Your bike in the rain

I’ve heard people express concern about their bikes in the rain. As long as you keep up with some simple, basic maintenance, your bike should be just fine. Here are the simple things to keep your bike running well through wet weather.

  • Fenders and mudflaps not only keep wet and dirt off of your body, they help keep it off of the moving and vulnerable parts of your bicycle. In my opinion, this may be the best preventative maintenance you can do on your bike.
  • Frames are resistant or even impervious to corrosion. Even steel frames generally don’t need any special treatment in my experience. If you’re concerned, you can spray Frame Saver inside the frame as suggested by nippleworks. Some people drill drain holes at the bottom of the bottom bracket shell on their steel bikes. YMMV.
  • Chains and gears can be prematurely worn by grit and sand that’s thrown up, especially if you don’t have fenders and chainguards. To extend the life of your chain, chainring, cogs and external gearing, wash or wipe the parts after a wet weather ride and lubricate.
  • Headsets and bottom brackets are best protected by a front fender. Although bottom brackets are all sealed cartridge these days, constant exposure to rain can still shorten the life of his component. It’s a good idea to disassemble and clean out these components after the rainy season is over.
  • Brake pads can have grit embedded in them, which will shorten the life of your rims if you don’t use disk brakes. Wipe them off along with the braking surface when you clean your other components.

Your bike will work just fine after a ride in the rain, but to extend the life of the parts it’s a good idea to clean these things off.

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