When is your bike most vulnerable to rust? Here’s how to prevent corrosion problems
Summertime is the time most of look forward to great weather, long rides, and minimal bike maintenance. After all, the cold and wet of winter presents the roughest conditions for bicycles, right? Actually, no. Water in itself is not a problem. The leading cause of corrosion on bicycle frames is perspiration.
A few times a year, we’ll hear from a Co-Motion owner in distress about corrosion appearing around the bottle bosses, cable stops or S+S couplers on his or her prized frame. It’s not a pretty sight, and we all want to make sure our frames stay in the best possible shape. The trouble is, your loving care may very well be the cause of your bike’s rust problem.
“But I wipe my bike clean after every ride!” you say. Here’s the problem with that: When you wipe your bike off, even if you use some kind of cleaning product, you just cannot get the worst part of your perspiration off the bike. Your cleaning cloth is pushing the salts, solids and acids into the nooks and crannies of your frame. There they will stay, becoming concentrated and building up every time you wipe off your bike.
Oddly enough, bicycles from rainy climates & get used year-around seldom exhibit this problem. The reason is water. Fresh water rinses the salts and acids from your sweat off the frame and out of the areas that are nearly impossible to reach with your cloth. You can make your bike last as long as they do here in the Pacific Northwest by hosing your bike off every time you clean it. No need for high pressure, just a gentle rinse will do.
As it says on the back of your shampoo bottle: Rinse, lather, repeat! Your bike will thank you by staying beautiful longer.