! (probably also for marketing, but disc brakes do better in rain than rim brakes)

Syonyk

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 08:53:28 AM »
Also disc brakes are good for "Not destroying the rims coming down hills in the rain."  Combine rain + road grit, and you utterly destroy wheels in very short order if you're holding speed down steep hills - it just grinds the aluminum wheel away.

Yes, I ride my bikes in all weather.  More chain lube if it's raining, and otherwise I don't worry too much about it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 09:46:39 AM »
I think that the brake pad you use has a big effect on how much damage your rims get from wet riding.  The Kool Stop Salmons I've been running seem to be pretty good for rim life.

monstermonster

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Re: Do you ride your nice bike in the rain?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 10:07:43 AM »
I have an INSANELY nice bike- a $6000 custom Ahearne bike (hey, I've never owned a car, and I saved for many years for it, and I do long-distance international bike touring, and stock bikes don't come in my size..okay I'll stop justifying) and of COURSE I ride it in the rain. I'm of the belief that a bike that can't be ridden in the rain is not a bicycle I want to own. (But I also live in the pacific northwest so it rains 9 months a year.) I work for a bike organization (shop and social services nonprofit) so my bike advice is worth something, I hope.

Full fenders are really important to your comfort and your bike's cleaniness and if it is very muddy outside, I wipe my bike down at least once a week to make sure it doesn't get caked on. If you have trouble with braking, it's likely due to gunk on your rims. Here's a good shop tip on cleaning your rims, http://www.communitycyclingcenter.org/index.php/shop-tip-cleaning-your-rims/
I also recommend making sure you get great waterproof chain lube, it should be marked on the bottle if it is all-weather or not.
I pretty much exclusively ride my really nice bike in the rain but if I'm going out late in a part of town where I'm worrying about it getting stolen, I ride my shittier-looking cargo bike (which was my main ride for years).

Disc brakes are also great in the rain but have a large up-front cost and many bikes don't accept them without work-arounds. I explicitly got cantis (rim brakes) instead of disc brakes on this bike because they're easier to fix in an emergency in a country without specialized bike shops, and the parts are lighter to carry with me on the road. If you're only commuting instead of traveling and have an LBS you trust, they can be a great solution for day-to-day braking power in rainy conditions.