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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Bike cleaning and detailing...How do you clean yours?

    Hey I'm wondering how everyone cleans the dust and road grime from their bikes? How do you keep your bike looking new? I was wondering if automotive cleaning supplies would work? Or are car paint and bike paint too un-similar

  2. #2
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    1) Baby wipes - they clean pretty well, and I have plenty on hand for the time being.
    2) For polish: pledge and a microfiber rag. Seems to keep the dust down a little

    Automotive stuff should work, but the thought of waxing around bottle cages and derailleurs seems like too much work.

  3. #3
    Darling of The Lounge
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    This is a good thread on the subject:

    Washing Your Bike

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaric View Post
    1) Baby wipes - they clean pretty well, and I have plenty on hand for the time being.
    2) For polish: pledge and a microfiber rag. Seems to keep the dust down a little

    Automotive stuff should work, but the thought of waxing around bottle cages and derailleurs seems like too much work.
    +1 on the baby wipes, mine are all looking after their own sh1t now, so to speak, but I still stock up every now and then. They're pretty good at getting the grease off your hands after cleaning the chain.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaric View Post
    2) For polish: pledge and a microfiber rag. Seems to keep the dust down a little.
    +1 I was a doubter, now I am a believer after trying it out!!!

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I use automotive detailer and a terrycloth rag on the frame and wheels. The chain gets the toothbrush treatment with the occasional automotive brakeclean on a rag to get the tougher stuff off. My bike seldom see water and soap, but sometimes it may be necessary. I use leather cleaner on the saddle.
    2013 DeVinci Leo SL

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    A hose and a towel.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    How do you keep your bike looking new?
    I don't. My bikes aren't new. They don't look new. They look used, and well-maintained for function. Parts where dirtiness affects function (chain, derailleurs, cables, brake pivots, pedal cleat mech) get cleaned often enough to keep working well. Parts where dirt can get on me or the surroundings and be messy (cranks, wheels) get wiped off when they look messy. Parts where dirt has no functional significance (nooks and crannies of the frame) get wiped off if I notice the dirt when I'm working on something else.

    I like riding, and I enjoy working on bikes. "Detailing" doesn't do so much for me.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I don't. My bikes aren't new. They don't look new. They look used, and well-maintained for function. Parts where dirtiness affects function (chain, derailleurs, cables, brake pivots, pedal cleat mech) get cleaned often enough to keep working well. Parts where dirt can get on me or the surroundings and be messy (cranks, wheels) get wiped off when they look messy. Parts where dirt has no functional significance (nooks and crannies of the frame) get wiped off if I notice the dirt when I'm working on something else.

    I like riding, and I enjoy working on bikes. "Detailing" doesn't do so much for me.
    this

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    I don't. My bikes aren't new. They don't look new. They look used, and well-maintained for function. Parts where dirtiness affects function (chain, derailleurs, cables, brake pivots, pedal cleat mech) get cleaned often enough to keep working well. Parts where dirt can get on me or the surroundings and be messy (cranks, wheels) get wiped off when they look messy. Parts where dirt has no functional significance (nooks and crannies of the frame) get wiped off if I notice the dirt when I'm working on something else.

    I like riding, and I enjoy working on bikes. "Detailing" doesn't do so much for me.
    +1. I keep my rides generally clean but don't detail them like crazy. For one, I don't have the time, for two I kind of like my rides to look like I ride them. But hey, maybe one day I'll try the pledge thing.

    I do spend time keeping my drivetrain clean and sometimes get some grease on my hands when I forget to put on gloves so I'll definitely try the babywipe thing if that happens again.
    I ride mostly in the honorable pursuit of being kissed on both cheeks at the same time by one blond and one brunette. But not redheads, they scare me.

  11. #11
    Fecal indicator
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    I detail my bikes a couple of times each month.

    the process gives me a chance to closely inspect things for wear and possible mechanical issues.

    and the end product of a clean, well-maintained rig enhances the enjoyment of riding.

    a couple of the guys I ride with have bikes ranging from $5-7K which are usually filthy...not just dirty, but saddle covers held together with electrical tape and ratty, tattered bar tape...just seems like a lazy mindset to me.
    eff all y'all...

  12. #12
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    degreaser and soap/water. since i work for a team the bikes can never be dirty. now that i'm in the habit of washing the team bikes every time they're ridden, it's no big deal to wash my personal bike every couple of rides. if it never gets very dirty, it's always easy to clean it. i have a couple of brushes that only touch drivetrain parts, and some others that i use on the frame/wheels/brakes/bars etc. this is the way most team guys wash bikes. for soap i use blue dawn dish soap, for degreaser i use simple green or some citrus degreaser. wash, dry, lube. done. it rarely takes more than 5mins per bike.

    this is my drivetrain after a few rides...just wiping the chain after. been probably 3 rides since washing. i've been using francis' chain l, and i'm liking it.



    Last edited by cxwrench; 08-10-2011 at 01:59 PM.
    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

  13. #13
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    simple green, straight from the spray bottle to a rag and then onto the bike.

  14. #14
    SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
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    I might wash it once a month. Mostly just wipe down with a damp rag and then use a pledge wipe and then a cloth.
    Carbon,Steel,Aluminum or Ti,who really cares as long as we ride.

  15. #15
    eminence grease
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    Quote Originally Posted by William_25 View Post
    Hey I'm wondering how everyone cleans the dust and road grime from their bikes? How do you keep your bike looking new? I was wondering if automotive cleaning supplies would work? Or are car paint and bike paint too un-similar
    I ride through puddles and I lube the chain when it gets noisy.
    You'd be better off with a netbook, they do everything better.

    My travel blog: http://tbaroundtheworld.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Still On Steel
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    I graduated from the JCavilia School of Bicycle Hygiene. The obvious grunge gets wiped off when it becomes, well, obvious; whatever accumulates in the less obvious nooks and crannies gets taken care of when I'm working in the area. A bicycle doesn't have to be pristine cosmetically to be sound mechanically and functionally.

    When I do clean, I apply a VERY small squirt of dishwashing liquid to one of those heavy-duty blue shop paper towels, wet it, wring it until it is almost dry, and then wipe down the bicycle and its components.
    Allez Rouge

  17. #17
    SoCal--S Beach to the Dam
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    Carbon,Steel,Aluminum or Ti,who really cares as long as we ride.

  18. #18
    Not a rocket surgeon.
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    I use Pedros bike lust. I like it.

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tihsepa View Post
    I use Pedros bike lust. I like it.
    I like it too. And with my approach, it lasts a long time. I've been working on one bottle for about 10 years ;-)

  20. #20
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Bike Lust is a fantastic product, for sure. makes your bike fast...er...
    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

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I use a damp kitchen sponge and follow it with a rag to dry it. Only takes a few seconds and gives me a quick inspection of the bike. I wipe the chain with a piece of a paper towel. About every 200 miles I remove the chain and drop it in an old laundry soap bottle with some Casterol Super Clean. Swish it around for a few minutes then rinse throughly. Gently bang the chain against a few sheets of newspaper to knock off most of the water, wipe with more paper towel, then dry with a hair dryer, get it hot enough to completely dry it. Wipe the chain rings, floss the cassette. Then re-lube.
    Last edited by walrus; 08-11-2011 at 12:16 AM.

  22. #22
    I ride in circles..
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    I wipe my bike down with a damp cloth.. Sometimes I add a splash of 90% rubbing alcohol to cut some of the nastiness.. I like my bike staying clean. I used to use armorall but it leaves a film that I don't care for. Same with bike lust.
    ~ Long Live Long Rides~

  23. #23
    Needs new heart and legs
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    spray it with WD40

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I put a plastic grocery bag over either side of the bars to keep water out of the shifters. Then a quick, low pressure rinse with a hose, then a bucket of warm, soapy water & a sponge. Dry it, lube the chain.

    Once every three months or so I'll wax the frame & hit all the campy with simichrome, put some proofhide on the Brooks.
    Hell is other posters

  25. #25
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    The plastic grocery bag is a good idea. I'm going to have to try it because I use generous amounts of warm, soapy water too. After I dry it, I use furniture wax (apply to rag and wipe down bike).

    For the drive train, I use one of the mechanical chain cleaners that you add degreaser liquid to it's wet sump area. I think it is all Spin Doctor stuff. On the gears, I use a spray on degreaser (I think it is Finish Line), but I am careful not to get it on the frame or in areas where it might seep down into bearings. For instance, when I do the back gear cluster, I hold the wheel so the gears are pointed downward. Then I wipe everything with shop towels and use the edges of the towels to floss between the gears.

    One final thing, when I relube, I use the tri-flow in the squeeze bottle on the hinges of the derailleurs and on the contact points where the wheel axles rest in the forks and stays (or whatever the rear area is called).

    I probably don't have the best method as I have a lot to learn, but I try to be thorough and not screw anything up.

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