Winter Riding / Cleaning

I just finished a couple of hours on salt / and wet roads – short of hosing down and wiping. Is there any chemical danger I should know about from the ice melt?

Road salt (used here as a generic term for all ice melters) can be corrosive on metal so its best to get it off. By their nature they are water soluble so road salt is fairly easy to clean off a bike. If you can’t use a hose, a garden sprayer works pretty good for a rinse down. If you can’t work outside, a sponge bath with do. I take the wheels off and wipe them down in the laundry sink. Its metal you are most concerned with so the spokes are more of a concern than a carbon rim.


Road salt will seriously mess things up. I spent a ton of money this fall trying to get my wife’s fat bike back into ridable condition because of all the salt. I wish I would have been monitoring it better.

I did hose it down and wiped it with a micro fabric cloth. It looks surprisingly good, so I am checking that there is nothing chemical going on.

You can get a frame spray used by motorcyclists that will help protect against salt corrosion. Oh and mudguards to stop the road crap going all over your bike.

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Great tips – do you have a particular product to recommend?

FrameSaver or Boeshield are the two that I’ve seen used. Keep in mind you really only need this for steel bikes.

In my experience (live in MN, ride outdoors year-round) winter will just eat drivetrain parts over time.

There’s stuff you can do, like keeping the bike in a cold spot so it’s not going through freeze/thaw, running singlespeed so you don’t have as much to replace, etc., but in the end the sand and salt will chew up the drivetrain and that’s just part of it.

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This product was linked in one of the motorcycle winter maintenance articles that came up when I googled the topic. Haven’t tried it yet but may do that for our WI roads.

Took my fat bike out this weekend after the last snowstorm started melting and lots of white crap on the bike now even with some Crud fenders. Took out my fender/CX/rain bike yesterday with better fenders and less stuff (roads were drier too) but still some cleaning I need to do asap.

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