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Old 11-06-07, 08:36 PM   #1
Alexander_925
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High Pressure Wash

I occasionally take my bike to the car wash and give it a good going over with the high pressure washer. Is it okay to do that?

Last edited by Alexander_925; 11-06-07 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:48 PM   #2
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Some will say no, I say go for it and stay away from the bottom bracket, headset and hubs (to keep from spraying out the grease). Give your chain some fresh lube when you're done.
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Old 11-06-07, 08:50 PM   #3
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It's probably okay, but be sure to avoid the upper and lower bearings of the headset and either sides of the hubs and bottom bracket. The high pressure can push dirt into, and grease out of, the bearings.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:33 PM   #4
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I'm firmly in the "NO don't do it!" camp. As... no matter how careful you are you're going to trash your bearings.
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Old 11-06-07, 09:54 PM   #5
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I definitely wouldn't use a high pressure car wash sprayer, there's no way you're not going to wash lube/grease away. There are bearings in both hubs, bottom bracket, headset, pedals, there should be grease in the seat tube, a light coating on the seat rails, a dab everwhere something is fastened to the frame, and there's factory lube in most shifter assemblies. And then there's the chain. High pressure washing has no business being near all that.
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Old 11-06-07, 10:55 PM   #6
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I only do it on new vintage acquisitions that will be completely rebuilt soon after. I can't remember a single time when I didn't find water in the bearings. I'd say a wash with car wash soap and a water hose rinse would be okay, but pressure wash on a bike that will be ridden afterwards, I'd be in the NO camp as well.,,,,BD
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Old 11-06-07, 10:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Severian View Post
I'm firmly in the "NO don't do it!" camp. As... no matter how careful you are you're going to trash your bearings.
+ no pressure washer

... Brad
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Old 11-06-07, 11:05 PM   #8
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+1 no pressure washer. If you need to clean you bike get out a bucket, some rags, and an old tooth brush and go to town on it. It's easier to control where the water goes doing it this way.
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Old 11-07-07, 12:19 AM   #9
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No, I wouldn't due to the pressure is great enough to displace seals in hubs and BBs and most headsets. You'll also force more water into the frame, if it's a metal one.

If you're careful you might angle the spray to minimize direct force at bearing areas, but some water will get pass.
It's probably fine for rinsing chains and rings. But you must relube immediately.
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Old 11-07-07, 08:20 AM   #10
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I find it funny how folks will come and say they have already done (or presently do) X, Y, or Z, and THEN ask whether they should be doing that or not.

-Kurt
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Old 11-07-07, 10:51 AM   #11
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I do that all the time!

I've done the high pressure wash, before I knew any better. I won't again.
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Old 11-07-07, 11:07 AM   #12
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Perhaps some people live where it's not easy to wash their bike. I'd say if you do use the car wash, just don't use the high pressure feature (e.g. squeeze the trigger). That's what I've done while touring without any problems.
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Old 11-07-07, 03:00 PM   #13
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Had a guy in the shop recently with a nice clean Specialised S-Works in for a service. His forks were full of water, as was the seat tube, freehub(hope), BB X-type bearings, headset, rims and outer sealed cartridge bearings in the wheels. It cost him quite a bit to put right. I did, however, appreciate a clean bike to work on. He used a jet wash!!!!!
Jet washes are great for bike shops. They give us more trade in the workshop!! We even contemplated putting in a free jetwash at the entrance for customers to use when we moved to the new shop, but that wouldn't be fair.
We are doing a roaring trade in Acros ceramic bearings as replacements for those customers who insist on using jetwashes.
Dont do it, but if you do, be prepared to pay the price.

Last edited by wrench; 11-07-07 at 03:00 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-07-07, 03:03 PM   #14
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PS
Acros ceramic bearings are warrantied for 24 months, which is 22 months longer than the average X-type cartridge is lasting!!! They like jetwashes.
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Old 11-07-07, 04:26 PM   #15
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Maybe the words high pressure were misleading. I meant a stream of water fanned out while the bike is on its kick stand. If I put the full force of the washer on the bike it would definitely knock it over and damage it.
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Old 11-07-07, 05:20 PM   #16
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Earlier this summer I road my beater mt bike through some clay mud to my favorite fishing spot. Big chunks of mud stuck all over the bike. I laid it on the yard when I got home and sprayed off all the mud with the hose. I was not careful enough of the rear hub and later that week as I was riding home from my 7 mile commute, the rear hub seized. Got a new one on ebay and rebuilt the wheel, but I won't wash down the bike again without taking some care of the hubs and bb.

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Old 11-07-07, 08:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander_925 View Post
If I put the full force of the washer on the bike it would definitely knock it over and damage it.
Please re-read the previous posts. Knocking the bike over with the stream of water is NOT the issue; the fear of getting water into your bearing races, wheelset and frame (easily doable whether you are using "high-pressure" water or not) is the problem.

-Kurt
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