This article is from the Bicycles FAQ, by Mike Iglesias with numerous contributions by others.
Although I have a better bicycle which I ride in nice
weather, I buy my commuting bikes at garage sales for about
$25.00. They're disposable. Once they start dissolving, I
remove any salvageable parts, then throw the rest away.
Right now, I'm riding a '10-speed' bike. I used to ride
mountain bikes, but I'm back to the '10-speed'. Here's why.
Mountain bikes cost $50.00 at the garage sales. They're
more in demand around here. Since I've ridden both, I'll
comment on each one.
The Mountain bikes do have better handling, but they're a
tougher to ride through deep snow. The 10-speed cuts
through the deep snow better. I can ride in deeper snow
with it, and when the snow gets too deep to ride, its easier
Fenders on the bike? Sounds like it might be a good idea,
and someday I'll try it out. I think, however, that
snow/ice will build up between the fender and the tire
causing it to be real tough to pedal. I have a rack on the
back with a piece of plywood to prevent too much junk being
thrown on my back.
I would *like* to be able to maintain the bike, but its
tough to work outside in the winter. My wife (maybe I
should write to Dear Abbey about this) will not let me bring
my slop covered bicycle through the house to get it in the
basement. About once a month We have a warm enough day that
I am able to go out with a bucket of water, wash all of the
gunk off of the bike, let it dry and then bring it in.
I tear the thing down, clean it and put it together with
lots of grease. I use some kind of grease made for farm
equipment that is supposed to be more resistant to the
elements. When I put it together, I grease the threads,
then cover the nuts, screws, whatever with a layer of
grease. This prevents them from rusting solidly in place
making it impossible to remove. Protection against
corrosion is the primary purpose of the grease. Lubrication
is secondary. remember to put a drop of oil on the threads
of each spoke, otherwise, the spokes rust solidly, and its
impossible to do any truing
Outside, I keep a plastic ketchup squirter, which I fill with
automotive oil (lately its been 90 weight standard
transmission oil). Every two or three days, I use it to re-
oil my chain and derailleur, and brakes. It drips all over
the snow beneath me when I do it, and gets onto my
'cuffs'(or whatever you call the bottom of those pants.
See, I told you I don't cycle for the environment. I
probably end up dumping an ounce of heavy oil into the snow
run-off each year.