Bicycles are infamously vulnerable to rust and corrosion, but with some preparation and care you can ride through the winter worry-free.
Here are our top tips for preventing corrosion:
1. Keep your bike clean.
Cleaning your bike chain regularly is essential to keeping your chain, cogs, and other drivetrain components in top condition.
One of the key factors in preventing corrosion is to keep your bike clean. The amount of times you give your bike a thorough cleaning is dependent on you; but it's highly recommended to at least wipe off snow, ice, or salt after each ride.
Keep a brush by your front door for when you get home, and give your bike a quick brush-down before bringing it inside.
By brushing away ice and snow, you reduce the amount of water getting into the nooks and crannies of your ebike. This step helps you stay ahead of the melt, and also keeps your bike (and floors) clean.
When you're storing your bike after a wet ride, make sure to store it upright and not laying down. It's designed for water to drain from the top to the bottom of the bike.
And, if your bike doesn’t already have them, get fenders! Aside from protecting you from the muck and slop that may kick up while riding, they help keep portions of your frame clean. Most importantly, fenders protect the moving parts of your bike from the constant spray of water and grit that’s trying to break them down. A few minutes spent installing fenders will prevent many hours in the shop!
If you need help picking the best lubricant for you, your local bike shop can recommend the right type for your local riding conditions.
If you spend most of your ride on a clean cycle path, you are less likely to experience issues that riders who travel through mud and water typically struggle with. However, since dust, salt, moisture, and dirt can all wear down your chain, brakes, and other moving parts, it's highly recommended to use a good quality bike-specific lubricant.
The lubricant ensures you get the best performance out of your bike and prolongs the lifespan of your chain.
The number of lubrication products are abundant. From dry weather, wet weather, to anti-corrosive lubricant, you have plenty of options. Invest in an advanced lubricant that uses the best anti-corrosion additives and inhibitors.
3. Remove rust.
Prevention is always the best medicine, but if you notice rust, act quickly.
Not only is rust unattractive, but it’s extremely damaging to the metal components on your bikes. The longer you leave it, the worse it gets.
We generally recommend a certified rust removal product to fight it, but there are also a number of generic household products that some members of the cycling community swear by, ranging from lemon juice, to soda, to ketchup.
White vinegar, however, appears to be the favorite. Submerge your rusted part in vinegar (undiluted), or liberally spray it over the rusted area to soak for a few hours. Use a brush or tin foil to brush away the rust. Don’t use steel wool as this could scratch your bike.
Repeat where necessary! Just make sure to reapply any lubricant since an acidic solution will break it down.