I am asking this question as I ride a dutch bike (chain guard, mud flaps etc) so my chain is not directly impacted by salt on the roads. However, seeing that there is a lot of water splashing with a lot of salt in it, I was wondering the following: - Many experts have mentioned that cleaning the chain and lubricating it is advisable. Is it the same with bikes with full chain guards? While I assume the frequency would be less for a bike with a chain guard vs a bike with no chain guard, what is advisable as my chain is not visible. - What about the wheels (rims and spokes and hubs)? Are those part of the cleaning too...and do you put grease on every nut and bolt on the bike...does it not stick to your clothes when you ride or get on/off the bike? - I bike to work (about 20k a day RT) so the general advice is to sponge off daily using a sponge and a bucket of warm water...is this to be done for the entire bike or just the sensitive areas (hubs, what else?)

My first year riding so these may be novice questions.

Appreciate your advice in advance,

Sal, Toronto, Canada

  • What kind of chainguard do u have? Normally you could see the chain even if there is a chainguard, couldn't you?
    – Nhân Lê
    Feb 9, 2016 at 15:47
  • 1
    I would love to add a pic but heres a link...mine is the male version opafiet...letsgorideabike.com/2009/09/30/…. Chain is almost 95% covered so not much exposure to the elements.
    – ZSS
    Feb 9, 2016 at 16:23
  • looks like a perfect bike for winter. I guess you can forget about it and do a service once a year..
    – Nhân Lê
    Feb 9, 2016 at 18:50

2 Answers 2


To my standard, if I kick/push the crank (freewheel direction) as hard as I can and it does not rotate more than 1 rotation after the push, I know that it is time to service. I actually aim for 1.5 to 2 rotations

Usually lubing the chain will do the job. This happens after one winter, and the chain usually shows signs of rust. This is on my Cobra steel dutch bike, with partial chain guard.

It is my winter bike. So I rarely wash it after rides on rainy winter days. A wash every fortnight/winter would suffice. The idea is that winter bike requires less maintenance in tougher weather condition. So if one have to do a lot of maintenance for a bike in one winter, maybe it's not really meant for winter.

Regarding the screws/bolts, I have replaced them all with titanium material. They do corrode, but not as bad. I also put a little lithium grease on them, and by little I mean a very thin coat. The grease never cause me any trouble.

Regarding the spokes/nipples/hub, unfortunately there is not much you can do except replacing them when they fail. I heard a rumour from our local bike club that you could grease the spokes/nipples a little and slow down the corrosion. It sounds tedious so I have never tried out.


Can you at least get a visual inspection on the chain without taking off the guard. If you you can then you can tell when it is drying out, getting very dirty, and for sure you can see when it starts to rust. The frequency is going to vary by your conditions.

Sponge sensitive parts or entire bike is also a choice.

Yes grease will get on your clothes. You can not grease nuts and bolts you come in contact with. Nuts and bolts are replaceable.

Spokes are replaceable. Is it worth your time to sponge down every spoke every day.

Maybe go with a quick clean daily and full clean weekly.

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