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Author Topic: Cleaning your bike  (Read 5063 times)

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Offline EllsRider

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Cleaning your bike
« on: February 10, 2007, 06:47:31 AM »
Anybody use  any special tools or brushes for when you clean your bike? Some of these nooks and crannies  are hard to get to. I just cleaned my bike for the first time in 2 months. It was a job that took 2 hours. Looks great once again! I used car wash soap and wiped it dry then applied a product called Bike Lust to give it a wax like coating. I'm thinking  maybe to use some car wax next time to make it easier to rinse the dirt off. Any ideas to keep it looking clean?  :)
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline Garry

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2007, 07:12:14 AM »
I gently, (not hard water pressure!), hose my bike off using a scrub brush on the tires and rims. 

If it's really dirty I have one of those long handled soft bristle car wash brushes from the auto store and a bucket of warm water and a half dollar size squirt of dawn dish detergent. I brush the frame and drive train with this enough to loosen all the dirt/mud/whatever then set up my chain cleaner bath (you should all have one of these!) with warm water and dawn dish detergent. --- (If you put a dime sized dolap in the bath and slowly fill with warm water it disperses the cleaning "formula" so the chain comes out sparkly clean)--- Then I gently hose all suds off, you really have to concentrate the hose on the chian to get all of the suds off, then I let it dry in the sun after an initial towel dry.  Then I take windex and spray/wipe the frame and components till clean.  Once everything has dried completely I go back and lube everything and it's ready to play with again.  Depending on how dirty the cleaning process takes from 15 to 45 minutes - not inckuding dry time.

ALSO, DAWN LIQUID IS A GREAT DEGREASER!  DON'T GET IT IN YOUR HUBS WHEN CLEANING!!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2007, 07:15:56 AM by Garry »

Offline Gregg

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2007, 08:57:21 AM »
I do all of the above, but I used Pedro's bio degreaser to clean the chain. I clean the chain probably at least once a week, dependiing on how much mud and grime I have been riding in. I find that keeping the chain and the rest of the drive train clean and lubed really reduces how much I need to adjust derauillers and related stuff.

Looks like this is the big project for me today. It is finally going to be warm enough and I can stand long enough to work on my bike. It has been just hanging there since the afternoon of the 14th of Jan. Calling me..........I swear actually calling me. Maybe it was the pain meds but I really think it was calling me.

Less pain pills now, mostly over the counter stuff. Let's see if it talks to me today. If it does, I am sure that it will complain about how long it has been since it's last shower.


Peg leg Gregg

Offline Homer 2-Niner

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2007, 10:55:39 AM »
SO GO AND CLEAN IT... get it ready..  it wont be long now..

you'll be back on the bike in no time...night rides and all!

=Bob  ;D
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Offline Gregg

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2007, 05:33:22 PM »
For the record.......Today I got on my bike.......rode 1 half mile with the clipless pedals. Came back and tried to change the pedals to the BMX style that I bought. In my weakened state I could not get them off. So I loaded the bike on to the car.....Drove to the bike shop.  Rode about a hundred feet to the shop. The shop changed the pedals, I rode around the back lot of the shop for a couple of minutes to the encoragment of the guys from the shop. Drove home and got bike on the bike and rode about another 3/4 of a mile. All totaled it was about a mile and a half, at a very cautious 3-5 mile per hour pace, with the leg brace on.

I am exhausted. I feel like I rode 30 miles, and the aches are still here, but I said that I would ride this weekend and many people thought (and still think ) that I am crazy.
The doctor told me that I would be able to and I guess he was right. I don't know if I will try again tomorrow, but I am sure that I will slowly add a few hundred feet until I am out there with you guys.

Gimpy 

Offline eatdirt1

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2007, 06:48:35 PM »
i have an idea,if you clean it when u use it,it wont take two hours next time. ;D
j/k i clean my bike just about every time i use it,but thats just me.and one of the reasons is because i hang it on the wall in my room,so i dont want it to be all dusty,or muddy.and the other reason is,i LOVE MY BIKE.
just my two cents. ;D
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Offline Garry

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2007, 08:04:32 PM »
i have an idea,if you clean it when u use it,it wont take two hours next time. ;D
j/k i clean my bike just about every time i use it,but thats just me.and one of the reasons is because i hang it on the wall in my room,so i dont want it to be all dusty,or muddy.and the other reason is,i LOVE MY BIKE.
just my two cents. ;D

I agree, once you're in a routine about cleaning the bike it seems to take less time.  Even the deatailing seems to take less time.  Okay, well maybe that is a bit more time consuming, but you can do as much or as little as you want once it's entirely cleaned. I hang mine in my living room - yes, four bikes in the living room - so they need to be clean when I'm done.

Offline EllsRider

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2007, 08:57:45 PM »
I need to get a chain cleaning system. I'm thinking taking the chain off and cleaning by soaking and then brush the chain to remove all the grit. . You have to be real careful using degreaser on  your bike. I ruined a seal in the rear shock once when the degreaser affected the seals inside. At least thats what I think happened.
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline Gregg

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2007, 09:11:19 PM »
I use a park chain cleaner. It does a pretty good job of getting all of the grit out of the chain. I also use a brush and a rag. I too once got degreaser in my hubs and it became very noisy.

Offline Homer 2-Niner

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2007, 12:27:00 AM »
yeah i would like to have a tank or something that I can take the chain off and soak it.. seems like every time i clean it any other way it just does not get clean...

but dont forget about taking the cassete apart and cleaning the cogs once in a while too..

-Bob    ;D
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Offline treadlight

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2007, 01:04:59 AM »
Personally if I have plenty of spare time the way to go is dry cleaning and I think its perfect here in Florida, though I only been here a year and have not experienced a really muddy ride. Yet I washed my bike after each ride in Alafia (you can only imagine those water that finds its way inside the frame, well good thing temperature here only drops below freezing a few hours every couple of weeks every year) but will use clean towel to dry it off. Also putting silicone around the bottle holder screw helps water out when washing.

Offline EllsRider

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2007, 07:11:53 AM »
All of last year I was able to avoid riding during wet conditions and it goes a long way to keep your bike clean. Between El Lagarto and a ride at Reddick I logged 80 miles in some of the muddiest stuff I've ever been in. My bike was trashed. With the wet cold weather I didn't even feel like going outside  so washing the bike was out of the question. It looks good now and after yesterdays ride it was riding much better. My chain was so bad at Reddick last week I was getting chain suck and I twisted  and bent a link, We took two links out and added the power link and now its shifting much better. After cleaning the bike and chain this week its riding like a well tuned race machine.
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Offline Ken

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2007, 11:55:55 AM »
I never spray my bike frame, but I do spray off the wheels being careful not to spray the hubs or let water drip into them, and let them air dry. For the frame I let the mud dry,if any, and brush it off with a medium soft handheld floor brush working fom top to bottom not forgetting under the seat. Next I spray the chainrings and front derailleur with GT85 and wipe down with a clean rag. A toothbrush works well for tight spots as does the Park cassette tool, available in a cleaning set with a tire, frame and soft sponge washing brush also. The cassette tool has longer bristles and a curved plastic section with teeth on the other end to get the crud out from the cassette cogs. Toothbrush works well for the front derailleur also. I also remove the front wheel before starting the frame but leave the rear one on. Wipe off the rear deraileur and move to the chain. If it's real dirty I use the Park Chain Scrubber with the  Park Chainbrite citrus scented degreaser. It cleans well and your chain will appreciate the fresh citrus smell for what thats worth. If it's not too dirty I fold a clean rag a couple of times over, hold the rag under the chain as I spray the chain with GT85 using the spray nozzle to focus the  spray and the pressure on  and through the chain. The rag catches any of the spray and keeps from wasting GT85 into the air. Do this to the whole chain by turning the pedals. After that hold the rag over the chain firmly and spin the pedals  backwards to clean the chain. Keep turning the rag to clean ares till no dirt is left on the rag. A clean chain is a happy chain! Now I remove the rear wheel and fiish cleaning the rear derailleur including the chain wheels. For the frame I use Furniture polish. My bike shop gave me this valuable tip. I think it works better than car wax and is easier to polish out without leaving wax in those areas that are hard to reach. Apply to a soft rag folded over then wipe down the frame top to bottom. After you finish start back at the top and polish out with a new clean cloth. Also  while you have the brake cable  loose pull the housings out their holders and let them hang for better access to the frame. Also gives you the oppurtunity to slide the housings down the cables, spray them with GT85, wipe clean, and relube with Tri-flow, then sliding housings up and down again to distribute lube inside the housings. Don't forget to wip off excess lube. If your fork tubes aren't exposed, slide the covers up to expose them, then apply some suspension lube, I use Slick Honey, sparingly to the estauncions with your finger and to the seals and trying to leave a little at that spot where the est. meet the seals. This also works well for rear shocks. Later when you replace the wheels, work the lube into the fork seals by pushing the fork down repeatedly or by riding the bike and compressing the suspension. Don't forget to wipe off excess lube as any left over will attract dirt getting into the seals and causing premature wear. I use furniture polish on the painted surfaces of the wheels, spokes, and hubs and polish them out. For rim brakes use some medium scotchbrite or steel wool. Spray alittle dilutted (50/50) Simple Green onto the wool or scotchbright and scrub the dirt and grime out of the brake wall surfaces, then wipe clean with a clean cloth. I generally onlr do a 1/4 of the wheel before wiping clean and moving on to the mnext section tiil that side of the wheel is done and repeat for the other side. Then wipe down with rubbing alcohol and let air dry. For the rear wheel I repeat the process with the exception of cleaning the cassette. Ilike to use the same mixture of Simple Green, GT85 works but not as well i think, spray the cassette lightly, keeping the wheel on an angle by resting it against something so it doesn't get into tht seals. Have a clean piece of rag about a foot long and maybe 6-8" wide, thin enough to get inbetween the cassette cogs. I like to fold mine in half to give me a sharper edge that goes into the cogs easier. hold the ends of rag and start behind the biggest cog, working it back and forth till it's all the way down to the hub and slide back and forth, keeping pressure against thecog. the cassette will spin one way and stop when you pull it back cleaning the cog, continue till clean. Then move to inbtween each cpr repeating the same action, only while pulling the rag through keep pressure up withone hnd and pushing down with the other. This will clean both sides of the cogs you are inbetween. Repeat until clean. Before you put the wheels on take a clean piece of scotchbrite and scrub your brake pads then wipe them off with rubbing alchohol (slightly moistened not dripping wet) on a clean rag. For those with discs, use a clean rag to wipe inbetween the brake pads. Often overlooked but it's amazing how much dirt you can get off your pads this way. If your rotors are dirty scocthbrite lightly(uaually you don't have to do this as the pads pick up all the dirt) and then clean with rubbing alcohol and let dry. This will usually solve all noisy brake problems, pads or discs, with the exception of misaligned rim brakes. Back to the chain, once the wheels are back on I lube the chain with Dumonde chain lube taking time to lube each barrel from side to side covering the whole link. If you don't have a removable link in your chain for a starting and stopping point you can make a mark on your chain with a sharpie. Then spin backwards 30-40 times slowly letting the lube sink in. I like to leave the lube on overnight if possible but if your going to ride soon, I take my fingers and lightly squeze the top and bottom of the chainwhile pedaling back slowly so as not to catch your fingers then do the same thing to the sides of the chain. This completely covers the whole chin and then wipe off the excess. If you want to lube your shifter cables, put the chain on the biggest cog then pull the trigger till it's at it's futherest shift stop. The cable will now be loose enough to take the housings out of their stops, slide them down the cables and lube just like the brake cables. Just don't shift the triggers again until you have replaced the housings to their regular places as this will make it harder to replace the housings. Wow, sorry this was so long, my fingers are tired!! ;D ;D ;D   
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2007, 12:11:25 PM »
wow - i hope my bike doesn't read that...it will feel so neglected  :'(

Offline Homer 2-Niner

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Re: Cleaning your bike
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2007, 01:38:30 PM »
Well now,

Write a lot of short stories there Ken??  Holy Mackerrel!!! I think my bike is starting to feel cheated.  I just wash it with the garden hose.   No pressure and I has worked fine oooohhhhh for the last 10 or 12 years!!  But I just pay attention that way.. 

-Bob  ;D
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