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  1. #1
    Ride 2 Live * Live 2 Ride
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    Question Washing/Cleaning Carbon Fiber Bicycles

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what product to use to wash and clean a carbon fiber finish? Any suggestions on degreasers is also welcome.

    I have been using Dawn, dish washing detergent. It cleans the surface, but doesn't seem to remove the sticky road grime though.It also seems to do a good job on removing the road salt and sand.

    Want to keep the new bike looking good.
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  2. #2
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    Car wash soap and Simple green.

    They have a clear coat just like a car, there's no need for any special chemicals

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    Car wash soap and Simple green.

    They have a clear coat just like a car, there's no need for any special chemicals
    +1 then polish with pedros bike lust.

  4. #4
    Re-Cyclist
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    Most of the crap will rinse off with water, either from a hose or a wet rag. The few greasy spots left will be easily removed with a drop or two of Goo Gone, Goof Off, or naptha on a rag wrapped around your finger. No need to soap up the whole thing unless you fell in a mud puddle.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    Car wash soap and Simple green.

    They have a clear coat just like a car, there's no need for any special chemicals
    What he said...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    Car wash soap and Simple green.

    They have a clear coat just like a car, there's no need for any special chemicals
    I'm weary of using Simple Green---I think that stuff is too strong for carbon fiber. Simple Green almost works like a stripping chemical that I feel is too dangerous to use on carbon fiber repeatedly.

  7. #7
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eschelon View Post
    I'm weary of using Simple Green---I think that stuff is too strong for carbon fiber. Simple Green almost works like a stripping chemical that I feel is too dangerous to use on carbon fiber repeatedly.
    dawn dish soap on the frame. if there are any stubborn spots, get them w/ simple green. rinse when you're done, no worries. you can always dilute the simple green if that will make you feel better, but the water rinse gets it all off anyway.
    simple green on the drivetrain parts, using brushes that only touch drivetrain parts. rinse thoroughly.
    dry
    lube
    done.

    i've washed all of my bikes this way hundreds of times, and all the team bikes like this every year for the past 4-5. never a problem.
    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
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    oh, those belong in another forum

  8. #8
    crj
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    Any aluminum on your bike, Simple Green is not safe for aluminum.
    "If it ain't broke the government will keep fixing it till it is."

  9. #9
    Re-Cyclist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eschelon View Post
    I'm weary of using Simple Green---I think that stuff is too strong for carbon fiber. Simple Green almost works like a stripping chemical that I feel is too dangerous to use on carbon fiber repeatedly.
    There is probably NO carbon fiber material actually exposed to air on your bike. It's all coated. Don't worry.
    Santa Barbara, CA -- My Photo Site -- My Business Site

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I use a "spray on, wipe off" car wax after washing. A waxed bike...

    1.) Doesn't get as dirty
    2.) Is much easier to clean when it does
    "It ain't a teacup that the Queen gave you - it's a bike. Ride it!"

  11. #11
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    Water, clean rag, spray furniture polish. Stay away from harsh chemicals especially close to a braze on as they are simply glued on the CF and whatever you use to get the gunk off may un-seal the glue they used. I had to re-glue the rear derailuer cable stop when I wasn't watching and had degreaser drip off my chain and the braze on slipped off...

  12. #12
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    +1 for furniture polish. I use Pledge.
    Happy Riding!!

  13. #13
    Just Plain Bitter
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollowlegs99 View Post
    I had to re-glue the rear derailuer cable stop when I wasn't watching and had degreaser drip off my chain and the braze on slipped off...
    Really? I have a 2009 Look 586 that I clean weekly using Simple green and car wash soap. I use this on a Campagnolo Super record 11 drive train and have seen no ill effects from this and I usually soak it pretty good. I did the same on 2010 Specialized Roubaix Pro with no ill affects until I sold it late last year. I have sprayed the entire frame with simple green to get gunk from energy drink that has become welded to the frame from multiple day events when I couldn't wash the bike

    Simple Green is a local company to me and says the cleaner is non-toxic and biodegradable. The common emergency tretment if ingested is to drink more water to dilute. If it isn;t going to kill my insides I can't se how it would have an effect on my CF frame of aluminum as has been said. There is now such mention of this type of corrosive property in its published MSDS either. Seems pretty safe to me to use almost anywhere!
    Quote Originally Posted by Catzilla;
    Like, if "troubling" were a level seven worry, "concerning" would be a six, with "frightening" being an eight and "unexplained genital rash" being a nine.

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  14. #14
    Frog Whisperer
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    if it's safe enough for your hands, it's safe enough for any bike.....the corollary is, if it damages your paint or bike, you shouldn't have had your hands in it in the first place.

    dawn will take any wax off if you have way or polish on the bike. If the film is not water soluble (soap and water) try mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol. An extremely alkaline soap (ie simple green) will damage annodization if not rinsed off promptly....period.
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right......

  15. #15
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by crj View Post
    Any aluminum on your bike, Simple Green is not safe for aluminum.
    you'd think after hundreds and hundreds of bike washes using simple green i would have noticed something if this were true...if you rinse if off (and why wouldn't you?) it's fine.
    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

  16. #16
    Frog Whisperer
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    you'd think after hundreds and hundreds of bike washes using simple green i would have noticed something if this were true...if you rinse if off (and why wouldn't you?) it's fine.
    AS LONG as you rinse well, there are no issues. Not rinsing properly WILL damage anodization, no if's and's or buts......you try it once ......no maybe's about it
    Of course I'm sure...that doesn't mean I'm right......

  17. #17
    Pitts Pilot
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    I use a car wash soap, as dish soap strips wax. I have a couple brushes with very long soft bristles Baby wipes are pretty handy for quick touch ups. McGuires quick detail spray is nice too, either after a wash or when you don't want to do a full wash. I do wax a few times a year - just find it enjoyable.

  18. #18
    Resident Curmudgeon
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    As others have said, it's only paint like the stuff on your car.
    Before you criticize someone walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them you'll be a mile away & you'll have their shoes.

  19. #19
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    -Rinse with water
    -wash with car soap and towel
    -Rinse with water
    -dry with terrycloth towel
    -degrease components (when necessary)
    -re-lube components (as necessary)
    -spray wax on
    -spray wax off


    Done

  20. #20
    Darling of The Lounge
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    I posted this about five years ago, but still relevant today:

    I wash my bikes about four times a year with the same Meguire's soap I use on my cars. In fact, I normally will wash one of my cars and there's always about a 1/4 bucket of soap left, which is more than enough to do a bike.

    I also remove the chain and let it soak in a hot solution of Simple Green and water. The rest of the drivetrain is cleaned with Gunk Citrus Degreaser in a spray can.

    Once the frame is washed, I use a canister blower dry that we purchased to dry our dog after a bath. I blow dry every nook and cranny of the bike to avoid any water collecting.

    Once dry, I wipe the frame down with this stuff called Speedshine I purchased from Groit's Gararge. It is suppose to be for automotive finishes, but it works great on a bike frame too.

  21. #21
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    Baby wipes work great....

    OTB

  22. #22
    Cat 6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wetpaint View Post
    Car wash soap and Simple green.

    They have a clear coat just like a car, there's no need for any special chemicals
    +1 Exactly what I use!

  23. #23
    Slippery Old Devil
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    Keep Simple Green away from alloy. Pledge is water soluble.
    Use this on the frame and rims. It won't come off in the rain.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  24. #24
    Just Plain Bitter
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    Quote Originally Posted by oily666 View Post
    Keep Simple Green away from alloy
    I just can't seem to find this anywhere in their MSDS(Corrosive Warning) or from my personal experience. Would be interesting to find out where this is coming form.

    The only warning on the sheet is that if you ingest it to drink more water to dilute it. If it were a corrosive I would think they would vomiting and charcoal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Catzilla;
    Like, if "troubling" were a level seven worry, "concerning" would be a six, with "frightening" being an eight and "unexplained genital rash" being a nine.

    2007 Pegoretti Duende Campy SR 11 Campagnolo Neutron
    2009 Look 586 Campy SR 11 HED Ardennes/HED Jet 6
    2012 Raliegh Roper - Stock for now

  25. #25
    Mehpic
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    Quote Originally Posted by crj View Post
    Any aluminum on your bike, Simple Green is not safe for aluminum.
    learned this one the hard way- had a black ano truvativ aluminum chain ring, threw it into the heated parts wash, 20 minutes later i had a silver chain ring!

    the LBS i work at uses simple green and a rag to wipe down most bikes. we'll use the same thing and a water filled fertilizer/pesticide pressurized sprayer for the more grimy of bikes.
    catzilla: I wish we were all a little more invincible.

    The NEGU Foundation: Caring for Courageous Kids http://www.thenegufoundation.org/

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