Author Topic: How can I keep my bike dry?  (Read 7316 times)

shelivesthedream

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How can I keep my bike dry?
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:06:10 AM »
I recently bought a neat new bike (ú200 used with all servicing and replacement parts - runs like a dream!) in an effort to step up my cycling. It's made it so much easier to get up hills and so much more pleasant to cycle that I hope to be doing the full trip to work in the next two months (at the moment I go part way then hop into public transport as I am trying to build up my fitness). At the moment I'm OK being a fair weather cyclist, especially as summer is on its way, but this morning I woke up to find it had been raining overnight.

The wheels were wet, the saddle was wet and, most uncomfortable of all, the super-comfortable squishy handles were soaked through. I just couldn't face it. I also looked at it thinking, "if I carry on like this I'll need a new chain in a few months". In my current place, the only place to keep my bike is chained up in the front garden, but I can't go on like this.

Mustachians, how can I keep my bike dry outdoors, or at least the most important parts? Which are the most important parts? I'm handy with a sewing machine and had been thinking of maki˝g a saddle cover anyway, but I now realise I am going to have to step it up.

Kaminoge

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 03:39:50 AM »
1. For a saddle cover just use a plastic bag. Take it off to ride (just shove it in your pocket) and put it on when parked. It does the job (a few million Chinese people can't be wrong) and there's no reason for anyone to bother to steal it.

2. If the handle bar grips are a problem just change them for a hard rubber ones. That or put plastic bags on them too.

3. Is the wheels being wet a problem for you?

4. I wouldn't worry too much about the rest of the bike. Keep it oiled. Perhaps cover it with a tarp or something if you won't be riding it for a while.

gooki

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 03:40:21 AM »
You can get bike covers pretty cheap $15 or less.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 03:44:06 AM »
Here in Chicago we use small plastic grocery bags to cover the saddle (until those are outlawed for environmental reasons) when parking a bike in the rain.  It's very easy to tie a knot around the saddle and seat post with them and they keep your saddle from getting soggy (if yours is leather, you might consider a synthetic one when you have some pounds available...).  Fortunately here most residential buildings have "bike rooms" to park the bikes in.  If you do not have fenders, I would definitely get some (there are inexpensive plastic/removable ones). 

GuitarStv

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 06:57:45 AM »
A combination of use and occasional grease/oiling will prevent your frame and most components from getting rusted.  Just toss a tarp over your bike when you're not using it to prevent the seat and grips from getting too wet at night.

Jack

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 08:16:46 AM »
In my current place, the only place to keep my bike is chained up in the front garden, but I can't go on like this.

You could always store the bike inside. If nothing else, you could hang it up on the wall above your sofa like art.

PindyStache

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 09:56:37 AM »
You could always store the bike inside. If nothing else, you could hang it up on the wall above your sofa like art.

This is appealing in the abstract, but then I look at how often my bike comes home dripping with water/dropping sand & grit, and everything else. I have to imagine the people who actually do this either:
1) really do use their bike primarily as art rather than transport/badassity
2) have 26 hours to their day to always meticulously clean their bike after every ride
3) Live in some dream world where it never precipitates and where bike paths are swept clean of dust and grit every morning

Does anyone on the forums here actually do this? Please enlighten us! :)

CNM

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 10:24:31 AM »
You could always store the bike inside. If nothing else, you could hang it up on the wall above your sofa like art.

This is appealing in the abstract, but then I look at how often my bike comes home dripping with water/dropping sand & grit, and everything else. I have to imagine the people who actually do this either:
1) really do use their bike primarily as art rather than transport/badassity
2) have 26 hours to their day to always meticulously clean their bike after every ride
3) Live in some dream world where it never precipitates and where bike paths are swept clean of dust and grit every morning

Does anyone on the forums here actually do this? Please enlighten us! :)

I had a roommate in college that would display his bikes on the wall.  He didn't do this with his day to day bike, only his fancier special racing bikes.  And, yes, he would clean them off after his ride.  I was sort of a cool idea, but I would not have spent my time with it.  I like to ride my bike, park it, and ride it again!

bogart

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 10:49:23 AM »
We throw a tarp, the sort that's available for around $15 at a US five-and-dime (or probably 20 pounds @ M&S or similar, for you), over our bikes, when we are home and organized (it's not infrequent that the weather's nice when we finish a ride so we leave them uncovered and then ...).  We just drape the tarp over the bikes and throw a few pieces of firewood (from the nearby logpile) or rocks/bricks on the corners.  This mostly works, though we live in a stormy area so a bad storm can be windy enough the tarp blows free and the bikes get wet.  None of our bikes are good bikes, though, so we don't worry about these flaws in the system.

You could do worse than this.  If the soil in your garden is soft(ish) you could buy some tent stakes and get the type of tarp that has grommets.

Jack

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 10:56:00 AM »
You could always store the bike inside. If nothing else, you could hang it up on the wall above your sofa like art.
Does anyone on the forums here actually do this? Please enlighten us! :)

Admittedly, my bikes now live in the basement. However, when I lived in an apartment I kept them inside and it wasn't that big a deal. When the weather is good they don't get that dirty, and when the weather isn't good it only takes couple of minutes to wipe them off when you get home.

(It also helps to not be overly concerned about having perfectly-clean floors.)

Dr. A

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 10:59:44 AM »
You could always store the bike inside. If nothing else, you could hang it up on the wall above your sofa like art.

This is appealing in the abstract, but then I look at how often my bike comes home dripping with water/dropping sand & grit, and everything else. I have to imagine the people who actually do this either:
1) really do use their bike primarily as art rather than transport/badassity
2) have 26 hours to their day to always meticulously clean their bike after every ride
3) Live in some dream world where it never precipitates and where bike paths are swept clean of dust and grit every morning

Does anyone on the forums here actually do this? Please enlighten us! :)

I do, with one of these, and I commute with my bike every single day: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FGTTEW/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I do have a small covered area immediately outside my front door, so if it's raining I will leave it outside to drip-dry for a bit. The hangar is mounted in a corner of my apartment with tile floor, so if it drips a little water or dirt it's not a big deal.

Early spring was pretty nasty dirt-wise after the snow melted, so I'd rub down the tires with a rag, but I ride on pavement the whole way so that's pretty minimal. I track way more dirt in on my shoes while I carry the bike over to it's hook than drips off the bike.

Sonorous Epithet

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2014, 11:19:11 AM »
My girlfriend and I both use our bikes daily and have nowhere outside out apartment to lock them up. Using the kickstands was driving us crazy, as it took up a lot of floor space.

We got one of these: Michelangelo Gravity Bike Stand. It works pretty well; you can make similar racks for a little cheaper from scratch. It doubles as a work stand in a pinch, but I'm still saving up for a proper work stand anyway. I find that keeping my bike right there, visible 90% of the time I'm in my apartment, on a special rack that makes a pretty little home for it, helped me to establish my bike commuting habit.

If I was single and only had 1 bike to worry about, I would probably get one of those cheapo hooks.

somepissedoffman

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2014, 11:19:29 AM »
This is appealing in the abstract, but then I look at how often my bike comes home dripping with water/dropping sand & grit, and everything else. I have to imagine the people who actually do this either:
1) really do use their bike primarily as art rather than transport/badassity
2) have 26 hours to their day to always meticulously clean their bike after every ride
3) Live in some dream world where it never precipitates and where bike paths are swept clean of dust and grit every morning

It's called San Diego :)

TrMama

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2014, 11:24:19 AM »
Can you build some sort of wooden cover for it? Even just a basic "shelf" attached to a fence? I live in a rainy climate as well and leaving things tarped outside is an excellent way to seal in moisture so they rust, mildew and generally get slimy and bug infested. If you do tarp it, make sure you leave a gap at the bottom to allow for air flow.

FTR my bike lives in my front entry way. It makes it easier to herd the small children out the door in the morning when I don't also have to to into the garage to get my bike.

enigmaT120

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2014, 12:13:30 PM »
At home I have a nice shop to store my bike for the night.  But when I commute, I leave it in the bus yard for the day and it's not covered there.  I splurged on a 10 dollar Brooks seat cover, but that was only to protect my leather saddle.  Before I bought that saddle I would just brush most of the water off my saddle and ride home.  I have Goretex rain pants for riding in the rain, anyway, and if it's too warm for them I'll just get wet.

Definitely lose the foam grips.  I've seen those for motorcycles, too:  crazy.

Make sure to lube your chain pretty often. 

shelivesthedream

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2014, 06:58:27 AM »
Thank you for all the advice!

I really can't keep my bike inside, and don't think I would ever get round to cleaning it anyway. I also can't really build a shelter - if I were living here permanently I would have cleared some space, but Im hoping to move by the end of the year.

A tarp sounds good, though - I might even be able to cable tie it to the gate so it won't blow away! I shall investigate costs this weekend. And I can't believe I didn't think of a plastic bag myself...

But I am not willing to give up my squishy handlebars - they are so confortable!

Paul der Krake

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2014, 07:12:19 AM »
You don't even need to tie it to anything- just cloak the bike with the tarp on both sides of the bike, and then let the bike lean against a wall on one side. It takes under 20 seconds to take it in or out. You can shake the tarp a little after it rains to prevent getting wet when you take the bike out too.

If you have more than one bike, lean the one you use the least against the wall. If there's only one bike, a simple brick will prevent the tarp from blowing away when you're out using it.

Greg

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2014, 09:30:45 AM »
A tarp sounds good, though - I might even be able to cable tie it to the gate so it won't blow away! I shall investigate costs this weekend. And I can't believe I didn't think of a plastic bag myself...

If you have any contractor friends, try to get some Tyvek« housewrap and sew/tape your own custom cover.  Tyvek is non-directional so you can use it with the words on the inside, and it breathes similar to Gore-Tex«.  It's also very tough.

enigmaT120

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2014, 10:56:55 AM »
Maybe I should try foam grips before I knock them, but man it rains a lot around here.


shelivesthedream

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Re: How can I keep my bike dry?
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2014, 02:21:28 AM »
Maybe I should try foam grips before I knock them, but man it rains a lot around here.

I used to have to wear gloves every time with my old bike to prevent chafing - I think it might be because I have very small hands. Now I only wear them for warmth, and even then hardly ever. It does rain between 100 and 150 days a year where I live, though, which is taking some getting used to with attempting a cycling routine.