Thursday, April 9, 2009

Preventing water from getting in your frame

Spring is officially here! And with the milder temperatures in the Northeast also comes rain. The cyclist is therefore faced with a dilemma. Ride in the rain or not. Jim Langley offers a solution that will make the decision easier.

When I got my first road bike last August, I was not thinking about meteorological conditions nor the primary type of riding I would be doing. Not that I was being stupid, I just did not know at the time. Eventually I joined the randonneuring scene and realized that these guys ride irrespective of the weather.

My first brevet was under pouring rain, what a way to start! When I got home I noticed a sloshing sound every time I moved my bike around. Yikes! My frame was full of water. So I took the seat post out and sure enough, there was a sizable spill. However, not all the water came out. I attempted several methods and no luck. Finally I gave up and posted a question on the discussion group. Jim Langley of Santa Cruz, CA gave me a very detailed answer that you can read here. Getting the water out was the first step, preventing it from getting in the first place is the real trick.

One of the solutions is to use fenders, which avoids water from getting thrown up onto the seat post and consequently from entering your frame via capillary action. In addition, an old tube can be used as a sleeve covering the lower part of the seat post and top of the seat tube, sealing off any potential entry points. Complemented with fenders, this seams like the ideal solution.

Sleeve made from an old tube


GeekGuyAndy said...

I was wondering what that was and forgot to ask. I thought you managed to get heat-shrink on there, but a tube makes more sense. I've got some cut tubes that I've been saving, waiting for a good use such as this. Thanks for the tip!

Juan PLC Salazar said...

Hi Andy,

Just be patient when putting the sleeve over the seat post and seat tube. It took me some effort. My tubes were for 23-25mm tires and the seat post diameter is 27.2mm (I believe). It worked in the end.