How Do You Clean Your Bikes?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by lectraplayer, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    I went to give my bikes their anual baths, but I spent more time chasing them, trying to keep them standing up so I can wash them. I think all I did was get them muddier than on a ride.

    How do you get all that oily grime off your bikes?
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    The MTBs gets hosed down, then a scrub with regular washing-up liquid, then another hosing.
    The commuter gets the same, usually followed up by a wipe down with a rag soaked in a degreaser or concentrated detergent.
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I wash my bikes more than just once a year that way they're not muddier after I'm done cleaning them! so start with that, clean your bike at least 4 times a year.

    I use a hose with a sprayer, but I put the sprayer on gentle spray not power wash. Rinse the bike real well, soap up with Dawn for Dishes, rinse again. If it's a painted bike I use Meguiar's products for my cars and for my bikes, for dark colors use Black Wax, for very light colors use White Wax, then for touch up between waxing I use NXT Generations spray wax. DO NOT use any type of wax that has any compound to it or abrasives or that promises to take out dullness or scratches because bicycle paint is a lot thinner than automotive paint and eventually you will rub your paint away. For my unpainted titanium bike I simply use Windex, followed up by WD40 which I let dry, then I use the NXT Generations Spray wax and not Pledge because Pledge doesn't last long, and why would it last long? it's made for indoor furniture and not for a car or a bike that's outdoors a lot, but I hear people all the time saying to use Pledge, don't, it's worthless except on furniture.

    Don't forget to relube your chain after washing. Matter of fact It's best to clean the chain first, then wash and detail it, then relube the chain.
     
  4. joshposh

    joshposh Banned

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    I just use water and a simple liquid soap to clean my bikes. When it comes to the tires I use a strong degreaser to get the tires nice and black. After that I use armor all to make the tires look good.
     
  5. Mengtian

    Mengtian New Member

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    Once a month I put my bike on bike stand, take off the wheels. I take the cassette off the rear and clean each gear. I take the crank off and do the same.

    I take the chain off and clean that. If I am very bored that day I take the sprockets off of the rear derailler and clean those.

    The bike I clean with a degreser if needed. If not, just spray it down with dish soap.

    Beleive it or not...the whole thing takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours if I take my time.
     
  6. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    That.is what I was doing but it apparantly don't like my brush/rag, as it kept "running." I guess I need to try a stand or table. :D

    Anyway, I don't let them stay looking like a mud truck. I always hose it off after a muddy ride, so it's just the grimy oil residue I was after.
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    DO NOT USE ARMORALL on bicycle tires. What kind of post is this? Are you trying to kill a few cyclists around here?

    Road bike tires have very low profile sidewalls, if you accidently get some on your braking surface of a rim then when you go to stop...heck that's worse than water on your rims! Or the stuff accidently gets on the tread of the tire and the first turn or stop you make you slide. I know, you're careful, but Armorall will migrate onto the tread area, or if starts to rain the rain will wash it onto the tread. On top of all that Armorall is actually destructive toward rubber compounds, on a car tire it's not too big of an issue because the sidewall is very thick (but on door seals etc you will shorten the life of those seals dramatically), but on a bike tire that has almost paper thin sidewalls you could be shortening the life of the tire dramatically.

    Armorall actually makes vinyl and rubber products dry out faster causing the products to harden and crack because it's a petroleum and silicone based product.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Like I said I use Dawn for Dishes, it removes grimy oil residue without using some sort of degreaser that could damage paint, carbon fiber, aluminum, etc. If you clean your bike and not over lube your chain you shouldn't have grimy oil residue on your bike after a ride, or even after many rides for that matter.

    There isn't any need to remove your chain to clean it either. Today there are chain cleaning machines like the Park that works very well, I use two or three things now to clean my chain, first one is if I'm cleaning the bike I use the Dawn for Dishes to clean the bike and chain; if I'm not cleaning the bike or after I'm done cleaning the bike then I use first (or second if following a bike cleaning) the Park Chain Cleaning Machine, I like this one better than others I've seen because it has a magnet at the base of the solvent reservoir that picks up metal fragments from the gears and chain; after I done with that I spray the chain with White Lightening Clean Streak or Finish Line Citrus Degreaser. Then I wait about 2 hours even though the White Lightning Degreaser drys super fast, then afterwards I apply the lube and wait overnight for it to dry (I usually wait 24 hours unless for some reason I'm in a rush).
     
  9. lectraplayer

    lectraplayer Member

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    I knew about Armor All. It also reduces grip, which may cause busted butts if you ride hard.
     
  10. RoundTrip

    RoundTrip New Member

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    I use a basic hose for the main, and then a hand held karcher steam cleaner, for the finer points, always comes out shining!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Saraweib

    Saraweib New Member

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    Cleaning the bike yourself is the best care
     
  12. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, my bike is cleaned by your housemaid. Using a hose and then wiping it dry is the basic cleaning although when it is muddy, car shampoo is applied. I am very particular in the drying of the wet bike because letting the wet bike dry by itself can cause rust to some part. There are times that I also apply grease on the chain although that is an occasional chore.
     
  13. DenisP

    DenisP Member

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    As a mountain biker, I spend a lot of time cleaning my bike--like, on a daily basis. And because I have to clean my bike on a daily basis, I've grown to be a lot less meticulous about it.

    For the most part, I just lay it down in my backyard and hose it down with water using an extremely high pressure nozzle. Usually it does the trick at knocking most patches of mud loose from the tires, brakes, and chain. If any mud happens to still stick, I just dig it out with a random utensil I happen to have on hand.

    Afterwards, I dry off the chain, cogset and breaks, and then oil them in order to prevent them from rusting. And that's about it.
     
  14. reighn

    reighn Member

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    Just water and liquid soap. But sometimes I'm using the normal brand of shampoo. Shampoo helps a lot to make my bike looks shiny and no need for some metal polish.
     
  15. treecko142

    treecko142 Member

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    Water through a hose and I use car soap, I usually wash my car and bike at the same time to save water and energy. What's important is to have a nice pressure on your water hose so that it helps remove the dirt which sticks on the wheels of the bike.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Be careful using a hose because you don't want forceful water, you want something almost close to a fine spray, in fact some people use those liquid fertilizer/insecticide/weed killer bottle that you fill up and then pump up then spray, so cyclists have been using those and filling them up with water instead of a chemical, and the wand produces enough water at low pressure to rinse off the bike. Too much water force can make water penetrate seals and ruin bearings, you don't want that.

    Use Dawn Ultra for your soap, do not use Dawn that has any citrus stuff in it. Don't use anything abrasive, I use a soft sponge for the frame and wheel cleaning. Dawn will remove grease quite well so there isn't any need for a degreaser unless the grease has been on there for a very long time. There is a brush made for gear cleaning you can use on your gears to get between the sprockets and teeth, just keep it soaked in Dawn as you use it. Use an old toothbrush, again constantly being soaked in Dawn and clean crevices, teeth you may had problems cleaning with the gear brush and pulleys. Next use a bucket with fresh water and fresh Dawn in it and take the soft sponge and clean the frame and wheels, again constantly keeping the sponge wet. Then rinse with something like this filled with water: https://www.homedepot.com/p/HDX-2-G...gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CPbbxuLH8toCFZkbAQodJsQHVQ After the rinsing is complete dry the bike with a cloth then let it set in the sun for a couple of hours to make sure it's dry.

    Handlebar tape can be easily cleaned with 401.

    If you have a painted bike it may be wise to wax it, but use a non abrasive wax, if the wax says it can remove oxidation, swirls, and fine scratches or cleans it's abrasive find another wax, I use car wax, bicycle wax is not better just because it says it's bicycle wax, in fact bicycle wax cost a lot more then auto wax and auto wax is actually better. I happen to use Meguiar's NXT Generation Tech Wax, but Mothers California Gold and Zymol are great too but those use pure carnauba wax and it doesn't hold up long like the Meguiars. Some waxes perform better with darker instead of lighter colors so read the bottle to see it if will work good with your bike. If you have a painted steel or aluminum bike and it's paint is in rough condition then you can use a abrasive wax to try to clean it up, just don't go crazy rubbing like a maniac trying to get the paint to pop, do one application rubbing lightly then stop, buff and then switch over to the non abrasive wax. Bike manufacturers do not use a robust paint job like what's found on cars and that's why you don't want to use an abrasive wax.

    Don't use any tire shine products on the your tires or else you might wonder why you crashed going around a corner!

    When you're all done relube the pivot joints on derailleurs and brake calipers, relube the chain, let the lube set on the chain overnight then wipe with a rag. Also in regards to lubing the chain, after every ride you should be wiping down the chain.
     
  17. Ashley Gray

    Ashley Gray Member

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    I'm doing the same thing also. I juts wash my bike with regular liquid soap but also the good water pressure can help clean the wheels.
     
  18. Kakashi

    Kakashi Active Member

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    I go to a carwash and pay $0.50 and my MTB looks brand new and squeaky clean. A car cost S2 to get an exterior wash and buffing here so I bring my MTB and pay $0.50 extra or I just hop on to it and bike to the carwash which is down 2 streets from were I'm living. I usually have it wash every time I use it, so that it always look good.
     
  19. jakejhonson

    jakejhonson New Member

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    I usually clean the chain and discs first with aerosol. Then wash, put bike spray, brush it, then wash it again, then, rinse it with water then wipe.
     
  20. Steve5

    Steve5 Member

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    I only do light cleaning on my bike. It's easy to clean because I don't normally go through dirty areas. I use a simple wet cloth with a bit of mild soapy water to keep it relatively neat. But I have it cleaned two to three times a year.
     
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