Dirty Road Bike


New Member
Jan 29, 2003
Hi everyone. First of all I would like to say that this forum is excellent. Topics are great and replies are very interesting & usefull. As you can see by my subject I need some help with info. Is there any cleaning products specifically for bikes to help take off oil and rubber from the brakes. Some bloke at a bike shop told me that must use "paraffine" (hope I spelled it right), but I'm not so sure it is a good idea. Any suggestions?
RalleighOke - To clean your frame, fork etc you can use mild detergent, be careful if you use a very strong detergent i.e. industrial degreaser, you might loose the 'shine' of your paintwork.

To clean your chain, cassette and drive train use paraffin, because paraffin is oil based it won’t dissolve the other 'good' greases on your drive train, where if you use an alkaline degreaser you will dissolve the 'good' grease along with the 'bad'.

To clean your brakes and braking surface try not to use paraffin or if you do make sure to wash the rim and break surface thoroughly with a mild detergent afterwards to remove the oily residue that the paraffin leaves behind, for obvious reasons.

PS - Don't ever use a pressure washer to clean your bike, the bearings and grease seals are not made to withstand that kind of water pressure.

Below is a copy of a previous post I had. You can scroll down and read all the replies,

Previously posted

I thought it might be productive to share some ways of servicing and repairing my bikes

Use your car carrier with a self made stand to support your bike while working on it. If you use the rearmost clamp and let the bike rest in it you should be able to do almost anything on the bike.

Use a large syringe as a grease gun. Cheap and not messy. Use a syringe with a thick needle as an oil can. Remove the sharp point by grinding away on sandpaper. The oil hardens the rubber of the syringe and you need to replace it every 6 months or so.

Cut an old innertube for use as rubber bands. You will be surprised to find out all the uses you can get for this one. My famous one is to mark the spot where I start lubing my chain. I then lovingly add the White Lightning drop by drop on each chain link. With the price of the stuff one has to do this!!!!!

I use Sunlight Liquid (or any other grease cutting dishwasher) to wash my chain. Small service I take a liberal squirt of the stuff on a rag or sponge and fold it around the chain. I then revolve the chain, wash the gunge off with water (do not use high pressure for that matter NEVER use high water pressure on a bike) and keep on repeating untill the gunge is clear. Wait half an hour or untill the chain is dry and relubricate. Large chain service I remove the chain, wash with parrafin dry and then wash once or twice with dishwasher and HOT water. Leave to dry and lubricate. (added with this post ...-.... Paraffin leave an oily residue after the sovents evaporated. This is not good for the lubricants you want to uses as it affects the adhesion properties)

When washing my bike I use a car shampoo and hot water. I then rinse the bike with gentle pressure. High pressure ensures that water gets into your wheelbearings, BB and heaset bearings. They will rust eventually. I then dry the bike with the blower function on my vaccuum cleaner. I then use Mr Min (a furniture polish with I think a silicon base) to shine the bike. Spray it on and rub it off. This also helps in cleaning the bug strikes when you next wash your bike.

I use Brasso or Silvo as a rubbing compound to touch up scuff marks caused by cables rubbing against the paintwork or normal run of the mill bumps and small scratches. Work very carefully with this one as too juducious rubbing can remove a lot of paint.

That is enough for now and keep those bikes clean and the wheels spinning!!!

Big H