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Cleaning/Maintenance(6 posts)

Oct 8, 2002 12:16 PM
I am new to owing a proper road bike, and after years of abusing mountain bikes, I need to learn how often to clean and maintain my new bike. I don't want it to turn into the crappy looking thing that my other bike has. Any sites or recommendations on how/how often to clean up chains cassettes and such?
re: Cleaning/MaintenanceUncleMoe
Oct 8, 2002 1:06 PM
I ride on the road and MTB too. My MTB I give a good cleaning to once a year if she is lucky. I just keep the chain clean and clean off any mud that chunks up on the brakes or elsewhere.

My road bike I clean regularly, about once a month, but I could do it more often. I am amazed at the difference it makes in clean shifting and just a quieter ride.

My List and easily done in 15-20 minutes if you have a bike stand:
- I clean the chain first. Degreaser or simple green, a nylon brush, clean rag that is a mess when I am done.
- Remove both wheels from bike.
- With a damp clean rag, wipe down entire frame of all dirt.
- Clean dirt off of rims and tires with damp rag.
- Slap wheels back on frame, make sure chain is dry and free of dirt, lube chain.
- Make minor adjustments to shifting.
- Done.

I haven't done this yet, but I've read some people spray a clean rag with PAM spray and put that on the frame last. Dirt and sand won't stick to it as easily so you don't need to clean the frame as often. Just keep it away from rims, tires, brakes, or you won't stop very well.
I would add one thing...fbg111
Oct 8, 2002 5:02 PM
Never tried PAM, but I use Pedro's Bike Lust. I love this stuff b/c it works exactly as advertised. Creates a thin silicon film on the bike frame that repels water and dirt. Previously, I'd have to be sure to clean the road grime off immediately after a ride, before the grime dried and stuck fast to the frame. With Bike Lust, I can let it sit indefinitely and then wipe it off with a soft dry rag. Even the worst dried grime practically falls right off. Also, the silicon film has a much slicker texture than the natural texture of my painted TCR2 frame. I'd be willing to bet it even helps decrease the bike's aerodynamic drag b/c of that. Not significantly, but if you ever run your fingers over it, it feels very slick and slippery, yet still dry.
re: Cleaning/Maintenancetremblay
Oct 8, 2002 4:14 PM
I would rub it down after a ride, and do a thorough cleaning once a month, as mentioned above.

I tend to clean my chain more often than the rest of the bike, as I can get neurotic about these sorts of things. You can invest in a park tools chain cleaner, which is a nifty device that cleans the chain while it is on the bike, or you can remove the chain and put it into a pop bottle containing a few ounces of your favourite solvent. Shake the bottle up good, fish out the chain (i leave a wire attached), dry it off with a clean towel, then put it on the bike. A clean chain means your drivetrain will last much longer. You will notice all the sediment that has collected in the bottom of the pop bottle as you dispose of the solvent...yick!

Also, check out for other bike related information.
chain maintenance...C-40
Oct 8, 2002 5:14 PM
I use a mixture of 4 to 5 parts mineral spirits to one part synthetic motor oil to "clean and lube" the chain in one step. Apply the mixture heavily, to the lower section of chain between the rear derailleur and the crank. Catch the excess with a paper towel (folded to 8 layers thick) held under the chain. Wipe each section of the chain with the towel, before rotating the crank to the next section. When the entire chain has been lubed (5 sections), spin the cranks several turns, with the wet towel clasped around the chain. The wet towel can also be used to wipe off the cogs and chainrings. Follow up with a dry towel. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. If done at least once a week (more often in dirty conditions), the chain will never need removal for additional cleaning or lubricating. If you happen to neglect the chain for more than a week, apply the lube twice, to enhance the cleaning effect. The lubing should be done long before riding, to allow time for the mineral spirits to evaporate, leaving behind only a thin coating of oil. The clean and lube mix also works to lubricate the derailleur pins and bushings.

I also apply a good spray lube (Slick 50 1-lube)to the bushings in the derailleur pulleys every week, and wipe the pulleys while I'm cleaning the chain.

Using this method of chain, cog and chainring maintenance will produce a long life for the drivetrain. I never use any type of water soluble degreaser or water for cleaning the drivetrain. If water is used for cleaning, some type of solvent still has to be used to displace the water.

When I change rear tire at 2500-3000 mile intervals, I use a small paint brush and mineral spirits (or clean and lube) to remove any small amount of accumulated grunge from between the cogs.
re: Cleaning/Maintenancepmf1
Oct 9, 2002 4:37 AM
A cleaner bike will function better and the components will last longer.

First, get a good work stand. They last forever and are very useful.

Here is what I do to clean my bike. Others probably do something else. This works for me and I've been riding bikes for a long time. I do it every 200-300 miles:

1. Put the bike in the stand and remove the wheels.
2. Scrub the chain, rings, RD pulleys and FD cage with a toothbrush and some Zepp orange cleaner (you can get this at Home Depot for $7/gallon -- its the same thing bike shops sell in different packaging for $739/gallon -- I use it straight from the bottle).
3. Wash the frame with a sponge and some warm soapy water.
4. Scrub the brake pads with a green pad and some water and soap.
5. Hose the whole thing off.
6. Clean the rims with a green pad and soap and water to get off all the residue left by brake pads.
7. Clean the cassette with orange cleaner and a Park cassette brush (these are worth the money).
8. If you want to be really stylin, dry the bike frame off with a towel and apply some Lemon Pledge furniture polish (I never do this, but it does make the frame shiny)
9. Once the chain is dry, apply some lube. Chose a lube in a drip bottle and apply it by putting one drip on each chain barrel. Most people use too much lube which results in a dirty chain.