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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 06-18-02, 04:24 AM   #1
kzochert
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As a dimwitted newbie....cleaning the bike?

I really need to clean my bike. Cleaning the frame is pretty self explanitory, but what about the other stuff? For Example: The derailers gears, shocks, etc., also regreasing everything including shocks. Any particular products recommended or needed? THank you guys very much.
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Old 06-18-02, 06:13 AM   #2
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Cleaning a bike is easy in theory. Just wash and wax it like a car.

Derailures and other stuff? Sure, spray some Simple Green on it, rinse, and relubricate if you want to keep it simple.

HOWEVER, as an experiment, I washed a bike with the typical method recently - soap down with a sponge/brush, and then squirt/rinse with a hose. THEN, I took the bike completely apart.

I was shocked at how much water made it INSIDE the frame from this simple cleaning. Water got inside the wheel hubs as well!

As a result, I now recommend gentle rinsing with a thick sponge rather than squirting with a hose.

I recommend you put pipe cleaners around your bottom bracket axles and around your handlebar stem collar to prevent water from getting into the bearings. (I wonder why most bicycles don't have gaskets on the axles?)

Avoid getting water around hubs.

Last edited by mike; 06-18-02 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 06-18-02, 06:26 AM   #3
Calvin Jones
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For help in cleaning see
http://www.parktool.com/repair_help/BCB4.shtml

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Old 06-18-02, 06:42 AM   #4
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Park recommended washing underneath the saddle with the bike in an upright position.

Depending on the type of seat post you have, this could be a way for water to travel down the inside of the seat tube OR even the slit in the post tube where the soap/water would end up in the bottom bracket. This would certainly be the case with older bikes or modestly priced bikes that would have open ended seat posts.

Be careful not to do that.
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Old 06-23-02, 03:27 PM   #5
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I recently washed my new Fuji Roubaix-Pro using the Simple Green method and a gentle hosing off. I delierately turned the water pressure low.

Now there is a soft, high-pitched squeek or squeal (sp?) when I rotate the rear wheel, and nothing is rubbing. I mean the brakes aren't touching the rim and the tire isn't touching the frame anywhere.

I wonder if I degreased the rear hub accidentally or something. It seems unlikely, but what else could cause the sound?
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Old 06-23-02, 06:06 PM   #6
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I get out a bucket, put in some warm water and a little bit of dish detergent, and use an old t-shirt ( with the excess water squeazed out) to wipe down the frame and as much of the components I can get to... then I go over the tight spots with an old tooth brush dipped in the soapy water... then go over the whole thing with a dry cloth... Works great every time, and I do it on both Mtn. and Road bikes at least once a week. Simple Oldschool...

Yes, I clean and re-lube the drive train each cleaning as well... a maintained bike is a working bike.

Last edited by bikehard700; 06-23-02 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 06-23-02, 09:38 PM   #7
kzochert
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Yeah, I mostly concerned about the drive train, bottom bracket, and hubs, as far as keeping them in tip top working condition.

I just cleaned my bike with a degreaser to get the crappy dirt ridden grease out(no, not the frame), then greased the chain about four times. But i feel like I should be doing something witht the other components of the bike.
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Old 06-24-02, 06:42 AM   #8
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For those hard to reach area that are not easily acessible, I reccomend the "Grunge Brush" by Finish Line. You can also clean your chain with one part and do things like reach inside the der. and between the rear cogs. An inexpensive but useful tool.
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Old 06-26-02, 03:57 PM   #9
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I dont clean my bike often but heres what I do.

I for the frame I just use water and then wipe it dry. Before I do that I usually remove almost everything on my frame except for the fork and chain.

To clean the drive train, I remove my bb, clean it with a wet cloth and regreese and then reinstall.

for the clogset I usually just removed it and clean it really well with soap and water and then reinstall.

for the chain. just use soap and water or degresser.

then reinstall everything and make sure to lub it.

for small wheels and bearings just remove and clean by hand.
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Old 06-27-02, 06:53 PM   #10
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I'm just curious, but is degreasing the drive train neccessary? I Clean my bike about once a week, and was wondering if i should do that. And what type of grease do we all use on the chain???

Thanx
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Old 06-27-02, 07:45 PM   #11
kzochert
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I personally (as a dimwitted newbie) degrease with a engine degreaser (half the price as the stuff sold in bike shops yet has the same qualities) and grease it with white Lightning.

But what do the pros think?
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Old 07-01-02, 03:20 AM   #12
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i don't really clean my bike too often as well, but once in a while, i'll take apart everything and use paint thinner (any solvent) and remove all the build up that's on the cogs and chainrings. I don't do it too often cuz i've switched over to White Lightening or Krytech. Both of those lubes on the chain don't leave too much crud on my gears, so i don't have to clean them too often. I'm not a big fan of hosing my bike down, but a light spray can help clean off the dryed mud before it chips off your paintjob...and i don't hose above the toptube of my bike. Water has a habbit of getting into sealed bearings so becareful when you wash!
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Old 07-01-02, 06:37 AM   #13
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As far as cleaning goes, I use a cheap chain cleaner, I bought it at mec, www.mec.ca
i use their chain cleaner, $5 for a liter
and that usualy keeps the rest of the drive train clean.
but for the times the cogs get really grungie, I use a rubbermaid grout brush, it can get between the cogs just fine.
and a gentle spritz form the old hose after, never ever pointing the hose at any hub / botom bracket / head set.
(also, you should repack headset bearings, a coupple of times a year / season its easies for them to become dry due to gravity and their design, acording to my LBS)

But does anyone know if Mountain bikes can handle more dirt and moisture than the road bikes can? as far as being designed for it?
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Old 07-01-02, 01:21 PM   #14
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its not that the performance will be reduced on a road bike due to dirt, its just that most road riders really need the precise shifting and the dirt and grime doesnt help. Us XCers dont have much of a shifting choice when we are in the bush but roadies like the precise performance
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