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  1. #1
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    Cleaning a bike?

    How do you clean your bike?

    My crank and hub are sqeaking when I pedal. How do you get rid of the noise?

    How often should I apply lubricants onto the chain and gear wheels?
    Last edited by pivoxa15; 08-02-07 at 04:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SwimBike's Avatar
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    all depends on how often you ride. They have entire kits for cleaning your drivetrain. I ride daily (well I try, been a bad week cause im moving) so I lube up my chain every few days. If I ride in rain then I lube it up.

    There are a million and a half threads on drivetrain maintenance. Just use the search option and you will find a ton of them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    What I want to do is leave it on the rack and run it through the car wash. My LBS says not to.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  4. #4
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    What I want to do is leave it on the rack and run it through the car wash. My LBS says not to.
    That's a supremely bad idea.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nermal View Post
    What I want to do is leave it on the rack and run it through the car wash. My LBS says not to.
    Is that because the force of the water will do damage to the brakes, gears and other sensitive parts of the bike.

  6. #6
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    ^ no, there is a possibility of water seeping into the tubes.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  7. #7
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Please report to your LBS immediately for re-education. This is not a drill

  8. #8
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pivoxa15 View Post
    Is that because the force of the water will do damage to the brakes, gears and other sensitive parts of the bike.
    More specifically the bearings. Current Shimano hubs (even XTR / Dura Ace) use loose ball and cone adjustable bearings and even though many will howl about how they've got "seals" you can still force water into them with a garden hose. Pouring water on them is fine, spraying water into them is a Bad Thing™ Not everything out there is a "sealed" cartridge bearing and even they can have water forced into them as there's no such thing as a completely "sealed" bearing. The cool thing is that the cartridge bearings are relatively inexpensive to replace
    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    ^ no, there is a possibility of water seeping into the tubes.
    First there are plenty of vent holes on a frame from the welding process to prevent that from being a major issue (Some folks actually drill an extra one in the BB shell for extra drainage which isn't a terrible idea when done correctly) Secondly, unless it's a steel frame it's not that huge an issue to get water in the frame and a simple application of a product like J.P. Weigle Framesaver will go a LONG way towards protecting a decent steel frame. (Huffy's aren't worth the $12) Thirdly, you'll get about the same amount of water in the frame getting caught in a typical thundershower as you would by running it through a car wash. The car wash is bad for the bearings, but not so much the frame.

  9. #9
    Heck yes. raster's Avatar
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    Get Rock'n'Roll Lube. Apply to the cassette. Rub like mad. It will make you happy.

  10. #10
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Go for it!
    Seriously, this is bad advice to the extreme. Please don't follow it.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  11. #11
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by raster View Post
    Get Rock'n'Roll Lube. Apply to the cassette. Rub like mad. It will make you happy.
    Wrong.

    Rockn roll lube only goes on the chain.
    Dripping it on the cassette does JACK ****.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  12. #12
    Gorntastic! v1k1ng1001's Avatar
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    Please report to your LBS immediately for re-education. This is not a drill

  13. #13
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    Can someone give me instructions to how to clean my road bike? Would pouring water over it damage the areas connected with the brakes?

  14. #14
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    Any suggestions on cleaning gum off your bike?

    Ran over a huge wad yesterday. Wound up getting wrapped around both hubs, spokes on both wheels, and I think some is even stuck on my brake pads.

  15. #15
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    Washing your bike

    Is it bad to hose down my bike?

  16. #16
    Senior Member geraldatwork's Avatar
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    It is ok just don't use any strong pressure that can get into the seals.

  17. #17
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Oh good, another one of those once a week threads created by those who refuse to search.
    Here are last week's answers to this week's nearly identical question

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=328224

  18. #18
    Enjoying the ride Yield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeatyDucky View Post
    Is it bad to hose down my bike?
    Hose = ok
    pressure-wash = probably not ok

    Make sure you lube the chain when you're done. Check out this thread or this thread for what to use. Put on the lube, then let it sit for a little while, then wipe off the excess from the outside of the chain with a paper towel or a shop rag. If you don't, it could get ugly . DON'T let it get on the rims where the brakes do their magic. Now that would be extra ugly....

    The more often you hose the thing down the more often you should lube and/or grease everything that needs lubed or greased.

  19. #19
    No cud for foil. DasProfezzional's Avatar
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    Hose shoots pressurized water. Pressurized water (even from a hose,) gets through seals and penetrates into threads, and gets contaminants into internals. If not immediately, then over time. Hose is not OK.

    I always follow bike washing with chain relubricating, so a good way I've found is to:

    1. Dump a bucket of clean water over the bike, handlebars, tires, saddle and all.
    2. Degreaser-up the chain and drivetrain components.
    3. (Optional) Spray rest of bike with bike wash solution.
    4. Dump bucket of soapy water over the bike. A small bit of dish soap is fine.
    5. Rinse with another bucket of clean water.
    6. Lube up.

    Done and done!

  20. #20
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Clean bike = Good
    Dirty bike = Bad
    Cleaning already clean bike = OCD

    Oh, and a bucket of soapy water, a bucket of clean water and a sponge does wonders. Using a hose as a pressure wash to get mud off a bike is not a good idea. Dollar stores are a good resource for brushes and degreaser. You can also do it the Blue way.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  21. #21
    Do I use too many commas?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn View Post
    Oh good, another one of those once a week threads created by those who refuse to search.
    Here are last week's answers to this week's nearly identical question

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=328224

    I personally hate the search function. Too many hits that are useless. What is wrong with being polite to your fellow biker, particularly the newbies, and answering their questions without the grief?

    Just my 2 cents.

  22. #22
    Retro Grouch Bicimechanic77's Avatar
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    Not really a how-to, but the PRO way to do it.....

    http://belgiumkneewarmers.blogspot.c...bike-wash.html

  23. #23
    Senior Member acape's Avatar
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    I've found the best method for cleaning my bike is this:

    Put it up in the workstand with the wheels off. This gives you easy access to the stays and the fork. Then I take a paper towel, spray it with a little Simple Green, and begin wiping it down. When the paper towel gets dirty, toss it and get a new one. Repeat until the bike is clean.

    This is particularly good way to do it if you live in an apartment where using hoses and buckets of water are not very feasible. If you don't have a workstand, turn the bike upside down on the floor with the wheels off.

  24. #24
    Kyleness
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    I do basically the same since i also live in a yardless apartment except i use a spray bottle with 1/3 windex 2/3 water. and then i wax the bike. also i've found it helpful to put a rag on the driveside chainstay when the wheels are off then when you're done with everything else put the wheel back on, obviously remove the rag and then do that chainstay last.

  25. #25
    My bike's better than me! neil0502's Avatar
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    I stole this....

    The compulsive soul's guide to cleaning your bike
    By Douglas A. Rogers
    Slowtwitch.com
    5/8/2003
    It is said that a clean car does not necessarily run better. This logic does not apply to a bike.

    Drive train components aren't safely hidden behind seals and cases, as is the case with cars, but are open to the vicissitudes of Mother Nature and the roadways. They must remain clean and properly lubricated to ensure long life and efficiency ? a clean bike is a fast bike.


    Chains
    We'll start with the component that has the most moving parts, the chain. You do not need one of those fancy chain cleaners made by Park or Finish Line. Sure, they work, but your chain does not require one of these devices in order to be properly cleaned.

    There is only one catch in this cheaper solution: if you have a Shimano or Campagnolo chain, you will want to replace it with either a Wippermann or Sachs chain. These chains have an easily replaceable master-link that allows you to remove the entire chain easily without much fuss. Also, these chains do not require expensive pins to remount the chain onto the drive train.

    The Wippermann chain in stainless steel is especially nice as the metal is corrosion-proof. This characteristic, however, does not preclude proper cleaning and lubrication. Consult your local bike shop for proper installation of new chain. If the chain and cassette are old enough, you may want to replace the whole set.

    After removing chain from the bicycle, put the chain into a butter tub and saturate with self-cleaning lube. If the chain is extremely dirty, use a degreaser (like Simple Green) and a toothbrush to brush off all the buried dirt and debris.

    After rinsing and drying thoroughly, start to soak the chain in self-cleaning lube. I like to agitate the chain in the butter tub, then wipe it thoroughly using a rag. Wipe several times.

    Doing this after every wet/dirty ride will ensure that your chain is easy to clean and stays well-lubricated. This also prevents lubricant from dripping all over the floor. Clean your butter tub with degreaser afterward.

    (For more information on chain-cleaning, see this article on Slowtwitch.)

    Cassettes
    Spray a toothbrush with degreaser, then brush thoroughly. Make sure you get every nook and cranny. I do not advocate spraying directly onto the cassette as over spray can creep into bearings and dilute the grease. Let degreaser soak for a minute or two. Rinse thoroughly, taking care not to use too much water pressure.

    Wheels
    Clean the wheels with a sponge, regular dishwashing detergent and water. With your sponge, clean the tires, then rims, then in the spokes and the hub. Do not get detergent onto the bearing seals. Rinse thoroughly, using the same method suggested on cleaning cassettes.

    Dry off the wheel and tire. On the rear wheel, take a thin rag (like a pair of old underpants) and rub it in the space between the cogs. This will ensure that the cogs are clean.


    Chain rings
    Remove them from the crank (you may need a special inexpensive wrench to remove the chain-ring bolts; ask your local bike shop), put them into a sink, bolts and all. Spray degreaser onto all of the surfaces. Brush thoroughly, let soak for a minute or so. Rinse thoroughly and either allow to drip-dry or dry with towel.

    One note on steel chain ring bolts: Dry immediately and apply your favorite grease to the threads and on a thin layer to the other surfaces of the bolts. If unsure of the grease to use, consult the mechanic who usually does your bike repairs.


    Frame
    This is where the most help is needed. I have seen many Cannondale Headshoks need an expensive bearing replacement after an overzealous rider decided to use a pressure-washer or run the bike through the car wash. Tri bikes don't generally get quite as dirty, but if there's a rainy race with a bit of mud on the street, the bike can look quite nasty.

    With chain still off of the bike, look over the drive train. If the rear derailleur's pulleys leave a spot of dark grease on a rag, it is a good indication that the pulleys need to be cleaned. There will most likely be a crusty dirt/lubricant hybrid on the cage of the front derailleur, as well as a lot of gunk on the brakes.

    On the pulleys
    Spray degreaser onto the toothbrush as described in the paragraph covering cassette cleaning. Brush thoroughly, avoiding the bearing of the pulleys. You can also clean the cage, but be careful of the pulley bearings.

    Then, you should clean any other place on the bike that has crusty dirt with degreaser and toothbrush. If the front brake looks bad enough, remove the front brake to make sure and clean the area of the fork that is covered by the front brake.

    With your cup of dishwashing detergent and water solution, clean the bike from the saddle down. This includes bar tape, as well. You do not want to get into the greasy parts of the bike until last, as the grease can get onto your saddle and bar tape. Avoid the headset and bottom bracket bearings. On a sealed headset, you can gingerly clean the cups, just avoid the openings and wipe with clean rag immediately.

    Rinse the bike thoroughly, using minimal pressure. Avoid water pressure on the bearings, but do rinse the cups if there are suds in that area. Rinse from the top down.

    Dry the frame and components thoroughly, using an old towel.

    Touch-up
    After you dry the bike thoroughly, inspect the frame for any chips in the paint. This is also a good time to inspect any of the joining areas for cracking. A clean bike does not hide cracks in the frame.

    If you find any paint chips, there are two ways to fill them.

    If the chip only shows grey: After cleaning area with lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol, use well-shaken (according to manufacturer's directions) touch-up paint (supplied from painter, bike manufacturer, auto parts store, or stash of nail polishes) sparingly, applying thin coats. One to three coats is all that is needed. If you want, use clear coat, as well.

    If the chip goes to bare metal or other material: If you see rust, sand the area of the chip until metal is shiny. You can feather into surrounding paint, but chips on bikes are usually small. Clean area with rubbing alcohol first. Use well-shaken primer, usually one coat. This dries pretty quickly. Then apply one to three coats of desired touch-up paint; allow to dry, then clear coat if desired.

    On clear-coated carbon fiber: sand with high-grit (400-600) sandpaper, feathering edges of clear coat and rendering it smooth. Clean area to be repaired with acetone or rubbing alcohol. Then mix a small amount of clear household epoxy according to manufacturer's directions. Apply the mixed epoxy into the area that is scratched only, and feather into the old clear coat. This will help, but not completely even out the surface, as well as help with the UV protection.

    Allow to dry completely (overnight), or keep covered until the other steps in reassembling the bike are done. I would only suggest wet sanding completely cured epoxy (three or more days) for the brave and completely experienced.

    Lubrication
    With wet or dry lube, drip lubricant onto every conceivable pivot point of the changers, brakes, shifters, etc. Make sure the springs are lubed, as well. Wipe off any excess with clean rag.

    Many bolts for brake mounting are made of a durable, but easily rusting steel. These should be lightly greased with a good bicycle grease.

    Aluminum seat posts in metal bikes ought to be removed and greased. It is very important to clean the inside of the seat tube with a rag, inserting in, then pulling the rag out with a twist. While you're at it, re-grease the bolt for the seat-post collar.

    Carbon seat posts should not be greased, but the inside of the seat tube should stay clean, as the seat tube can cold-weld carbon as well as it can aluminum. Just make sure it stays clean inside.

    If you have a steel-frame bike, a very important step is the use of J.P. Weigle's Frame Saver. This $10 - $15 can of liquid gold is IMPERATIVE for the life of any steel bike. Cover up the vent holes of your freshly cleaned steed and make sure to wipe the excess from your uncovered vent holes. The frame will stay clean if you wipe immediately.

    Make sure to lube any exposed cables, even if they're made of stainless steel. This ensures clean, rust-free cables.

    Reassembly
    Install chain onto bike after wiping once again. Make sure to wipe any excess lubes or grease from any surfaces that you have lubed.

    When reassembling the chain wheels onto the crankset, make sure to grease the threads on the chain ring bolts. This is as imperative on both steel and aluminum bolts. The thin coat of grease on the bolts described in the paragraph pertaining to them is not necessary on aluminum chain ring bolts, but necessity on steel ones.

    Any bolts you have removed must be greased before reinserting. Wipe excess grease from surfaces after tightening.

    Install the wheels, and admire your handiwork.

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