Commuting - How often do you wash your bike?
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10-12-04, 09:54 PM
So, how often do you wash your bike? I'm guessing that the answers are proportional to bicycle age. Lately, at least once a week I end up riding in wet weather. When I get home, my bike is a mess. I wanna wash it. Looks so much better.
Do you think it's bad for a bike to wash it like a car? I try not to spray directly into the bearing areas (der, crank, wheels).
10-12-04, 11:34 PM
i've ridden my bike short distances for 2.5 yrs (and it's 10 yrs old) and washed it a couple months ago for the first time in at least 6 years. Here in cali it barely rains, in the past 2.5 years i've only commuted in light drizzle.
The tires look terrible tho, all stained with brake dust....i'd better go get a rag and some windex.....
10-13-04, 01:41 AM
i never really wash mine. i wipe the frame and cranks down with a rag that has some citrus degreaser on it. i oil it all the time. i also clean my chain a few times a year.
10-13-04, 03:48 AM
I don't wash the entire bike very often, but I pay attention to a couple of things:
1) Wash the wheels & brake pads after riding in the rain.
2) Clean & re-lube the chain when required*
Very occasionally i will go mad and wash the frame, followed by a polish with Turtlewax, which does help against (but not prevent) dirt build up.
*totally arbitary definition of "when required", but in winter often once every two weeks or sooner if weather & roads have been particularly grimy.
10-13-04, 04:48 AM
Not as often as I should.
10-13-04, 07:03 AM
I use a hose and a long handled brush on mine when there's mud caked on the frame/fenders from a wet ride. If there's anything stuck in moving parts (brake/deraillers, etc) I wash it out. I've never done more than scrub the dirt off (IE never polished, etc). It's new this year.
Of course, I also never wash my car. I specifically ordered my car denim blue because you can't tell if it's dirty unless it's got about 1/4" of mud caked on, and the rain washes it off before then.
I usually give mine a rinse with the hose after riding in wet/muddy conditions, then quickly wipe it down with a cloth so nothing rusts.
Riding in dry conditions, the bike doesn't seem to get dirty at all.
10-13-04, 11:11 AM
My commuter rarely gets washed, but does get a wipe down after a wet ride. I degrease and re-lube the drivetrain about once a month.
I wash the roadie frame about twice a year, and degrease and re-lube the drivetrain about every 150-200 miles.
I give our MTBs a really thorough wash at the end of the summer since we don't tend to use them in the winter, but I keep riding the commuter and roadie all year.
10-13-04, 11:45 AM
I admit with shame that I don't wash my commuter bike as much as I should. I don't ride in the rain (unless I get caught in it) but it still builds up dust, grime, etc. I wash my mountain bike after every ride. People probably think I'm a poser cuz my mtb has all the blings but it's always squeaky clean. But because of my anal-retentive washings, I've had it for nearly 10 years and it's still going strong.
My bike washings consist of using Simple Green full strength and cleaning the chain, front and rear der, and cassette. I also rinse off the frame. After drying the bike, I lube the chain, der. and pedals (where the cleats clip in). Throughout the whole procedure of washing and lubing, I keep an eye open for anything that comes loose, any cracks anywhere, and anything that might be wrong. I have caught loose pins in the chain, bent/loose spokes, etc. during my maintenance.
I've done mtb rides with people who are always having mechanical failures and they curse their bikes calling it a POS, but if they took care of it, it wouldn't fail so much. They wouldn't drive 10,000 miles without changing the oil in their car, why would someone expect their bike to ride smoothly when they don't take care of it?
10-13-04, 01:51 PM
My MTB that I use as a draft horse road bike almost never gets washed. It also doesn't get dirty much, and what it does generally sloughs off when riding in the rain.
The other one, that I actually take out and get dirty with for fun, gets sprayed down after every ride. But the bearings on it are grinding and I'm not sure why, so I dont' ride it anymore.
I'm sure if I open the rear brearingcase I'll find that they're either dry or filthy and that'll be the end of it...but I"m too damn lazy for my own good.
Haven't washed it yet (owned it 6 months so far), but I'm religious about wiping it down after each ride, then applying some bike lust. Squeeky clean, baby! :-)
I just wet a rag down and wipe my bike off because it is a waste of water to wash it like a car. I do that about 2 times a month on all my bikes, even they haven't been ridden.
10-13-04, 07:32 PM
I polish my bike with furniture polish in an aerosol can. I think I am using "Olde English" right now, but only b/c it was on sale.
I live in a tiny Chicago apartment so I do not have a good place for a wash down and, during the winter, I need one after every ride. The polish keeps the muck from sticking. Even mud and salt just flake off.
10-14-04, 12:58 AM
I probably wash my old beater commuter more than any other bike but only the wheels and tires. The rims and brakes get really trashed by rain and grime. I wipe the frame down once a week and also clean the headlight and taillight lenses then too. I try to avoid washing around the bearings especially the hubs. Even though they're sealed water can get in. The other bikes don't get cleaned as often because the commuter is the dedicated wet weather bike (that even goes for the mountain bike).
10-14-04, 01:13 AM
More often than I wash my car...The car..I find it's bike roof rack causes me to wash the car less, since I can not run it through a car wash.
10-14-04, 09:33 AM
Never! I make my husband do it.
Seriously, though, I rarely ride in the winter. When I do, I just kick the road turds off the bottom and call it a day.
When I ride in the rain, I figure it gets all washed off by itself. I'll take a rag to the tires if they look like ****.
10-14-04, 10:52 AM
About once a year, whether it needs it or not!
Before someone complains, it is mechanically in good shape.
I wash it when it gets too dirty to wipe...kind of like my butt!
10-15-04, 10:11 PM
Seldom in the Summer but during the other 3 seasons, any where from every few days to every few weeks. Depends on how much its raining & how fast the bike gets grimy.
Having several Rainy day bikes helps but its still easy to accumulate several grimy bikes plus others in need of some repair. This can lead to a mass bike wash to restore my options. Don
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