For years on my old Cannondale I would lightly rinse it with water to remove the sweat and dirt. I would then wipe it down with a towel and then clean/lube the chain.
Now that I have a new Stumpy I want to make sure my old ways are OK. I guess my biggest concern is that when I spray it with water and then wipe it down I may be missing the tighter places with the towel and that rust will work it's way in.
Am I being too cautious on this? Again it's a new bike worth some serious coin so I want to do the right thing.
I usually wash my bike with some form of detergent every 6 months or so. I ride many times per week, year round, so cleaning every time is not a viable option. Besides, grease generally doesn't like water and/or degreasing agents found in most detergents/cleaners.
I avoid putting water on my stumpy, preferring to just brush off the dirt and dust. I might use a wet sponge on some places. That works well for N Florida most of the time. In the mountains, the mud sticks like glue so I use a gentle stream of water and brush it clean with a paintbrush. I never dry it and there's nothing to rust on mine if you keep the water off the chain. At the present I'm experimenting wit a stainless steel chain, so water on it doesn't matter as long as I relube.
Have never used chemicals/soaps as it's never needed it.
Fun bike, city bike, Bike Friday bike (also fun bike)
Gave my bike a bit of a sponge bath after two days of rainy riding, and the (white) decals still looked sort of grey. Windex worked like a charm, so I tried it (in very small doses) on the rest of the frame as well. She gleams.
I try to avoid getting water on my bikes. I don't ride them in the rain if I can help it. I clean with solvents and never a water-based cleaner like Simple Green. I wax them regularly and I use Pledge between waxings. I'm not saying that anyone should do what I do, I'm just telling you what I do. My bikes do look good, and I've had one of them for thirty years. You won't find any rust on it.