There's nothing more satisfying than waking up first thing in the morning, rolling out your bike, and taking a ride along the beach front. While the view is breath-taking, the briny atmosphere will certainly do a number on the exposed metals of your bike if not properly maintained. Fortunately, this article is geared towards seeing that bike stay rust-free for many enjoyable years to come.
Wiping Down Your Frame
Before even starting your ride, it's best to take a damp washcloth and some warm water to gently wipe down your frame, wheel rims, and chain. While stored away, saltwater can still cling to your frame through humidity and it's important to keep it cleaned off before and after your ride. You can keep your bike covered with a heavy blanket or a bicycle cover which will help keep the majority of the moisture out.
Protect Your Frame
Many bike frames are made from aluminum which has a great resistance to rust, but that doesn't mean that it will never rust if left unattended. A good silicone spray such as Prestone Silicone Spray once a month is a good way to help add an extra layer of protection to your frame while protecting the paint at the same time. You simply spray it on and allow it to dry before taking it out for a spin. Just be careful about where you let it dry as dust can cling to this silicon surface.
...And the Inside of Your Frame
The inside of your frame is vulnerable to moisture as well, J.P Weigle's Frame Saver is a good spray to use to keep rust at bay. You'll want to spray down the seat tube, top tubes, and the bottom bracket section to ensure that everything gets covered and protected. The secret is that this spray has linseed oil in the ingredients which have been widely used in the preservation of steel frames for a long stretch of years.
Check Your Chain
The chain goes through quite a bit of abuse over the years even when you aren't living on a coast, so it's important to keep diligent with maintenance. A good sealant will provide a protective coating over the metal while keeping the chain oiled. One that comes highly recommended is Boeshield T9, a sealant that the company Boeing produced. This product keeps your chain from gaining rust, provides waterproofing and effectively lubricates your cables.
All together it only takes a little bit of time and effort to keep your bike well maintained and with the information provided in this article it will take a lot more than coastal weather to break your bike down. So enjoy that great view first thing in the morning, your bike can handle whatever adventure awaits you.
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