playa bike care

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playa bike care

Postby mazatta » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:21 am

Since I couldn't find a single gear crusier on the cheap, I will more than likely be bringing a mountain bike (of questionable upkeep) to the playa this year. Any tips for keeping the gears/chain from gumming up with playa dust? My bike maintenance knowledge is near-zero (beyond changing tire tubes), even though I love to cycle whenever I get the chance.

I have a spray can of lithium grease; can I just give me gears and chain a periodic blast with that? I only need this bike to get me through the burn, so I'm not really concerned about it's long-term health.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:32 am

I've seen people recommend dry chain lube, as being less likely to get all over the playa.
Since I can't ride a bike, I didn't bother to remember any details, but someone here will kn ow.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby jkisha » Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:01 am

Find a good cruising gear and then DO NOT SHIFT GEARS the rest of the event. I have at times violated this rule, but I have also had my chain fall off and get jammed and had to walk the bike a looong way back to camp. So I doubt I'll be violating that rule again. (Oh, and the bike I take wouldn't be considered a typical playa bike--it's kinda pricey, but I never rode it here like I thought I would when I bought it, so I wanted to get my money's worth out of it.)
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Re: playa bike care

Postby SnowBlind » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:36 pm

I like White Lightning bicycle chain lube. Although on the playa I've used it more for zippers than for chains. The dry one worked wonders on my tent zipper.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:37 pm

Lots of threads on bike care already.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby TORD » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:18 pm

BEST THING is to take it in for servicing at your local bike shop pre burn and NEVER ride it with under inflated tires.
Oil is oil WD40 werks 4 me.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:36 pm

We have a matched pair, so essential you know, of Huffy, 5 speed, beach cruisers. I got them three years ago for $40 apiece on Craig's List. When I leave the playa I rinse everything off and WD-40 the chain to clean it. WD-40 is, unfortunately, not a lube, but will clean the chain just fine and everyone seems to have it. Then I put an oil base chain lube on, like you would use for machinery. This seems to protect it till next year when I clean that lube off and go to a dry lube, like a graphite. Oil seems to attract the dust. I really thought last year was it for my bike, it was making so much noise, but it seemed to come back to life and, again, worked really well this year. There was no noise from anything, well, except from me when I rode back from deep playa late at night or early morning too, uh, well, unable to make it comfortably. They will probably make a fourth year. YMMV, of course, but this has worked for me.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Nipple » Wed Sep 21, 2011 4:35 pm

WD-40 + Bike Chain = My heart hurting!
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Re: playa bike care

Postby SnowBlind » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:14 pm

TORD wrote:Oil is oil WD40 werks 4 me.


Oil might be Oil, but some chain lubes aren't. (And neither is WD40).

The main thing is that oil is sticky and stays on your chain. When you ride on the playa, the dust sticks to the oily chain even better than regular dust (which is saying something). The dry lubes are more like a wax or something. They have a solvent so you can apply it, but the solvent then evaporates and leaves a dry lube on the chain.

As others have said, WD40 is good after washing it because it displaces the water. But it's not really a lube and it evaporates. So it's good to use a real chain lube afterwards.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby MartyZion » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:52 pm

Just got around to cleaning up the playa bikes. Removed the EL wire drivers and blinkies, blasted everything with a pressure washer (including the faux fur on the frame tubes) , let dry and then spray with WD-40 to disperse any water in the bearings and gears. Lubed the chain, wheel bearings, crankset, derailluers as well as brake arms, brake and shift levers and cables. I used to use Finish Line as a lubricant but then realized that bar and chain oil (sold in quarts as a chainsaw lubricant) was much cheaper and works just as well. Just decant it into a nozzled oil can. Wipe down with a rag and bikes are good to stow away until next burn.

I've taken just about everything- single speed coaster braked cruisers, BMX bikes, 21 speed fully suspended mountain bikes and found the playa to be less destructive on mechanisms than say the red sand in Moab as long as you do a good post-burn cleanup.

If you ride on the playa around after a rainstorm, the mud can really muck up a derailleur, especially the jockey wheel; that's when I would avoid shifting until I could get to water to clean off that plaster. Otherwise, I've had no problems changing gears.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby essjay » Thu Sep 22, 2011 3:55 am

Lazy Man's bike care:

After my first playa bike died in 2005, I bought a $50 mountain bike from wal-mart. Decorated it with El-wire (back when el-wire was a minor chore - not something that was bought at REI). Had a great burn, brought it back home, hosed it off and put it in my shed out back.

A few days before the next year's burn, I pulled it out of the shed, put some air in the tires, WD-40 on the chain, and a new battery for the El-wire. Worked fine.

Repeat same lazy storage and prep method for the next six years and everything has worked fine. Except this year, I was too lazy to WD-40 and didn't need to change the battery for my el-wire - it still worked! (In fact, that damn battery (9v) lasted me all week this year - I must have hit the super-battery lottery).

I'm amazed the tires/tubes have held up this long. Also surprised the gears/shifters still work having done no maintenance or lube (outside of WD-40 on the chain). I'm satisfied with my $50 investment . . .
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Re: playa bike care

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Did this get moved and set to "new", or am I experiencing that pesky chrono-slippage again?
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Sic Pup » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:54 am

FWIW, I've experienced the same thing over the last couple of days. Primarily a half dozen messages dated late Sept have appeared as "new" 3 times. I wasn't paying enough attention to determine whether they were the same messages or not.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Oct 05, 2011 2:09 pm

Oh I remember reading some of these before. I think it is the moving...
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Re: playa bike care

Postby roastduck » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:26 am

TORD wrote:Oil is oil WD40 werks 4 me.

WD-40 is neither an oil nor a lubricant. It's a solvent. Got a lock that's stuck? Squirt some WD-40 in there. Got some grime? Spray some on, then just scrub/wipe it off. Need to keep something lubricated? Put down the can and go get some 3-in-1 oil
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Super Evil Brian » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:14 am

I used my "real" bike on the playa (a fixed gear track bike, no, I'm not a hipster) and had no problems. Actually, a friend of mine from NYC who is a long-time burner had his also. My bike has been everywhere including deep in the woods in Connecticut and Texas, a year as a bike messenger in NYC and all over the place. A week in the dust is no big deal.

I use Tri-Flow on the chain and since I don't have brakes or gears and all of the bearings are sealed (pedals, hubs, bottom bracket, headset) I just had to clean the dust off the chain in a motel room on the way back. The bike was fine. With loose-ball bearings, simply repacking the bearings (or ignoring them until they're ready to explode) and a perfunctory chain cleaning is all you need. Leave the dust on there like I did until it naturally wears away. Unlike cars, bikes need very little maintenance. And what little they need is easy and inexpensive.

(Ok, I finally cleaned my bike after it got muddy at a big bike race)

Since Black Rock City is flat, albeit bumpy under the dust, a single speed cruiser is probably the best.
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"Playa dust might be the cleanest, most corrosive filth you'll ever love," Savannah said.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby 48_love » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:31 pm

I bought an old GT Windstream hybrid cruiser off of CL, and I am switching it out to singlespeed. It's turning into a fun project!
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Re: playa bike care

Postby FATCAMP » Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:53 pm

word going around says BMorg is banning bikes this year...
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:04 pm

I heard that the Bmorg is manning mikes this year.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby FATCAMP » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:48 pm

you too?
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Super Evil Brian » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:58 pm

Wait, Mikes as in multiple people named Mike or mics, as in the abbreviated form of microphone?

Or maybe Mike on the mic?

I heard Dr. Dre will have an art car and drive around busting rhymes.
"I knew it was wrong, but I did it anyway."
Jesus fuckhole, what the fuck was that?
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Nipple » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:55 pm

Super Evil Brian wrote:Wait, Mikes as in multiple people named Mike or mics, as in the abbreviated form of microphone?

Or maybe Mike on the mic?

I heard Dr. Dre will have an art car and drive around busting rhymes.


I head Busta Rhymes will be there running an Art Drive.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Super Evil Brian » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:55 am

Nipple wrote:
Super Evil Brian wrote:Wait, Mikes as in multiple people named Mike or mics, as in the abbreviated form of microphone?

Or maybe Mike on the mic?

I heard Dr. Dre will have an art car and drive around busting rhymes.


I head Busta Rhymes will be there running an Art Drive.


Well, yea, but everyone knows that. I heard Simon of the Playa will be doing a drag show at his drag strip camp, singing Celine Dion.

I meant drag racing, but in drag, which is really not a drag. Really it has nothing to do with Busta Rhymes or playa bike care.
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"Playa dust might be the cleanest, most corrosive filth you'll ever love," Savannah said.
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Re: playa bike care

Postby Sail Man » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:55 am

Super Evil Brian wrote:I heard Simon of the Playa will be doing a drag show at his drag strip camp, singing Celine Dion.


Awwww man! did i pick the wrong year to sit out or what?!? :cry:
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