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beginner-what's the best way to keep bike clean?(15 posts)

beginner-what's the best way to keep bike clean?Reveal
Jul 19, 2001 8:36 AM
How do you clean your bike and components? How often? I've got some stuff called simple green bike cleaner/degreaser; it works great. What lube is best? I've read that white lightening is the best. I've also heard people say that it shouldn't be used for the chain, cog, etc. at all. By the way, I'm talking about a road bike, so it's not like i'm getting tons of mud caked on. Thank a lot for any suggestions or comments.
Simple Green man I am....DINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 9:11 AM
I wipe my bike down after every ride using full strength Simple Green.
I use heavy duty paper "Shop Towels", that you can purchase in bulk at Costco or Sams Club, dirt cheap. I wipe down every place my cloth will reach, flipping it upside down in the process. I use three or four towels and I even wipe down the tires, checking for cuts and wear in the process. I use 30W motor oil for my chain. I just started using it. It's cheap, and a qt container will last forever. I wipe my chain down in the cleaning process and apply a light coat of oil. My chain stays remarkably clean and free of grit. The last part of my process is to apply a light coat of furniture polish, I use Pledge or something similar. My Klein is three years old and has about 15K miles and it looks brand new. The only way you would notice is if you were to examine it very carefully and note the little chips in the paint that come with riding on the roads. You can clean your bike in about 10 minutes. Every time I install new tires, as long as I have the wheels off, I spray simple green on the frame and let it sit in the sun while I am installing new rim tape and the tires. Then I spray the bike down using a light spray of water from a garden hose. I also replace the bar tape with each detail job, and give the frame a wax job using an automotive wax. Half of owning a bike is maintenance. All it takes is a little time and some elbow grease. Keeping your bike clean is a way of noticing little problems before they pop up, and avoiding breakdowns on the road. All I worry about is the f word, can't say it or it will jinx me, something to do about pumping up your tires.
Simple Green for my machinesidley
Jul 19, 2001 9:51 AM
Got turned onto Simple Green on this site, probably by Dinosaur, and man that stuff rocks. It's cheap, effective, and even smells good.
Simple Green man I am....cycleguy
Jul 19, 2001 5:36 PM
When you are using Simple Green do you also hose down the frame everytime? Or use it dry?
Simple Green man I am....DINOSAUR
Jul 19, 2001 8:21 PM
For cleaning after the ride, I saturate a rag (or paper towel) with S.G. and wipe the bike down. The hose down is when I have the wheels off and I spray it on, let it sit until it is dry (usually about ten minutes in 90 degree heat) and hose it down with a LIGHT spray from a garden hose. Then I let it dry in the sun again, and apply an automotive wax. It doesn't take that long as I am installing new tires and rim tape while the bike is drying. Ya gotta remember I'm an old retired guy and I have time for this kinda stuff....
re: beginner-what's the best way to keep bike clean?dpeairs
Jul 19, 2001 9:47 AM
to clean the frame pledge works great. some people use the kind for cleaning windows because it doesn't leave a residue. I use degreaser and a brush and chain cleaning device to clean the drive train. and lube with boeshield. I don't agree with simple green man. If half of owning a bike is maintenance count me out. less maintenance time=more riding time.
as far as how often... I usually clean the drivetrain completely once a month, or before big races. but of course this depends on how much you are riding and the riding conditions. I usually wipe down the bike after riding in the rain. and I know you are not supposed to but before a race I will lube a dirty chain (if I don't have time to clean it)
re: beginner-what's the best way to keep bike clean?seth1
Jul 19, 2001 10:00 AM
Simple Green is great. If I'm up at my parent's house in the country I will clean my bicycle with that stuff. In my small studio apt. in the city I spray some Lemon Pledge on a rag and that cleans up a frame pretty well too. It also waxes the frame at the same time.

In my club I'm known to have the cleanest bike hands down and I constantly get comments on how prestine my drivetrain is. I would not recomend using a degreaser on the drivetrain, except for the annual over-haul. If you don't thoroughly clean it off, what ever is left over will break down your lube. When I re-lube my chain I get an old rag and clean off all of the gunk from the chain, chainrings, cog-set, and deraleur pulleys. About 120 psi of elbow grease is sufficient. While rotating the cranks back-wards I will grip the chain with the rag and make an s-bend to get deeper into the links.
Then it's lube time, my preference is White Lightning. Haven't tried Pro-link yet.
After the lube goes on, I throroughly wipe off all excess.
Hope this helps.
re: beginner-what's the best way to keep bike clean?Lone Gunman
Jul 19, 2001 10:31 AM
To start with, make sure the frame has a good coat of wax on. Wax repels water and dirt and makes the cleanups easier. Simply green on the frame to clean, depending upon conditions, once a month. I use a light spray and wipe like window cleaner in between full blown cleanups of Simply Green. Simply green also cleans up bar tape real good. As for cleaning moving parts like chain, I used to use the Park chain clean gizmo but like cleaning chain and cassette with an Autoparts engine degreaser,(cheap and works well) spray it on and let it work, brush a little on the cassette spray it off with water and it sparkles. Chain, spray it on, let penetrate and wipe off repeatedly until rag is clean. Same with chain rings. I use the Finish line krytech drip lube on the chain this has very little fling off and is a "dry" lube. I once road behind someone who had used motor oil as a lube (probably) and had chain lube fling all over the front of my jersey. If you keep after it, the cleanup job is relatively easy and gives you a chance to cool down after a ride. But what really makes the job easy is a work stand. Nothing like clipping the bike into the stand and being able to clean and inspect from all angles. I did a cleanup every day on a week long tour, one guy had brought along a blackburn sawhorse type work stand. People thought we were obsessed because we wanted to ride a clean bike every day.
Is simple Green good for TITANIUM??bear
Jul 19, 2001 3:25 PM
You think Simple Green would work as well for titanium?
I dont think furn wax would though??
Is simple Green good for TITANIUM??WadeOmatic
Jul 19, 2001 7:00 PM
you can't hurt Ti. Use whatever you want. You can always rub it off.
Is simple Green good for TITANIUM??bear
Jul 19, 2001 7:42 PM
Finish Line Bike WashGary M
Jul 20, 2001 8:51 AM
I have been spraying Finish Line Bike Wash on my bike, hosing it off, toweling it down with paper towels then polishing with Pledge and relubing.

I found that Simple Green chemically reacted with the brown rubber side walls of my Continental tires and caused them to discolor so I stopped using it. Even though I am running black Michelins now, this experience made me wonder about the wisdom of using Simple Green. It seems a bit stronger than necessary to do the job.
My Takegrzy mnky
Jul 20, 2001 9:30 AM
Tried all the various options from Q-tips to a hose. I find that the best, quickest and most effeicient way is to go with the Pedros Pit Kit. It's got all the stuff you need and the instructions on how the pros do it. Completely cleaning your bike can be done in something like 20 min. If you go to their website you can see a list of everything that's included plus the instructions. I couldn't find a shop with the kit in stock so I went to the local Ace Hdw. store and bought the remaining items that I needed. One of the key things is the brush selection - with the right brushes you can "white tornado" your brakes and *enitre* drive train. The special Park Tools brush and chain cleaner is a must for your drivetrain. I've cleaned 4 bikes in one evening it's so efficient. I'm talking spotless.

The downside of doing it wrong means that you don't get everything clean and you manage to penetrate critical bearing areas with dirt and water with the high pressure hose. Crapping up you bearings and replacing the lube with solvent is a quick way to kill them.
Where do you get this Fantastic Simple Green product?Delia
Jul 20, 2001 9:43 AM
Where do you get this Simple Green product? I've heard of it but can I get it at the grocery store?
Where do you get this Fantastic Simple Green product?DINOSAUR
Jul 20, 2001 11:29 AM
Look in your grocery store where they stock cleaning products. Also in hardware stores or auto parts stores. It's cheaper if you buy it in bulk however at warehouse type outlets such as Costco, Sams club etc. My wife had some laying around the house and I used it to wipe down my rail on my Concept II Rowing Machine. I tried it cleaning my bike once and I've been using it ever since.
I like it because it is non-toxic and biodegradable. It can be used full strength, I've used it to clean my automotive engine. It won't harm your paint and you can delute it and use it for other things such as cleaning windows, even laundry (although I have never tried this). The fumes won't harm you, but they have made me a tad nauseous if I get a good whiff of it when I'm cleaning my bike without proper ventilation. Yikes, I sound like I am working for Simple Green. Last and best part, I like it because it works and it won't screw up the paint job of my Klein. (I just noticed they had a web site).