Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Winter Bicycle Maintenance FAIL

Today was finally the day I got around to doing a little winter maintenance on my fleet of bikes. I don't have enough space to allow for a dedicated "bike garage" area for a bike stand and such, so I had been putting off working on my bikes for various reasons... bad/cold weather, bad lighting, too late, too tired, yada yada yada. Really these were all just excuses to put off something necessary.

Finally, today my day ended early enough, the sun was shinning, and I was in a good enough mood that I felt like tackling the rust and crud that had built up over the last three months of winter riding. I had not completely neglected my obligation to my stable, as I had prepped all three bikes for winter weather conditions.

But apparently that didn't matter for the poor bike pictured above. That sad chain is on the used mountain bike I purchased this summer. After taking it out on the trails a few times over the summer I had put it away in its stable (by that I mean the back yard) for most of the fall. It was only when the weather turned really bad and the roads extremely icy that I once again graced its saddle. For about two weeks during this winter's worst conditions I made good use of it, but as soon as the weather turned and the ice melted I once again ignored the poor thing. Sitting unnoticed in the corner of the backyard ever since, it wasn't until last week that I found the copious amounts of rust on the chain.

And so today was the lucky day that my bikes got cleaned up in the hopes of continued good weather and being able to show off their shinny parts in the morning glint off the sunrise. With copious amounts of beer, chain cleaner/grease, sweat, and music I got down to the work. And lets just say that the levels of rust seen on the chain above requires a lot of chain cleaner to get rid of (hide from view). I'll also mention that the liberal application of industrial cleaners and beer make for an interesting buzz.

Of course all these concerns about keeping my bikes clean and in good operating condition could be addressed if I had a convenient space to perform maintenance. I don't think I could ever reach the perfection of Doug from Minnesota that has been cleaning his bike every day after his commute home, but at least I wouldn't be embarrassed by riding a dirty bike everyday.

Or I could just be like the guy that took the photo below... and I could simply start bringing my bikes inside and sleeping in the same bed. But that would become complicated trying to figure out a rotation a la Big Love to share equal time with three bikes so as not to make one jealous.


Rantwick said...

I am a terrible abuser of my winter bike. I watch for rusty chain, but I just slop lube on it when I see it. No cleaning. New chain, serious clean of deraileur each fall. I am a bad person.

redheadskier said...

Thanks for the chuckle.

Ted Kruchten said...

I always maintain my aluminium alloys bike once a week to make sure that it won't break down while I go rollin' to work, since that would be totally vexing. Also, to make sure it's presentable and won't stain my pants, I always give it a good cleaning when I am starting to notice a dust buildup on my aluminium bronze colored bike.

slk said...

Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!
Read Bicycle gloves reviews, or contribute your own to the Bicycling Gear and Bike Review Finder.

Bookmark and Share