Originally Posted by Jiminy Billybob
I'm just taking up commuting to work by bicycle and have a quick question about all-weather biking. On a cold, wet day is it better to layer up or to just wear the basics (i.e. cycle jersey and shorts with waterproofs over the top)? I've recently found that the nore layers you have on the more wet layers you'll have to take off!
Also, does anyone have any care tips on looking after a bike that's being used to travel 14-18 miles a day, all year round in all weather conditions?
Jiminy look into a weather proof shell. you can layer on colder days, but the shell will keep you nice and dry. I think for bike care, you should look into getting a tool kit together that will allow you to take your chain apart, your cassett, and your crank set apart.
Once a year break the whole thing down, re-lube and re-grease.
I ride to work M-F and well everywhere now a days. My bike get's fairly dirty with wet weather and even on some sunny days I get a bit of grime on my bike. The biggest thing to care for is your drive train. Here's what I usually do and how often.
1. wipe the bike down with soap and water (mild soap only)
2. Wipe down the derailers and wheels
3. wipe down the cranks brakes, etc.... <-- you get the idea
4. inspect everything for stress cracks and malfuncting's
a. Check your cables, make sure they work with out sticking
b. Check your pedals (if you have clips) and keep them clean
c, Check spokes and tires (keep your tires free from punctures and your wheel true)
1. repeat daily maintenance then add the following:
2. pull my chain and casett off
3. drop them in a bucket of Simple Green and clean throughly
4. Clean derailers and chain rings <-- recommend a grunge brush
5. dry everything well
6. reassemble your cassett to your wheel hub
7. put your wheel back on the bike and attach your chain
8. apply lube to your chain, cassett, break leavers, derailers, and pedals (make sure you wipe off the extra lube when done)
9. run through the gears and ensure the bike shifts quietly and correctly.
everything you see above, but I also will take some time and regrease my pedals (where they screw into the crank). I also will pull apart my hub (rear wheel) and clean and regrease the bearings.
This is my regement and it may seem exessive but I also depend on my bike very heavily and demand a lot from her. I'm not a mechanic and found instructions on all this from You-Tube and on some parts that I found tricky and was worried about, I paid a bike machinic to do, but sat with him over a six pack while he did it and asked a LOT of questions. (brownies help too apparently).
I bought a starter kit from the LBS for all my tools ($100 investment).
At the very least, get a spoke wrench and chain cleaner kit and learn to use them. That alone will take you a good part of the way.
If you have a really rainny season you may find yourself needing to add lube almost daily depending on how wet it gets.
Best of Luck to you and stay safe.