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Old 04-08-06, 08:32 AM   #1
bccycleguy
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Cleaning a steel-framed bike?

What do other cyclists do when they clean up their steel-framed bikes? Do you hand wash with soapy water and rinse with a light spray with a garden hose?

What about the breather holes? Do you tape the breather holes in the chain and seat stays first? And what about keeping water away from the headset and seat post?

Do you have a special technique that the rest of us should know about?
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Old 04-08-06, 08:43 AM   #2
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I clean my frames with Pledge wipes, no water. I clean the drivetrain with Simple Green, a toothbrush and a rag.
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Old 04-08-06, 08:59 AM   #3
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its always dangerous to use water on a steel frame. i like to use pedros cleaner and bike lust to wipe it off. i wouldnt feel comfortable using water on it.
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Old 04-08-06, 10:18 AM   #4
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I use Armor-All carwash wipes.
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Old 04-08-06, 12:30 PM   #5
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I do what I can with a dry rag. Then use a damp rag to get what the dry rag can't. There's not too much danger of using a water-wet rag or towel on the outside of a steel frame, provided that (a) water doesn't get into the inside of the frame, and (2) the water ou use ain't full of salt, and (3) the area is able to dry off relatively quickly. The inside of a steel frame is a rust-friendly environment. Frames that rust out usually do it from the inside, not the outside.

If you're worried, you can use WD-40 on a rag to get hard-to-clean stuff that a dry rag won't take off. But then you'll need to work to get the WD-40 residue off of the now-otherwise-cleaned area.
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Old 04-08-06, 05:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concernicus
its always dangerous to use water on a steel frame. i like to use pedros cleaner and bike lust to wipe it off. i wouldnt feel comfortable using water on it.
I wouldn't say it was dangerous to get a steel frame wet. What happens if you are out riding when it starts to rain? For years everyone rode steel, and somehow our frames didn't rust out from under us.

Wash a steel frame just like you would wash any other bike. I use a sponge and and a bucket of water with a little car wash, gently rinse with clean water (not a garden hose, minimize water entry into frame and bearings) and wipe dry with a soft, clean cloth. Maybe use some solvent on tar or greasy spots. I'd minimize the rubbing with dry cloths to prevent scratches and swirl marks.

If you really want to be careful, treat a steel frame on the inside with Framesaver or other coating before assembly. Otherwise, just be sure any water can drain out and keep an eye on things.
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