Cycling in Melbourne Australia
My family have acquired a beach house (yay!) and I'm planning to acquire at least two mountain bikes to leave down there for all to ride.
They'll need to be tough to handle beach riding. I'm thinking specs along these lines:
* Aluminium frames (can't rust)
* Big fat nobbly tires
* Stainless steel bolts, washers, etc.
* Front suspension only (or solid forks)
However, I'm interested in any advice about:
* Running gear
* Chain lube
* Building a bike that'll survive at a beach
We rode our regular bikes down there, and I had to wash them very thoroughly when I got - especially the chains and cassettes which had picked up a lot of sand.
Googling "beach bicycles" just turns up lots of cruisers :-)
You'll find that Aluminium frames corrode quite quickly in the combination of water/salt even if it isn't technically "rust" (iron oxide). Just about anything at the beach will corrode, perhaps just pick up some cheap second hand steel MTBs and replace them when they seize up.
Tend to disagree re the Aluminium. Yes technically they are supposed to corrode in salt conditions but I would choose Aluminium over steel for the beach all the time. I spent many years as a Lifesaver erecting in the early days a galvanised steel patrol shelter and when it was swapped for a plain non treated Aluminium one I also had my doubts. I can remember using the same Aluminium shelter for well over 15 years and then I retired.
My parents had a holiday house by the sea and after about 30 years of owning it they decided to sell. The house was solid brick builr in the late 1660's and Anodised aluminium windows were installed when the hpose went on the market the Aluminium window frames were in immaculate condition.
Maybe the issues with an aluminium bicycle frame is water egress into the frame, and if it is allowed to remain there causes corrosion. But , this would be the case with steel as well.
Titanium can't rust either. ;-)
If you can afford it the ideal bike for this sort of treatment that will survive a long time is a titanium (or maybe Al) framed snow bike with Large Marge or similar wheels, Endomorph or similar tires and a Gates belt drive. It would be pretty pricy though.
The only advice I would definitely give is get rigid front forks and a big bag front tire, not suspension forks. Snow tires like the Endomorph run at low pressures and are great for the beach and smoothing out trails and suspension does not like salty water.
Also if you get a bike with the gates bet drive you wont need lube, just rinse after riding.
I did come across this awesome beast of a bike whilst looking for Balloon tired bikes: The Surly Moonlander, but it's waaaaaaaay beyond my budget (which is approximately $0).
Good advice re tires, I'll give them a google.
My suggestion? Get something cheap*. No matter what you get, in those conditions and not regularly cleaned, it's likely to turn ugly within a few months.
Lube everything. White LIghtning purple or something similar thick and goopy. Down the cables. All the moving parts. Lube the chain every time you're down there (within reason) - wipe off excess. In this situation, the lube is as much a protectant as it is for actual lubrication.
If things do actually get salty, give them a wash (or at least a spray) when you get home.
But, I think, it won't be the use that will kill them, it'll be the non use if you know what I mean. UV can cause issues with tyres/grips/saddles too, so keep that in mind with storage.
*Certainly get good locks too, but cheaper also means less likely to go walking.
Yeah, cheap was the plan. I'm looking for hand-me-down bikes from family and friends.
On the plus side, the beach house has a decent sized shed, where the bikes can be kept when not in use. In fact it's a better spot to store a bike than at my place! So they'll be out of the sun and rain.
I will look up this goopy oil, ta.