I have been riding fatbikes on the east coast here in Scotland for over 10 years now. The east coast is a harsh environment with salt water exposure and it has been a sometimes costly way of finding out what works and does not to keeping a Fatbike rolling week in week out for thousands of miles of saltwater exposure...
Here is a short build and first ride film of my Surly Wednesday Fatbike before i go through my process to prep a Fatbike for coastal cycling and the exposure to salt water with a few updates since the first post on the subject a few years ago,
Song is `You have been disconnected` by The Brian Jonestown Massacre`
Surly Wednesday; Build and quick ride... from coastkid71 on Vimeo.
The film covers the frame proofing, always ends up a messy affair no matter how you do it as you have to un tape vent holes to spray the frame saver inside then rotate the frame, hence i was not going to get my greasy hands covering my compact camera!,
Putting the bike through it`s paces in the harsh salt water environment of the Scottish east coast in Summer...
Surly Wednesday Fatbike; Rock Crawling, Seacliff, July 17 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.
Steel, alloy or carbon?
Why ride a steel bike on the coast when steel eventually rusts while alloy or carbon won`t?, my choice for steel bikes is simple- if you ride wet rocks exposed at low tide sooner or later you will drop your bike, and it will go down with a bit of a clatter, the dents in my 10 year old Pugsley frame would be a repair job for a carbon frame and unsightly on an alloy frame.
My original Surly Pugsley steel frame set is over 10 years old soon and has over 12,000 miles on it now and despite the forks getting hairline cracks (now repaired) it is still rolling!, thanks to a little bit preparation,
I would deft frame proof an alloy frame set for coastal riding also as alloy corrodes with salt water exposure, Just look at anything alloy you come across on the coastline,
The new Surly Wednesday has an ED coating but Surly recommend a further rust proofing treatment, and for all the time it takes you have peace of mind having done so.
I also use ACF-50 as a future frame top up and anywhere on the bike that could do with repelling water and providing a protective coating, like the frame cable mounts, gear and brake inner cables and brake calipers prior to building (see below),
What i use;
JP Weigle Frame Saver will prep 2 frames
Copper Slip anti seizier grease for anything threaded, backs of Brake pads etc...
WURTH Graphite grease for re packing sealed bearings
ACF-50 as an extra frame proofer and also any moving parts,
Squirt Dry Lube Deft the best drive train dry lube for the coast,
My choice and the choice of most friends for coastal cycling are Avid BB7 brakes, no hydraulic seals to fail or pistons to seize,
Maybe not as powerful as Hydraulic brakes but i would not want powerful brakes anyway when riding on greasy wet rocks, visiting friends ride my bikes then comment `your brakes hardly work!` then they ride the low tide rocks and then they get it...
These BB7 calipers are great for beach riding, cable activated and the pads can be wound off away from the disc if your riding wet sand for extended periods. Ideally fitted with sintered pads - which will squeal like hell with salt water!, but last a decent lenght of time. Genuine Avid sintered pads or cheaper options are available by Superstar or what i often buy now are Disco Components Sintered pads.
So pull out the pads and retaining clip then unscrew the inner pad adjuster out,
This is always the first thing to seize on the BB7 calipers
I use Copper Slip anti seize grease and apply with a cut down 1/2" paint brush that stays in the tin,
I also spry a little ACF-50 into the adjuster and behind its inner piston on the outer side of the caliper,
Then copper grease both inside the caliper pistons and the backs of the brake pads,
Screw the inner pad piston back in and snap on the red adjuster cover,
Now reinstall the pads with retaining clip, can be fiddly but take your time and if your struggling to hold them try holding them together with long nose pliers, and avoid getting the pad braking surfaces covered in grease!
Lastly copper grease the mounts and mounting bolts before attaching to the frame set...
A good idea is to then clean your disc rotor with a cloth soaked with Disc rotor degrease and rotate while applying the caliper to make sure the brake contact surfaces a free of greasy finger prints etc..
Then aline the caliper and its ready,
Same goes for both brakes,
Apply copper grease to every component bolted on including all bolt and nuts and coat any moving part with ACF 30...
Graphite or Marine grease in these bearings...
Cable ends coated in grease help keep out moisture ingress...
Stainless or full nickle coated for longer life, i usually use by chains made by KMC, though this is a Shimano...
I put the chain in an old stove fuel bottle and half fill now with white spirit. I used to use paraffin as in the picture below but while it does a good job of de greasing the original tacky chain lube it leaves an oily surface. The White Spirit is perfect for the job,
Stainless gear and brake cables for the coast prevent corrosion and seizing, i coat these with silicon spray and spray this through the cable outers before fitting...
Back to the chain;
Dispose of white spirit like all chemical liquids sensibley!...
Quick wash with the chain cleaner using TFR (TFR Traffic Film Remover) a Neilson Products solution, which is a power washer soap that has a costic base and it gets the last of the grease off the chain
A quick spray over the whole bike with a bike cleaner to remove a lot of greasy finger prints and job done!
Towel dry the chain a few times then once dry lube several times to build up a good coat of Squirt lube.
Squirt Dry lube wins hands down for beach riding!
Ready to roll, i usually only use a cold water garden hose to wash the bikes down after a wet beach ride, if the bike stays on soft sand i don`t wash it and brush off the sand, no point de greasing the fastners etc ...
The bike has had a few changes since building, you can get an update here on a review where i discuss the changes to a pair of 29+ wheels, Bluto suspension fork and dropper post ,tubeless ready rims, 4" tyre sizes, tubeless set up, the gearing and cranks; Surly Wednesday 18th Months riding Review and Update