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  1. #1
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    Between wash cleaning

    Can anyone suggest a good product for cleaning up your bike between major cleanings? I'd like to be able clean the road grime from my bike without having to re-lube the whole machine and without damaging the finish.

  2. #2
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    I use a simple dishwashing liquid in a plastic bucket. Fill it with warm water and use a soft automotive type brush to lightly brush your bike down. Rinse it all off with warm water in a flower sprinkler. Thats what I do in between major cleanings.

    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showthread.php?t=69786

  3. #3
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I use Bike Lust. Spray a little on a clean rag and wipe all the nooks and crannies to make the bike shine.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  4. #4
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    I use windex on costco car towels to wipe it down, taking dare to get in the nooks and crannies. Occaisionally I wax the parts of the frame that really get the grime. It makes it easier to clean later. This is all I have to do to keep the bike clean. Cleaning and lubing the drivetrain is a different matter. bk

  5. #5
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    armor all sheets they will take dirt off and leave a waxy finnish that dust willnot stic to as much not a good idea for the seat though

  6. #6
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Keep the drive train lubed and wear the grime with pride! It shows that you spend your time riding and not cleaning All my bikes carry their dirt as a badge of honor
    Stuart Black
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  7. #7
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    If you use dishwashing soap use only the liquid soap as the granular soap can leave particles in the water that won't disolve 100% then put fine scratches in your paint. And do not use detergent for clothes.

    I use the Finish Line Bike Wash because I have a steel bike and the wash claims it has a rust inhibitor to prevent rust obviously; plus you can spot clean with it if you want to, all I do is spray some on the dirt, let set for a minute then either rinse the area in gentle running water or wipe with cloth. But any fine car wash like Zymol will work. But I do a major cleaning on my bike about every 150 miles because I'm going to relube anyways.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Depends how dirty your bike is. If it's not too bad use a "waterless wash" like Poor Boys Spray & Wipe, Dri-Wash 'n Guard, etc etc. Can find them at an RV suppy center or car detailing supply store.

    It basically lifts dirt off the surface and allows you to (gently) wipe the surface clean without worrying about scratching the paint or chrome. Car buffs that live in 4-season areas usually use these products when it's too cold to wash their cars in the traditional manner (no frozen shut doors after washing...lol) or by car detailers that work in areas with a limited water use or have water reclamation rules.

    But you have to determine how dirty your bike is and how anal you are about detailing your bike and preventing un-necessary/avoidable scratches in the finish. You might not have a choice and have to plan on re-lubing if there is too much dirt/crud/grit to clean up. Personally I can't see how one can separate the two...if the bike is dirty, then the drive train is usually in the same condition. Maybe it's late and I just can't picture or read the post right.

  9. #9
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Keep the drive train lubed and wear the grime with pride! It shows that you spend your time riding and not cleaning All my bikes carry their dirt as a badge of honor
    +1 -- I'm impressed by cyclists, not bicycles

    When I do wash my bike (every other year?) I use the auto brush/dish soap/and gentle spray method.

    In general though, I gently hose it down after riding in the rain. Other than that, there's really no washing going on. Note that this has had zero impact on the durability of my bikes. I've been riding seriously for 16 years, and my first bikes are still actively ridden and working fine. The only time any of my bikes have ever been in a shop is prior to purchase.

  10. #10
    Lone Rider
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    I've never washed any of my bikes in the 15+ years that I've owned them, and they're very clean. I do wipe them down with a damp rag after every ride. I then lube everything. After that I go back over the frame with furniture polish. It works great and keeps everything looking nice. And a plus to not washing your bike with water is that you won't have to worry about flooding the bearings with water. Even the sealed bearings will allow some water through. You do need to be careful about grit on the frame to prevent scratches.

  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets
    +1 -- I'm impressed by cyclists, not bicycles

    When I do wash my bike (every other year?) I use the auto brush/dish soap/and gentle spray method.

    In general though, I gently hose it down after riding in the rain. Other than that, there's really no washing going on. Note that this has had zero impact on the durability of my bikes. I've been riding seriously for 16 years, and my first bikes are still actively ridden and working fine. The only time any of my bikes have ever been in a shop is prior to purchase.
    Those of us who live in dry climates have it easy, really. The last time I washed my mountain bike was after a very long, very muddy ride on Hermosa Creek Trail in Durango. I still have mud from this falls ride on the Purgatory River in La Junta, however. I have dust on the other one from 3 years ago from the same ride
    Stuart Black
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  12. #12
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    Use A Hose!



    I use a hose. I crank it up and spray HARD. Honestly, I don't care and I will take the heat for that comment.

    Everything on the bike gets blasted except for the bottom bracket, wheel hubs, headset, shifters and fork seals. I spray the most at the chain and derailleur.

    Why do I do this??

    1. Almost everytime I ride I end up sludging through big mud and at least one 12" creek so it's not like my bike has never seen water before.
    2. My bike and drivetrain are a mess and this is the fastest way to clean for better performance.
    3. IF this causes a hub or bottom bracket to wear out a LITTLE faster... IT IS WORTH THE TIME I SAVE CLEANING IT. Never had a problem yet. Same bike 6 years.
    4. The frame is alum and does not mind the water. If I had crmo it would be a different story.
    5. The main reason I blast the hose is to clear the mud and sludge from the derailleurs and chain.

    This being said... I do relube moving parts with good synth lube thats meant for my riding conditiions (Virginia).
    [SIGPIC]http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q82/probable556/BF_Sig_Small2Custom.jpg[/SIGPIC]

  13. #13
    Oldie starting over
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    Spray a bit of Pledge on a good quality paper towel and wipe down everything other than the braking surfaces on the pads and rims.

  14. #14
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    Maguire's Quik Detailer for cars. It's like the RV wash mentioned earlier. It lifts the dirt and will let you take it off with a towel without scratching. I also use a spray on car wax every month or so to keep it protected.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Furniture polish ... then a bit of turtlewax for an extra shine.

    When I'm doing a more thorough cleaning, I use a combination of Simple Green and Avon Bubble Bath.

  16. #16
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute
    Those of us who live in dry climates have it easy, really. The last time I washed my mountain bike was after a very long, very muddy ride on Hermosa Creek Trail in Durango. I still have mud from this falls ride on the Purgatory River in La Junta, however. I have dust on the other one from 3 years ago from the same ride
    Nice.

    My hardtail steel Stumpjumper still has 24 Hours of Moab mud on it from 1998. I love passing FS carbon bikes on that thing. It's a 1994 bike that I still ride. I converted it to single-speed, didn't wash it, and it's my main MTB ride.

    We do have it nice in dry climates though.

  17. #17
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mach42
    Maguire's Quik Detailer for cars.
    Yep. I spray it onto the bike, wipe the surface to spread it around, wipe again with a dry towel (terrycloth usually) and voila. Gets light mud splatters, water spots, and road grime off with ease.
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  18. #18
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    Bucket of warm water, a nice long squirt of dishwashing liquid, and a soft-top dish mop (with a handle). Another bucket of clean water to rinse off. Don't do the chain or rings (because you do those with a major service). Pick up the front wheel about six inches from the ground and drop it, a couple of times, then do the same with the rear wheel.

    Dry off naturally (drip-dry) or with a chamois. Polish with spray-on furniture polish. The best thing about spray on furniture polish is that you can clean a bike with brake dust grime and other light dirt without having to go the heavy-duty wash-with-a-bucket route. It does what the ads say it does on furniture -- cleans and shines.

    The polish ensures the bike sparkles *and* dirt doesn't adhere as easily. Do your rims with it, but don't get it on the braking surfaces; use denatured alcohol to clean them off.

    Some bike shops use bulk WD40 in squeeze-spray bottles and rags when cleaning off greasy muck. Smells nice, too.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the responses - I'll be trying out the furniture polish fix - I was certain that there was a standard household product that would do this and I was pretty sure someone on this forum would know about it.

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