As I'm sure you all know, this weekend marked the vernal equinox and the formal transition from Winter to Spring. It certainly isn't balmy in Mpls yet, but a streak of above-freezing days (some kissing 50!) have left the snow pack on the ropes, and you can tell its not long for this world. The roads were mostly clear the past few days, so I decided to roll the dice.
Over the weekend, I tore the bottom half of the bike apart and cleaned/re-greased it. Basically everything below the top tube was pulled, scrubbed, soaked in degreaser and wiped down. I even pulled the BB and derailleur off. What a filthy thing. Riding a bike in Mpls in the winter is surely a sign of depraved sadism to the bike. The frame was fine after it was hosed off and wiped down, but the derailleur, cranks, cassette, chain, fenders, brake calipers, wheels, hubs, etc were filthy and needed exceptional TLC. So, the bike was back to it's pre-MgCl2-saturated self. (That's Magnesium Chloride for the non-chemists - it's the salt crap they put on the roads.)
Also (and this was the gamble), I swapped out the studs for regular tires and the pedals for my clipless. If there's a giant late-March snowstorm, then I'm bussing it.
But, BUT, the ride this morning was a delight! I was 12 minutes faster over the 9 miles of my commute without the drag of the studs and the sloppy pedal connection of Sorels. The forecast calls for more crud this week, but I will accept a day of the bus if I can spare myself the studs!