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  1. #1
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    How do you clean your bike?

    Normally, I just make sure the drive train and cables are clean, and I just let the dirt on the frame dry up and fall off. On the MTB, I'll either pour a little water over it and sponge it off, or maybe spray it gently with a hose if it gets really muddy. I try to avoid the hose though, because I don't want water getting into the bearings.

    Maybe you guys can give me some tips on how you clean your road bike? Tools? Cleaning solutions? Methods? Articles?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    Nope, you are already doing more than I do.

  3. #3
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    I just use an old rag and wipe the frame, wheels, and cables off. Then I make sure the chain is clean and lubed. Nothing fancy.

  4. #4
    FTR
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    Burn baby, burn.
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    Clean chain, rings and cassette.
    Then exactly the same way as I wash my car.
    Spray with water.
    Wash with soapy water and sponge.
    Spray with water.


    It is a bike, not a fragile crystal vase.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTR View Post
    Clean chain, rings and cassette.
    Then exactly the same way as I wash my car.
    Spray with water.
    Wash with soapy water and sponge.
    Spray with water.


    It is a bike, not a fragile crystal vase.
    exactly as i do...wash with a good powerful hose,soapy water and sponge,hose down and every 2-3 rides lube aain.

  6. #6
    Velocipediologist
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    loufa and hair conditioner
    This mssg brought to you by Mr. Bananas.

    Shouldn't it be called a 'nipple wrench'?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trey99ek View Post
    I just use an old rag and wipe the frame, wheels, and cables off. Then I make sure the chain is clean and lubed. Nothing fancy.
    This is pretty much it. If there are some real stickies I might go after them with a damp rag. The bike gets this treatment about every 350 miles and sooner if I get caught in the rain or riding on wet roads that throw up a lot of junk.

    Every winter I take the bike down to the frame and everything that comes apart is taken apart, wiped clean, and lubed. This is when my frame and rims get the cleanest but again it is just a damp/wet rag to remove stuff that doesn't just wipe off with a dry rag.

  8. #8
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    Rinse it with the hose and wipe dry.

    If the Mrs. or myself is washing a vehicle the bike gets washed, rinsed and dried also.

    In the winter it gets wiped with a damp rag and dried.

    Lube when necessary.

    And like Kerry Irons does, it gets taken apart and refreshed for the spring.

    I like the spring.

  9. #9
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    In addition to cleaning, I use some spray-on/wipe-off car wax every once in awhile. Keeps the bike cleaner, as less stuff actually sticks to the bike. Plus makes it easier to clean next time because anything that may stick to the bike comes off easier when I do clean it.
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  10. #10
    Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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    My brushed Ti roadie may get cleaned twice a year. Maybe. I think it looks better with a light patina of road on it. It gets its appreciation on the road.

    At the other end of the spectrum, first you have to understand that I live in an apartment and have no place other than my living room to store the bikes.

    My primary commuter gets hosed down in the shower when it comes home wet, slushy, or salt encrusted. This time of year, that means daily. This is more to keep the living room clean than to keep the bike clean. It gets a good wash (with blue Dawn, followed up with Bike Lust) about once a month, year round.





    Every spring it gets stripped and thoroughly desalinated. Then re-greased and put back together, with a new chain and cables.

    The other bikes fall somewhere between these two in washing frequency.

    As for routine maintenance, and old shower curtain gets thrown over the coffee table, and that's my work stand. Chains get cleaned and lubed while I sit on the couch. When parts need degreasing, I found a black dishpan at WalMart. That, some Simple Green and the kitchen sink do it up just fine.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJP Diver View Post
    In addition to cleaning, I use some spray-on/wipe-off car wax every once in awhile. Keeps the bike cleaner, as less stuff actually sticks to the bike. Plus makes it easier to clean next time because anything that may stick to the bike comes off easier when I do clean it.
    Same here, I just use a wipe on car cleaner wax. Seems like mud and grime stick a little less, bike looks better.

  12. #12
    Velocipediologist
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    Shamwo & baby oil
    This mssg brought to you by Mr. Bananas.

    Shouldn't it be called a 'nipple wrench'?

  13. #13
    Velocipediologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by brucew View Post
    My brushed Ti roadie may get cleaned twice a year. Maybe. I think it looks better with a light patina of road on it. It gets its appreciation on the road.
    In an attempt to gain some leniency from my wife I showed her these pics. I explained that you are in an apt.
    I've got (2) bikes stored in our house. My approach was, "look at this guy!!! he hangs bikes in the shower for a wash job!" Thought it might make her see that (2) bikes 'stored' inside was no biggie.

    Sorry, but at your expense I was putting you up as an inconsiderate, me first, cycling nut (the same as the rest of us).

    Her response.............."wow what a smart guy". "He doesn't have any other place to do a good cleaning, he's a real thinker." And then she told me to get the bikes OUT!
    This mssg brought to you by Mr. Bananas.

    Shouldn't it be called a 'nipple wrench'?

  14. #14
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    often and thoroughly.
    i work for some bike racers...
    2013 Trek Madone 5.9 w/ '12 SRAM Red
    2010 Cervelo T1 sprint bike
    Ruger 10-22TD
    Smith&Wesson M&P 15-22
    Smith&Wesson M&P 9
    oh, those belong in another forum

  15. #15
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    I have three methods for cleaning my bikes:

    1. ignore it. Time needed: 0 minutes. Frequency: nearly every day.

    2. Wipe down very quickly with a rag and a spray bottle of 409 cleaner for anything that needs a cleanser (oily, etc.) and another of water for the not-dirty parts and to rinse. Time needed: 5 minutes. Frequency: whenever it gets a little muddy and I'm tired of ignoring it ... every few weeks or whenever it is just filthy

    3. Put the bike on the repair stand in the back yard. Take the wheels and chain off and wash the entire bike and derailleurs pretty thoroughly with a set of small-large soft non-bike-specific bristle brushes I have, bucket of soapy water, rinse gently with hose. Do same with wheels, clean and lube chain. Time needed: 30 minutes. Frequency: whenever it gets pretty dirty and I'm tired of ignoring it or am ambitious ... a couple times / summer.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I use spray Pledge and and paper towels because I don't ride my bikes in bad weather (don't judge me). However, I did ride my single speed in the rain once on a gravel trail. for that, I hosed it down in the driveway. Once the bike dried, I took it to the man cave (small corner in the laundry room) and removed the wheels and saddle and hit the bike with spray Pledge.
    2009 Cannondale CAAD9-5
    2009 Fuji Aloha 2.0
    2011 Dawes SST AL Singlespeed/Fixed

  17. #17
    Burnum Upus Quadricepus
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    Quote Originally Posted by metoou2 View Post
    Sorry, but at your expense I was putting you up as an inconsiderate, me first, cycling nut (the same as the rest of us).
    I feel… so… so… used!

  18. #18
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    Has anyone tried the WD-40 bike wash products yet, if so how did you like the results. If so my 2nd question is where did you get them?

  19. #19
    Old Skool
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    Thumbs up +1 for Lemon Pledge

    Personally, I am in the hose, brush, wet rag and towel dry crowd. Truthfully, a bit of a nitnick. Then the drive train get lubed and cleaned with home brew. I finish the bike with Lemon Pledge. I agree with the wax helps the dirt to not stick so much theory.
    The avatar is not me; just cool and suitably old skool.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stogaguy View Post
    Personally, I am in the hose, brush, wet rag and towel dry crowd. Truthfully, a bit of a nitnick. Then the drive train get lubed and cleaned with home brew. I finish the bike with Lemon Pledge. I agree with the wax helps the dirt to not stick so much theory.
    "home brew"...more details please

  21. #21
    Old Skool
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    Home Brew

    "Home brew" refers to homemade chain lube. It is a mix of oil and solvent. Mixes range depending on the preference of the individual My current mix is 1 part chainsaw bar oil and 3-4 parts OMS (odorless mineral spirits, aka paint thinner). The solvent cleans the drive train parts and the oil lubricates. Because the mixture is quite thin when applied, it penetrates very well. The solvent then evaporates leaving a very thin film of oil.

    Do a search of this forum for both "home brew" and "homebrew" you will come up with numerous threads. Here is a link to get you started;
    Best Chain Lube/Cleaning Routine
    The avatar is not me; just cool and suitably old skool.

  22. #22
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    Wow, Brucew, when I saw those pics...that reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer decided to cut down on his kitchen prep time by doing everything in the shower while he was showering! As for the OP in answer to your question, the best thing to do is to wash your bike if its dirty & to degrease & lube your drive train. I just washed my road bike after Saturday's ride which was particularly messy. There was a lot of salt, slush & muck.

    The temperature was like 32F. I like using car products which are readily available. So I filled a bucket with Simoniz car wash & went outside to wash the bike. Degreased the drive train first & then washed everything. I can only say that if you like to wipe your bike down with a dry rag or even a wet one is not a wise decision. If your bike is really dirty, the dirt particles on the rag will act like sandpaper & what will eventually happen is that your shiny bike finish will start to become dull & faded. Read your owners manual for your car's maintenance. Car paint is more durable than the paint on a bike & all car manufacturers will tell you to wash your car when its dirty. Not wipe it down.

  23. #23
    Velocipediologist
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamara View Post
    Wow, Brucew, when I saw those pics...that reminded me of that episode of Seinfeld where Kramer decided to cut down on his kitchen prep time by doing everything in the shower while he was showering!
    Eureka! that's it...........oil, vinegar and some crushed pepper from now on.

    (that was great when Kramer made that salad that everyone was eating)

  24. #24
    x37
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    with dishsoap, OR, with HERTEL spray, especially because it goes well with my fav colours of nailpolish. ;)
    How do you clean your bike?-img_2212.jpg

  25. #25
    Velocipediologist
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    yes, yes.................indeed
    This mssg brought to you by Mr. Bananas.

    Shouldn't it be called a 'nipple wrench'?

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