The Perils Of Cycling In Winter

Last September I took delivery (finally!) of a Van Nicholas Amazon touring bike.  The frame is unpainted titanium, it looks gorgeous.

It was a replacement for a bike I’d had stolen, paid for by Prudential Insurance, God bless ’em.  I was tempted to get another road bike, but I can’t fit a rack to it, so I can’t go touring with my tent, my stove, and my little tea pot, and that’s what got me into cycling.  So I chose a touring bike from Van Nicholas in Holland.

I thought I was hit hard enough with the euro at 1.30 to the pound. Now I’m just glad I didn’t buy it in December.
Anyway, back In December I went cycling with my brother Mike, a lovely little ride up the river Exe to Bickliegh, across a range of hills to Crediton and back down the Creedy valley to Exeter.  I rode my (almost) new Amazon. 

It was cold, and very wet.  When we got back our bikes looked like they’d been painted with mud.  I knew I’d need to clean it again thoroughly before I could ride it again, and you know what it’s like, I just rode my Trek instead for a few weeks.  Until that got so dirty I couldn’t ride that either.

So I turned back to the Amazon.  I couldn’t believe it – the pedals wouldn’t even turn round.  The chain and all the running gear was completely rusted up.  I tried to use a chain cleaner, but I literally couldn’t turn the pedals to drive the chain through the cleaner.  And this came as a result of one 30-mile ride and a few weeks of neglect.

I did manage to clean the chain in the end, by lubricating it enough to be able to  turn, then cleaning it thoroughly using a chain cleaner.  I stripped all the sprockets off, took off the derailleurs, gave evrything a total clean, and lubricated the chain with a posh teflon-based lubricant.

Useless.  Three days later, following a little ride in the snow, the chain was all rusted again. 

Oh dear ... the before shot
It wasn’t as bad as previously, but it still needed another clean.  A useful reminder though – you can’t really use light lubricants in winter, you need some proper wet winter lubricant.  Which I’ve now bought from my favourite bike shop, Sidwell Cycles in Exeter.

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So, happy cycling again. Not perfect, but getting there.
... and after

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