Taking care of your bike in the Seattle rain



I'm new to biking in the city and have mostly gone on a long rides on trails. Coming from California, I'm also very new to the weather conditions while biking in Seattle. The bike I have with me is a Specialized road bike that I love and took a lot of time to save up for. I'm a little hesitant to ride it in the Seattle rain since I've read a lot about bikes getting trashed in the rain.

Are there ways to take care of bikes through this weather?

Or am I left with no other option than to buy another commuter bike for commuting in Seattle?



Start with a set of full length fenders (and buddy flaps). Those will keep most of the water and grime off of you and your bike (and your companions). More frequent chain lubrication, too. Your brake pads will wear down more quickly, and wet roads mean more flats. That's just the way it is. If you can, rinse off your bike and wipe off the grit after every ride. (Water in a waterbottle will do in a pinch; keep a rag handy.) But you don't have to give up your trusty ride, just a bit more TLC in winter. 

Thanks Jeffrey! That's helpful, I don't have a place to rinse my bike off at work and the waterbottle would help accomplish that-- that's a great idea! Also, would the shifters and derailleurs be ok with the rain? On a side note, does the waterproof panniers serve other purposes apart from being a bag for your gear?

This is very helpful, thanks a bunch!

The fenders will keep a lot of the grit and grime off your drivetrain, but you will go through chains fairly frequently. Keep a bottle of chain lube and a rag at work. Wipe down the chain and then apply some lube. And check your chain for wear at least once a month.

Ananthi, during the rainy times, I don't get too obsessive with the bike cleaning, once a week during rainy weather is fine for a thorough scrubbing and lubing. Remember not to use a hose at pressure as it will get water inside everything. Your cables and shifters will be fine; you should replace the cables and housing about once a year.  Definitely get full fenders and a waterproof pannier.  The pannier comes in handy for shopping on the way home or at the Ballard Farmer's Market too. Make sure to wear a bright rain jacket and have powerful lights front and rear, and some side lights too.  I like to wear goretex rain pants and toe covers on the shoes. My Komperdell neoprene cross country ski gloves keep my hands warm and dry all winter.  A high visibility helmet cover keeps the rain out of the helmet, and I put a blinky light on the back of my helmet.

Good luck!