bike wash

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by watermelonman, May 24, 2010.

  1. watermelonman

    watermelonman New Member

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    I recently got a very pretty carbon bike, and suddenly find myself caring much more about what my ride is looking like and keeping it running optimally.

    Has anyone got a good bike washing technique they want to share? Does the frame material matter? What should I be looking at for regular maintenance aside from my standard tire pressure check and occasional lubricate spray?
     
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  2. Bastiani

    Bastiani New Member

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    I wash my carbon frame with soapy water and lots of water.... but that's just me...


    anyways the only real thing that you should be looking for is small crack or hairline fractures on the carbon frame... which can lead to catastrophic failures if not found... remember Carbon Fiber is not like Aluminum which yields... when carbon fiber goes it goes.
     
  3. Nasgul

    Nasgul New Member

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    I just use warm water and a wash cloth, then I use car wax to keep the clear coat shiny and protected from dirt and dust, except it doesn't work with tiny rocks 'cause sometimes I find a tiny chip in the clear coat but that's expected.
     
  4. tafi

    tafi Member

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    For the frame and wheels a rag and some kitchen surface cleaner does the trick most of the time every couple of rides.
    For the chain, I lube once a week or so and wipe the outsides of the chain often (every second ride) to remove lube which has come out from the chain along with any surface dirt.

    About once every 6-8 weeks (depending on mileage) I will give it a wash in the stand:
    1) The wheels come off
    2) Chain off and into a tray of kerosene (use a quick link).
    3) Cassette gets a light painting of kero using a cheap paint brush, followed by a spray (using a pressure spray bottle) with car wash and water and a scrub with a dishwashing brush. I spray the carwash over the rims and give them and the spokes a good wipe, followed by a rinse with another spray bottle of water. Leave them in the sun to dry.
    4) The chain and kero it was soaking in go into a plastic jar and agitated to loosen dirt from inside the links. The kero is refreshed and the process repeated until the kero remains relatively clear. Used kero gets filtered through a coffee filter, allowed to settle and then resued next wash time. After this the chain is wiped off and layed on a clean surface.
    5) A light painting of derailleurs, brakes and chainrings with kero to loosen grime followed by carwash. Then spray car wash over the rest of the frame, wipe to clean and then rinse. I then dry off the chainrings and derailleurs with a dry cloth.
    6) The chain is reinstalled on the frame, checked for wear, and then lubed with a couple of drops of oil on the edge of each roller. Lube is only needed under the rollers so splurting it all over the place is an unneccessary waste and is the main reason for dirt build up. After lubing and working the lube in by cranking, as much excess oil as possible is removed from the chain using a cloth dampened with kero.
    7) The wheels are installed, gears and brakes checked and adjusted as necessary, and it's done.

    For the whole wash I budget one litre of water with carwash, and one litre for rinsing. Pressurised spray bottles help reduce water use as opposed to a garden hose or a washing pump. I can't see the total loss of kero being more than 100mL (more likely much less) as the vast majority used is filtered for reuse next time. Once you get it down pat the whole shebang can be done in half an hour.
     
  5. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

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    As Tafi says...Get the dirt laden oil out using a solvent, then get the solvent out using detergent and water, then re-lube with fresh clean lube. I'm sure carbon will stand a little kero; if not then it's too delicate.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I don't own a carbon bike, but I do use Finish Line Bike wash on my bike because it's gentle, has rust inhibitors for my steel rides, and does a real good job of removing whatever crud is on the bike. Then I follow up with a good car wax like Meguiars NXT Generation Tech Wax paste. I use this same wax on my bikes as well as on my classic cars (67 Ford Galaxy 500 Conv and a 79 Chevrolet Camaro Z28); that wax works great and last a long time.

    But the first thing I do is clean the chain and gears with Finish Line degreaser then wash the bike.

    And actually AL frames only yield to a point, then they fail suddenly just as carbon does, but carbon is more fragile.
     
  7. nwilliams

    nwilliams New Member

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    Well according to me am way have the best products for the bike wash. There products give fantastic waxing, polishing etc. It gives a gentle wash and removes all the dirts. It is comparatively cheaper.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    AmWay? Most of AmWay products are other products rebadged then added a very high price to pay all the distributors within the pyramid scheme.

    Meguiars is used by more professional detailers then any other brand followed by Mothers. Mequiars is used by more classic car owners then any other brand and Mothers is second followed by 3M then Zymol, then Zaino. Meguiars is in the business of making synthetic wax that can be layered, which takes time but the results are amazing. Zymol wax is the worlds best all natural 100% carnauba wax (Carnauba wax doesn't last long so you have to keep reapplying it), and works great for someone who wants to restore an older car with older style paints, because older paints breath and natural wax allows the paint to breath; whereas with modern clear coats and synthetic paint that don't breath you need a synthetic wax (last a lot longer then Carnauba) that protects the clear coat and brings out the brillance. All modern bikes use synthetic paint thus you should use Mequiars or Mothers.

    Mequiars NXT is the best single application wax (not a layer type of wax but can be if it's the last stage) for synthetic paint ever made.

    There's millions of waxes on the market and one could go nuts trying them all, but stick with the main companies for consistent proven results. By the way, you can't pay me to use Turtle Wax!!
     
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