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Cleaning recommendations(16 posts)

Cleaning recommendationsvibiker
Oct 20, 2003 11:50 AM
Between rubber from brake pads and road grim, my bike looks pretty filthy, especially the rear wheel. The problem is using everything from dish soap to Armorall does very little.
Has anyone had success with something else?

Oct 20, 2003 12:05 PM
cleaning bikes (bicycles as well as motorcycles) is for the vain. Be proud of where your bike has been!
How dirty is this thing???biknben
Oct 20, 2003 12:18 PM
I find that the generic aerosol bike cleaning spray from the LBS does a great job. It's dissolves the sticky stuff and leaves a nice shine.

I've heard of people using everything from Lemon Pledge to WD-40 to get gunk off. I suspect the soap you are using isn't potent enough.
Car Wash Soap when it really needs it.bimini
Oct 20, 2003 12:24 PM
The drive train and chain I clean and lube with home brew, 25% motor oil and 75% white gas.

Normally I just wipe light road film, dust etc off the wheels and frame with a dry towel.

After getting caught in a rain and full of sand and dirt I will hose it off and then clean the drive train with home brew. If it is real dirty I will then mix up a little mild car washing soap and water. Lots of foam and car wash mitt to clean the tires rims spokes, frame, etc. I will go over the drive train again with a rag and soap and water and then rinse with the hose.

Do not spray with pressure just lightly rinse the bike. I then drop the bike a few times on it's wheels to shake as much water as possible off and sit outside in the sun and wind to dry.

Once dry I reapply the home lube again to the drive train and wipe off the excess.
I clean after every ride...Dave Hickey
Oct 20, 2003 12:31 PM
I'm pretty anal(OK... very anal) about a clean bike. I clean them after every ride. Any citrus based cleaner will work well for grease and grime. Either buy the stuff at an LBS or just get citrus cleaner at a grocery store. After the grime is removed, I clean the frame and tires with Windex. Before someone starts flaming me about cleaning the tires, I can't tell you how many times I've found little pieces of metal and glass in the tires.
I do the same (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 20, 2003 12:33 PM
So do Igtscottie
Oct 20, 2003 2:21 PM
I found that chain brite from Park Tool works really well for cleaning up the rims.
Oct 20, 2003 12:50 PM
I'm impressed.

I on the otherhand only wash off my MTB or CX bike after really muddy rides. I can't as I've done anything to clean a road bike other than rubbing it with a dry cloth every couple of years.
I like hanging out in my garage...Dave Hickey
Oct 20, 2003 1:04 PM
After the kids hockey practice, homework, honey-dos are over, I like hanging out in my garage and working on my bikes.
don't use pressure....spluti
Oct 20, 2003 1:05 PM
it can force dirt through your seals and into your bearings.
Hot !!! water/old towels12x23
Oct 20, 2003 6:39 PM
I clean my bikes after every ride. I wet 1/2 an old towel with HOT water and start from the top. I wipe saddle, bars/stem, headtube, toptube, seatpost, and down the "tubes" (quickly) until the frame and fork are done. I follow on my ti bikes by wiping the frame with a paper towel sprayed with a little Pledge. Then I spin the tires, cleaning them, and then check for small cuts, etc. It only takes a couple of minutes and prevents a major cleanup.
Mine's the cleanest in the peloton!Breakfast
Oct 20, 2003 9:39 PM
Yeah, I guess I'm finicky about it but it's too easy. All I do is get a bucket of soapy Dawn detergent and a dish mop (mini-mop on a stick sold in houseware isle) and soap the frame with the wheels off in the bike stand. Then I get the wheels and spokes with the mop as well. I get a soft piece of towel and wipe everything dry and it's all done. Maybe I'll follow with some Pledge on a soft cloth once in a while and people always say my bike looks showroom new. My only real reason for the cleanliness is that my expensive bike stays new feeling and I've got the procedure down to only ten minutes or so.
re: Cleaning recommendationsscopestuff2
Oct 20, 2003 10:02 PM
I clean my bike after every 100 miles or so. The whole process takes about 10-15 minutes as I put together a small cleaning kit that just sits in a plastic tub. When done I put the, used, wet rags in the tub. Next time I clean, they are already dry.

I put it in the stand and rinse it down with hose.

Then I soap it down with a citrus cleaner. I don't go full strength, but not as dilute as I would use indoors either. I purchased a bike cleaning brush which helps to get under the brake calipers, into the bottom bracket flange, clean around the headset, etc. I use a soapy rag to clean the wheels, spokes and the outside of the wheel hubs. Then I rinse it down with a hose. All thats left at this point is the drive train. I use one of those chain cleaner tools to clean the chain (with a full strength citrus cleaner) and then use the cleaner with a brush and rag to finish off the cogs and chainrings. Rinse the whole thing down again. Dry the chain and then let it air dry for an hour or so. Then I place chainlube on the chain one link at a time. Sping it a bit and let it hang in the stand for a while to let any extra chain lube drip off.

At some point I usually dry the bike with a dry rag to avoid spotting.

My bike has some miles and still looks like new ... including the drivetrain. It's a pleasure to ride a sparkling bike.
Oct 21, 2003 4:45 AM
You should never let degreaser (i.e. citrus cleaner) anywhere near your cassette or any other bearings on your bike...(hubs, bb, hs) that stuff WILL find a way in there and do what it was engineered to do....degrease your bearings...not a good idea. I'm also very anal about my bike...including its cleanliness, but squeaky bikes are no pleasure.
Oct 22, 2003 7:35 AM
Hmmm ... intersting point. I was following guidlines that I'd seen in several places. I use it very dilute when cleaning the bike, mainly just soapy water - but what you say makes sense.

Three questions:
1) If you clean your chain with a full strength degreaser, some of that degreaser is going to get on the cassette. How do you manage that not causing the problems you mentioned ?
2) How do you clean your chain-rings and Cassette ?
3) How do you clean the grime that accumulates around the headset, bottom-bracket, etc, if you don't use any kind of soap ?
Best method - rain ride. :)TNSquared
Oct 21, 2003 8:38 AM
ok, so that actually gums up your brakes and rims, but it's a pretty darn easy way to knock the mud off.

There is a difference in maintenance cleaning (i.e. chain and cassette, hub overhauls, etc.) and cosmetic cleaning. I do the former religiously and the latter almost never - except for newly acquired ebay bikes.