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Snow/Salt, Is it OK for the bike?

Jay_Reemin

Chimp
Nov 9, 2005
82
0
Well it was a winter wonder land yesterday here in the midwest, but today it cleared up and the roads weren't half bad so before I head out to my interview, I decided to get in a quick ride. I didn't realize how fun it would be to ride in the snow. I thought it would be slick, and I'd slip onto my @ss a few times but it was pretty easy going, fun, a bit cold, but not bad at all. My new bike arrives next week, just curious as to who rides in the snow, and if it's ok for the bike to get all the snow/salt splash on the parts. My main concern is ruining the parts because of the loads of salt they put on the roads around here. I really don't have access to a hose to wash it down after every ride, so I'm just wondering if I should keep riding the cheapy bike in the salt/snow, and save my new ride for spring...even though I really want to start riding my new bike :p
 

jdcamb

Tool Time!
Feb 17, 2002
16,319
3,581
Nowhere Man!
Snow is fine. Salt is bad. It does bad stuff to bearings. I ride all winter. If you stay on top of maintenance then your bike will be fine. Most folks around here have winter beaters. I ride the same one and I am fine.
 

Jay_Reemin

Chimp
Nov 9, 2005
82
0
Wumpus said:
You could always just get a bucket and brush and rinse it that way.
Yeah, but it's cold as a mofo sometimes, and the last thing I want to do after a ride getting all sweaty is bring out water and a brush as it doesn't take long to start getting the chills once you stop moving...
 

Jay_Reemin

Chimp
Nov 9, 2005
82
0
jdcamb said:
Snow is fine. Salt is bad. It does bad stuff to bearings. I ride all winter. If you stay on top of maintenance then your bike will be fine. Most folks around here have winter beaters. I ride the same one and I am fine.
But as far as the chain, knicks in the bike or other parts, and the salt, you don't get rust issues? What about it being so cold that the oil reacts slower in the forks and shock, possibly so cold that if you fell you could easily puncture a hole in the frame or something... I might just keep to the beater too, but I want to ride the new ride sooooo bad.
 

BigMike

BrokenbikeMike
Jul 29, 2003
8,933
0
Montgomery county MD
Jay_Reemin said:
But as far as the chain, knicks in the bike or other parts, and the salt, you don't get rust issues? What about it being so cold that the oil reacts slower in the forks and shock, possibly so cold that if you fell you could easily puncture a hole in the frame or something... I might just keep to the beater too, but I want to ride the new ride sooooo bad.

Cold oil thickens and it reacts slower, but as far as I know, it is not a bad thing.

And as far as puncturing a hole in the frame because of cold, I don't think you would be able to survive in the temperatures necessary to alter the properties of aluminum or steel.
 

splat

Nam I am
1st ! if you get road salt on the bike , clean it off as soon as you can . short term expose won't be any issues , long term it is corrosive as hell.

2nd , Snow cold weather riding, has all sorts of fun issues to deal with. Today I was riding and went though a few puddles , and I had Ice all over the bike, well, My front deraileur froze! and if you use rim brakes they can glaze with ice. While I have never had an Issue with tthe cold affecting the Metal parts , I have had an Elastomer fork Freeze Solid. So I was riding ridgid that Day. I have also had 2 different rear shock , have the seals freeze , and leak , in temperatures below 5 F.


But riding in the snow and Ice is a blast!
 

BentHammer

Chimp
Dec 30, 2005
15
0
I would have imagined that ice would be a problem- it's enough fun driving a car this time of year, I almost wound up in the woods this morning!
 

spookydave

Monkey
Sep 6, 2001
518
0
Orange County, CA
take a look at the rusted cars in your area. Salt is how they got that way. I guess it comes down to how much you like your bike and are willing to clean / replace parts. The winter beater sounds like a fine idea.
 

Angus

Jack Ass Pen Goo Win
Oct 15, 2004
1,478
0
South Bend
Snow riding is fun, salt residue sucks, I originally got my first Singlespeed because of winter riding and the effects of Chicago road salt, it get's everywhere I even had a shifter cable snap in July do to rusting from the inside.