Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cleaning up Winter's Worst

Spring has arrived in force here in Ottawa. A little over a week ago our family was heading out for vacation in a light snow. When we returned home after a lovely week away, there was no snow on the ground and day time temps were in the 20's. Perfect spring weather has arrived and bikes were being pulled from winter storage.
I didn't put my bikes away perfering to rid through the winter. This has one major drawback, it leaves your bike looking like this:

Partially inspired by  Kathleen Wilker's Blog Post, I decided to take advantage of my free time and good weather to clean my winter bikes:

Both bikes received limited care over the winter, a bit or oil on the chain a wipe down when it was warm enough, and I thought about it. So not enough to to fend off all of winters damage, but enough to keep it superficial. My commuter received the most use and therefor the most care. The chain was a bit rusty and the chrome was a bit dull but a bit of soap and water and some light oil for the chain and all was good, well not quite as new. The Ute was a little worse. There were several stuck links on the very rusty chain. A layer of grime and salt on every surface, the Ute definitely took the brunt of a winter's riding. The aluminium frame should clean up nicely, but the chain? Maybe I'd have to replace it, so with nothing to loose I tried to clean it up and un-stick that chain. It took a few rounds with Park Tools "Cyclone Chain Scrubber" (any chain scrubber should do) and a bit of light oil and I got one revived extra long chain.

Just in time too. Back from holidays with an empty fridge and nice weather means. the Ute is ready for a grocery run, and resuming its role as school bus. Now if only my work schedule would co-operate.


  1. I have a folding bike so it's easy for me to keep it inside in the winter, but even with that, I still managed to accumulate a fair bit of muck in places - things that once I started cleaning them, I realized they were chrome, and not matte black.

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