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In our daily work as we deal with bicycle safety, technology and user manuals we come across lots of safety risks. The most frequent ones are published in articles of the leading German special-interest magazines TOUR – Europas Rennrad-Magazin Nr. 1, BIKE – Das Mountainbike Magazin Europas Nr. 1 and E-Bike – Das Pedelec-Magazin to make this information important for the sector accessible to a wider public.

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BIKE 02/2022
Reading time 2:25 minutes

Winter maintenance

“In the case of corrosion it is best that you act immediately!”

BIKE: Which components are particularly at risk of being affected by rust?

DIRK ZEDLER: Rust is only one part of possible corrosion. The steel axles of pedals or hubs, which are black when new, quickly turn rusty red when salt and moisture do their destructive work in winter. Screws have a protective galvanic coating and are actually well protected. Unless you use unsuitable tools and damage this protection. But any kind of aluminium component can be affected by corrosion, which can be recognised by black or white discolouration.

What is the best way to prevent corrosion on a mountain bike in winter?
In winter it is actually already too late. Good protection starts beforehand by washing the mountain bike with plenty of water and drying it completely. Afterwards, you should treat all components with the exception of brake discs, brake pads, saddle surfaces and handlebar grips with plenty of hard wax. Ragged components such as the hub flanges can be sealed with spray wax. This is particularly important at contact points of different materials or cable stoppers. It is also recommended to re-grease headset bearings and to remove and clean the seat post on aluminium frames. Aluminium posts, such as dropper posts, are provided with a thin and even layer of grease and reinserted into the frame. In winter itself, plenty of water to remove harmful salt after the tour is the tip par excellence.

Can corrosion also occur on carbon frames?
In this regard, carbon is an uncomplicated material because it is not at risk. But there are a number of components that can cause trouble through corrosion. These include cable stops, clamping mechanisms and frame inlets made of aluminium as well as steel headset bearings inserted into the frame.

Are there typical damage patterns due to corrosion on mountain bike frames and can these also become dangerous for the rider?
Corrosion often occurs in hidden and angled areas where water and salt collect and dry off poorly. From there, cracks can also form over time. To date, however, I do not know any case in which a frame has broken due to corrosion in such a way as to endanger the rider.

What do I do if I discover such spots on my bike?
Act immediately by exposing the area and removing the corrosion. Afterwards, paint the area and wax it regularly if the components are not painted.

The interview was held by: Stefan Frey


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