I cycle to work, leave my bike in an open but well covered cycle rack, basically in a multi storey car park so it wont get wet but it is open to the fresh air. It sits there for 8 hours or so and then comes home with me.

When I get home I rinse it off with a low pressure hose and spray the chain and cogs with a bike lubricant. It then stays in the conservatory over night.

I do this every time I ride it except for the 8 hours at work where it is still covered in mud or whatever has been thrown up that morning.

Is this enough or is there something else I should do??

Do I need to spray it at work too so it isn't sat all day rusting?


  • 11
    I think you're doing more than necessary already. Feb 16, 2013 at 13:48
  • 4
    I'd skip the rinse and do a weekly clean instead. Adding water when not needed doesn't help and can easily hurt (especially if it gets into places...headset, tubes, etc).
    – Ken Hiatt
    Feb 17, 2013 at 0:38
  • great cheers guys. I might only do the cleaning step if it's picked up a lot of mud in future
    – Paul
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:22

4 Answers 4


Some 15 years ago I've ridden my bike on my daily commute all summer and winter (down to -20° C, snow, rain, ice, snow slush, whatever you can imagine).

It was parked at home as well as at work in an open bike shed where it was just protected from direct rain/snow. I did far less than you do to your bike. After riding in snow or snow slush I just lifted it and let it fall down from about 25 cm height several times to get the snow and ice drop off. Whenever the chain looked like it could need some lube, I gave it some lube but not regularly. This brought me through several winters without any major problems and even without necessarily having to change the chain after winter.

From your description it looks like you treat your bike more like a dog or so than like a bike. I could even imagine, that rinsing the bike with water every day could be a bit counter-productive as you will waste lots of lubricant.

  • haha its the first relatively nice bike i've had and I do a lot of miles on it. I depend on it for getting to work so I am worried if i treat it like i've treated some old bikes it won't last very long! Its fairly easy to give it a quick rinse with the hose before it goes into the conservatory and it makes it easier to get the mud off while it's fresh before it dries. I only do a 30 second job on it, i certainly dont get it all off, just a quick spray!
    – Paul
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:13

I ride daily and store my bike in similar conditions at work and home. Sometimes it is left out in the rain at work if I misjudge the weather. I maintain it less often than you do, though I do try to wash of the mud in the evening if I ride home in the rain. I lubricate after washing and about once per week otherwise. I don't have any rust on the chain or cogs. There is some surface rust on a few bolt heads and where the paint has been scratched on the steel frame, but I'd expect that on a 19 year old bike.

I don't think you need to do anything more than you are doing.

  • Thanks! I only got the bike a few weeks ago so i'm trying to stay on top of it from the start instead of trying to start looking after it when it's already rusted like i have with older bikes
    – Paul
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:18

I have a bike for commuting which doesn't even see home most of the time. When not outside my client's it lives at a station cycle rack. So its basically exposed to the elements 24/7.

When I got it, I chose a steel-framed fixie, so its very minimal in terms of things I have to maintain in any case. I carry a small bottle of lube with me all the time, and keep a track pump at the client's. I'd say I use the lube maybe once a week, the pump maybe once a month. But as a rule it never goes near anything fancy like soap!

Twice a year or so, however, it gets brought home and I give it a decent service. Things I do vary depending on what is required, but I generally fit a new chain every time.

I've been doing this for a few years now and the bike is still in tip-top condition. I mean I suppose it depends on how susceptible the frame you've got is to rust etc. but you could probably get away with doing less, not more as you suggest.

  • thanks - I might swap the daily spray for a weekly clean!
    – Paul
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:19

If you're concerned about the bike being covered with mud and other debris the 8 hours you're at work, if there is room somewhere at your work location and near the bicycle parking area to store some things, you could bring one of those 2 or 3 gallon pump type pressure garden type sprayers to work and fill it with water to spray the bike down after you arrive. If water is available nearby, that would make it easier to refill the sprayer, and just leave it there for the next time you need it if there's secure storage available. That sprayer and a brush would get rid of most of the mud before it drys on your bike.

  • 1
    thanks, from the various comments, it sounds like it'll be ok til i can get it home and sort it out then. I just know it can be harmful to store your bike outside and i thought, hang on, mine is effectively outside for 8 hours a day, plus 2 hours while i'm using it!
    – Paul
    Feb 17, 2013 at 22:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.