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Here's the deal, my wife and I try to go to a local trail twice a week after work for a ride. The only way its possible is to bring our bikes in the back of my truck and go right after work.

The problem is, living in Florida, there's a 40% chance of rain every afternoon so I have to bring them and hope there's no rain over the trails in the afternoon. Occasionally I get stuck in the rain with the bikes though.

I purchased a couple of cheapy nylon bike covers from Nashbar but they won't stay on the bikes while driving. As such, sometimes the bikes get wet :(

It really pains me to see them getting rained on, but how bad is the rain on the bikes? On my new Redline monocog, the chain develops very light flash rust which is the only visible "damage" but how bad is it for the seats, brake rotors, etc to get rained on?

When not en route, the bikes are always kept in my garage so its not like they stay outside constantly, but what damage am I doing to my bikes getting them wet and what can I do to prevent further damage? (I'm working on a new cover setup but its probably a month or two off)
 

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(enter witty phrase here)
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Water is bad. It will rust/corrode any bare metal quickly. If you can dry it off right away it's not a big issue. But constantly getting wet will be a problem.

Could you get a cover for your truck? How about a tarp with eyelets that you can tie down?
 

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Most frames and components of modern bikes will stand up to rain pretty well, unless it's a steel frame, or has cheap steel cables (not stainless), or cheap components. If it gets wet, wipe it down good and relube/oil cables and moving parts. Many nuts and screws are not stainless or aluminum and will quickly rust. The big problems are when water washes lube out of components, chains, and especially bearings. The bottom bracket bearings are highly vulnerable if water gets in the tubes.
 

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Don't skid
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Don't ever get your bike wet. Its bad. Mud is really bad, stay out of that. Dirt isn't good either so you shouldn't even take your mountain bike off paved roads and bikes paths. Actually you should only ride indoors in an evironmentally controlled facility.









Sorry couldn't resist. Just keep you chain lubed with an oil based lube, and also the derailer pivots (doesn't have to be as much as the chain though). If you know how, check your hubs and headset and bottom bracket. If you don't just take it to a shop a couple of times a year. But honestly bikes are very durable (especuially single speeds) so it will be fine in the rain. But i know what you mean, I hate it when I see my bike getting rained on and do my best to avoid it when I can.
 

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There's no app for this.
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Rain is good for

the bike, just ask any of us that ride in the PNW in rainforests.

Rain won't do squat to aluminium, stainless steel, or other parts, as long as you keep the dirt out and the moving parts well lubed. Salt water is a different matter.

If it wears out, then it's time to replace parts; it's mountain bike made for use/abuse, not a museum piece requiring special care.

If we know it's raining, we occasionally will 'plastic bag' the saddle to get to trailhead, where the saddle gets saturated anyway.

Once in while, turn the ride upside down (saddle removed) and drain any water from the BB.

Jim

 

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Its got what plants crave
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It's a misconception that stainless steel doesn't rust. It's still steel and it WILL rust if exposed to the elements for long. I also ride in Florida and I'm having the same problems. Not to mention the sandy/muddy environment which is horrible for your drivetrain, way worse than the water is. Avoid submersing anything in water, but I doubt a shower now and then is going to do any damage. Bikes are pretty well sealed these days. I do agree on taking the saddle out and draining the bike now and then tho.
 

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There's no app for this.
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Sorry, you're wrong...

here's what Scientific American has to say:

SciAm.com > Ask the Experts > Chemistry

Here.

You may see a little oxidization staining on the surface, but it doesn't rust through, or degrade anywhere near the point of failure or problem.

Jim
 

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You have nothing to worry about, as long you do some maintnance ie. wiping residual water off with clean towel/rag and periodically lubing chain and pivot points. I do ALOT of saltwater fishing and a good MTB is akin to a good reel or other component on the boat. With some "moderate" maintinance it will last. On a side note, on my reels/rods and other parts of my flatsboat I've been using Penn's Rod and Reel cleaner as a cleaner and preventative. This stuff is amazing, it prevents salt and water buildup and leaves a thin layer on any surface. I spray it on the bike frame and all parts(not grips or shift handles very slick) then wipe off excess with a clean rag and I'm ready to go. My bike got soaked the other day and I all had to do was bounce the bike a couple off times and the water fell right off. It's made in Daytona Beach by XR-1 and can be bought at Wal-Mart or most fishing stores. Oh, I don't use it on my chain b/c it's really too light for chain wear. Hope this helps.
 

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No good in rock gardens..
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It's no worse for your bike than it is for your car. Most half decent, offroad worthy MTB's have sealed hubs, sealed bottom brackets, the forks are obviously well sealed, and much everything else is only marginally effected by plain old water - your frame is protected by paint, your chain and cluster most likely have a nickel or chrome plating, and your headset bearings are swimming in grease. Most other aluminium parts are sealed with paint or anodized.

Most manufacturers of MTB's do occasionally expect riders to actually ride these bikes offroad, and have thought of basic durability issues, LOL.

Depending on the seat, it can soak up water, which isn't ideal - simple fix is tying a shopping back over that on the way home.

Really, it won't kill your bike - I douse mine with the hose when it gets dirty and it's fine. What will cause problems is putting the bike away caked in mud - the dirt holds the moisture a lot longer, and there are various bacteria and substances in wet soil that will rapidly rust your chain if it's left on - so if your bike is muddy, hose all that crap off before putting it away.

If you are really worried about water just chamois the bike off before you put it away, clean the chain and lube it. Regular car polish on the frame's paint job will see water skid off and make it easier to keep clean.
 

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Getting your bike wet is no biggie. It's what happens after the ride that counts.

Watery mud should be hosed off (+soap if you're anal) and then towel drying the parts that like to rust (chain, discs, sprockets) is a good idea. Make sure not to use a greasy towel on your discs! Clean paper only. A chain lube afterwards is nice if its been awhile...

The biggest deal in keeping your bike from corrosion is where you store it. Mine goes in a dehumidified basement. Water evaporates quickly. Keeping it in your shed only helps the humidity/water do its thing.
 

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Weekend Warrior
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It's a bike. I'll get a new one as soon as this one is 3-4 years old. So I'll use the crap out of it and that's it. If it was a Ferrari, $hit, i'd drive the fukk out of it anyways. Why get it when you don't use it.

We are talking about something that costs a few grand. And if you ride it twice a week you are getting a whole lot of use out of it. I'm here in Florida as well and I'm not worried about getting it wet. I even take it over to Daytona and do a run on the beach sometimes. Just maintain it when you are back. I spray my bike off after every ride, look over the parts and relube everything that needs lubing. Voila...
 

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Legend
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Water will rust stainless? I better never turn on my kitchen sink again.

FYI: My rainwater catchbasin next to my house is stainless steel and there is zero rust on the entire thing. It's, oh, about 25 years old ... probably more, but I can only say for certain it was there since I can remember, which was when I was maybe 4 yrs old. You might want to ask Delorean owners why their cars arent't coated in rust as well, they're stainless steel ... no paint or clearcoat..

As for the ACTUAL question, I get my bikes wet all the time. In fact, I use water to clean my bike; novel. Various bolts will rust because they're either steel or a low grade of stainless, but it's generally irrelevant since the threads are greased and, therefore, won't rust. My cables all look perfect (these guys see TONS of rain and water), as do all the Alu parts on my bike (ie: almost all of them).

As others have mentioned, be wary of the bottom bracket collecting water (it eventually gets there, so just flip the bike once in a while with the seat off to drain it). Also, try not to make a point to blast the bikes with water, as this will push out the grease and replace it with grit and water. Another area where water gets in is the headset, as many of them aren't sealed well from the bottom; I stuff a rag in the hole when the bike is upsidedown to catch as much stray water as I can.
 

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Founder: Dirty3hirties
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ettore said:
Water will rust stainless? I better never turn on my kitchen sink again.

FYI: My rainwater catchbasin next to my house is stainless steel and there is zero rust on the entire thing. It's, oh, about 25 years old ... probably more, but I can only say for certain it was there since I can remember, which was when I was maybe 4 yrs old. You might want to ask Delorean owners why their cars arent't coated in rust as well, they're stainless steel ... no paint or clearcoat..
http://nhml.com/resources_NHML_Rusting-Stainless.php

Stainless steel is neither stainless nor rust proof....resistant for sure. I'm sure there are different grades just like any other material that would influence the corrosion resistant qualities of stainless steel.
 

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tlg said:
Water is bad. It will rust/corrode any bare metal quickly. If you can dry it off right away it's not a big issue. But constantly getting wet will be a problem.

Could you get a cover for your truck? How about a tarp with eyelets that you can tie down?
Ignore this "advice."
 

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Jim311 said:
It's a misconception that stainless steel doesn't rust.
This is just plain silly.

Please explain why my stainless steel sink, my stainless steel chainstay, all of the stainless steel fittings on my boat, all of the stainless steel fittings on my dad's 20 year old sailboat, etc., etc., have not rusted.

It's bad enough that you Florida guys suffer from the lack of elevation changes but to be dispensing that kind of silliness is really a bit too much.

p.s. Don't worry about your bike getting wet, just have fun.
 

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Keep ridin

The rust caused by rain is minimal, it should take a long time to cause any real damage. As other posts suggest a good wipe off and lube will limit/ rule out any rust.Also gear cables, chains and cassettes get replaced quite often.
And not forgettin Zoolander's qoute "moisture is the essence of wetness" store bike in a dry place
 
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