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Old 05-12-06, 03:16 PM   #1
Quatney
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Basic Bike Cleaning???

Sorry for the dumb question, but what all should I do and not do? I have a mountain bike that has just dust and other built up stuff on it from being stored. I'd like to clean it and grease up the chain, but I don't want to harm anything.

Anyone know of a FAQ or idiots guide to cleaning a bicycle?

Thanks,
Court
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Old 05-12-06, 04:23 PM   #2
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If it's just dusty, a damp cloth rag can work wonders on the frame.

Chains need a lubricant, not grease. I'm a big fan of Prolink, but there are a million and one different solutions and opinions out there. Any chain lubricant will need to be reapplied over time. Search the forums for "chain lube" and you'll find enough reading material to keep you busy for a very long time. If that doesn't appeal to you, stop by a visit a bike shop and pick up a bottle of chain lube (I like "wet" lubes, like pro link and others as opposed to "dry" lubes based on waxes and stuff). turn the cranks backwards and squeeze lube onto the moving chain as it goes around. Once you have the chain evenly coated, run the cranks backwards for a minute or two to help the lube get sucked into the bushings of the chain, then wipe off the excess lube from the outside of the chain with a rag. Done.

If your bike needs more than that, you are probably in the realm of needing a basic tuneup from a bike shop. You could also browse through here and find out how to adjust brakes, derailers, etc. and try it yourself.

Good luck!
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Old 05-13-06, 10:54 AM   #3
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Quatney-

my mountain bike is a Trek 820 and has sealed bearings. Once in awhile I wet it down, soap up with car wash on a hand brush, and gentle rinse. Best on a dry day, when it will dry quickly. You'll remove some of the drivetrain lube; so as soon as its dried out relube lightly ( "enuf" is probably too much ) the chain & moving parts of the derailliers.

If you can, ride the bike up the street to distribute the lube, and then wipe the chain down - flip the bike upside down on the seat & handlebars & run the crank, wiping firmly the chain with an old rag ( I save old socks for this purpose ) btw WD40 is tempting to use, but it doesn't work as a good bike lube. but some like it to spray thru the chain before using a good lube. If you have a removable link on your chain its pretty easy to remove it & soak in kerosene or mineral spirits for a few minutes, agitating the container to strip out the old lube & dirt buildup. Wipe - reinstall & relube. Good luck!

Peter
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Old 05-14-06, 12:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Quatney
Anyone know of a FAQ or idiots guide to cleaning a bicycle?
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=85
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Old 05-14-06, 01:01 AM   #5
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quick question on chain lube? How much is enough? I recently cleaned my drivetrain + relube and Ive put a lot less lube on this time, its not squeaking but how do I know that Ive put enough on?
I can run and take a pic if that helps.
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Old 05-14-06, 04:10 AM   #6
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Put on enough to get between the links and then try to remove as much as possible. The lube that you can't see or feel is all that you want on the chain. Everything else justs attracts dirt.
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Old 05-14-06, 04:58 AM   #7
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Yeh, i usually put drops of lube along the whole line of the top part of the chain, then on the bottom part, then pedal through all 27gears. After that i'll flip the bike upside down or better yet stick it on a stand and using a rag just resting lightly, but firm enough, on the chain, i pedal the chain and any excess lube gets wiped off!
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Old 05-14-06, 06:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quatney
Sorry for the dumb question, but what all should I do and not do? I have a mountain bike that has just dust and other built up stuff on it from being stored. I'd like to clean it and grease up the chain, but I don't want to harm anything.

Anyone know of a FAQ or idiots guide to cleaning a bicycle?

Thanks,
Court
Do not use power washer
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Old 05-14-06, 05:01 PM   #9
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thanks twowheels and blue neon, it seems I have enough lube on.
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Old 05-14-06, 08:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by motorhommmer
Do not use power washer

What happens if you use a power washer? I always thought that using a power washer would make cleaning the bike quick and can get rid of all that stuck on grime in between the gears and such.


Zero_Enigma
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Old 05-15-06, 02:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zero_Enigma
What happens if you use a power washer? I always thought that using a power washer would make cleaning the bike quick and can get rid of all that stuck on grime in between the gears and such.


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Water will get into the places you do not want to and will fry your bearings
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