Winter bike maintenance?

Wondering if anyone can share any winter bike maintenance tips …

Here is my issue: last winter I was pretty good about getting out on the bike when it was at least above 25F/-4C … however this year I’ve been reticent to do so. I live in Chicago where the roads are heavily salted in the winter. Riding in these conditions caused corrosion to eat through both wheel hubs on my gravel bike and the bottom bracket on my mountain bike. It also impossibly corrodes disc brake pads, but that is a minor fix compared to the other issues …

Theoretically, I could hose them off … but it isn’t possible to keep a hose connected to the house at those temperatures, nor is it really advisable to use the outdoor spigots under these conditions.

Anyone else deal with this and have any tips to keep a bike corrosion free in the winter? I was spoiled a couple of years ago with a really dry winter in which salt wasn’t much of an issue… I’m missing the fresh air.

Ultimately, you have to wash the salt off the bike; there isn’t really an alternative. In winter, I wipe down the drivetrain quite thoroughly after every ride. As regards hubs and bbs, you may have to service them periodically.

Those types of conditions ideally call for a winter bike, IMO, which is fitted with components you can afford to replace/don’t mind getting trashed.

Sorry not to be more helpful!

1 Like

Wash with a sponge and bucket?

I’ll ask my butler…

1 Like

I use one of theseärcher-16800190-Portable-Cleaner-Yellow/dp/B084WCFP84/ref=asc_df_B084WCFP84/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=430973451335&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5030713935032874066&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9046216&hvtargid=pla-906788834521&psc=1&th=1&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=97419444862&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=430973451335&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5030713935032874066&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9046216&hvtargid=pla-906788834521

1 Like

Waterless car wash, the same way people wash cars in the winter and in places with drought concerns.

Presoak some microfiber towels in either water or diluted waterless wash and spray the bike down then wipe with the presoaked rags.

1 Like

When I had my garage added on I added a bike wash bay. Like one of those fancy dog wash stalls. Had to have a drain put anyways - it wasn’t a lot extra

Before that - a bucket of warm water and rubber gloves and a sponge - mostly using the Sponge to sluice water on rather than rubbing or wiping. And I know it will garner criticism but I sprayed with WD 40 after it had drip dried to try and displace water from the corrodable surfaces

1 Like

Another nice alternative to Kärcher OC3 is the Bosch Fontus. No water or power connection needed, as it has its own water reservoir and is battery operated.


I live near Philly, so same salt on the road dilemma. I use a multi-purpose sprayer with warm water.

1 Like

I just bought one of these:

Thanks for the input, all — I didn’t really think of this solution, or even know that a portable, battery powered spray washer even existed🤔

An elegant solution to a simple problem. What a world we live in🤘


@batwood14 You happy with this?

I have one of those. It sits in my car and use it on my dog after the dog park. It sprays maybe 2x the pressure of your kitchen faucet. What’s nice is that you an store all the bits inside of the water tank and it has the water tank integral. Downsides - proprietary battery and it leaks a bit as it swishes around in the car.

It’d be good to get 80% of the mud off your bike, but not 100%.

1 Like

Yep. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done.

Job = get salt off the bike.