Dust-proofing a bike for Iraq duty

hey Lee, just a quick one for ya.
I’m in the Army and am deploing to Iraq soon and plan on taking my wheels with me. I have a full suspension bike with a FOX TALAS fork in front and a FOX air shock in back. As you may or may not know it is very dusty over there. What is the best way that I can protect my ride and keep it running smooth? P.S. I plan on consructing myself a nice little pump track while im there. I send ya some pics.

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Hey Chris,

Modern bikes are pretty darn reliable, but it looks like you’ll be out there for a while, without a friendly local bike shop. Do these things:

1. Get some Lizard Skins for your fork and shock. These might make your suspension a bit less plush (and less trick looking), but they’ll keep the dust away from your seals.


2. Use a dry chain lube. White Lightning will work great there; it’s made with wax, and when dirt gets into the wax, it clumps off. A wet lube like Triflow would accumulate dust, which would wear your chain super-quickly.


3. Flat-proof your tires. I’d go low-tech. Dual-ply tires and heavy-duty tubes with Slime in them. That setup won’t feel very nimble, but it’ll survive a suicide bomber.

4. Bring at least: A hand pump, a serious multitool, spare brake pads, tubes and a hydration pack. Oh, and tons of White Lightning.

5. Start with a complete tune-up: brand-new drivetrain, new suspension seals, new brake pads, everything.

6. Consider flat pedals. They’re bombproof (not funny), and you can rock your “team issue” boots.

7. Build that pump track. Religious groups that pump together, live together!

Good luck over there,

— Lee

See also: Durable bike for overseas military dude

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