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Old 05-08-08, 12:00 PM   #1
bryroth
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Taking a bike through a car wash? Will it damage anything?

I'm talking about one of those bay car washes where you pop in quarters for time and spray down the car yourself. I've got my bike mounted on the back of my car and pretty much leave it locked up there unless the weather is especially bad.

I was wondering if I took my car into one of those bay car washes and soaped it up and sprayed it down with the high-pressure hose if I could just hit the bike as well to keep it clean. Or would this mess up the workings of the cables and chain?

Any theories appreciated.
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Old 05-08-08, 12:04 PM   #2
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Normally high pressure washing is to be avoided. your bearings are not sealed against that sort of pressure (BB, Headset and shifter internals.)
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Old 05-08-08, 12:05 PM   #3
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I wouldn't take a high-pressure hose to a bike. The bearings, etc. might be sealed against rain, but they probably won't hold up too well to a high-pressure blast from a hose. Just use a sponge and a bucket.
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Old 05-08-08, 12:06 PM   #4
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Normally high pressure washing is to be avoided. your bearings are not sealed against that sort of pressure (BB, Headset and shifter internals.)
As already stated ..... no high pressure around any bearings.

... Brad
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Old 05-08-08, 12:39 PM   #5
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Not recommended. Water ingress will take place all over the bike. ie. cable housings, bearings, frame, brifter/shifter mechanisms.
If the bike gets really dirty (mtb), best to wash by hand, soap, bucket, light spray from garden hose. Follow up with WD40 to displace water from mechanisms and cables.
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Old 05-08-08, 01:13 PM   #6
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I have a toilet brush which has only ever been used on my bike, also a rag and garden hose. NEVER high pressure, ever.
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Old 05-08-08, 01:27 PM   #7
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Don't. That idea has "comprehensive claim" written all over it.
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Old 05-08-08, 01:46 PM   #8
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think you got your answer but +1 on water in the cables makes them rust faster and no one wants that.
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Old 05-08-08, 01:57 PM   #9
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I have a toilet brush which has only ever been used on my bike
I'm glad you put in the qualifier that the toilet brush doesn't serve double duty.
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Old 05-08-08, 02:10 PM   #10
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I'm glad you put in the qualifier that the toilet brush doesn't serve double duty.
Yep.
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Old 05-08-08, 04:08 PM   #11
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More dangerous to leave your bike on the rack all the timethat to wash it with high pressure!!!

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Old 05-09-08, 01:30 PM   #12
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There is no good reason to do this. Washing a bike takes so little time anyway. I use Simple Green and a paper towel.

Power washing would likely remove lubrication in the chain too.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:25 PM   #13
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+1

Some risk.

Basically no reward.
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Old 05-09-08, 02:45 PM   #14
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If your bike is always on the car, its obviously not a great bike or one that you baby, so go ahead and hit it with the pressure washer. Just don't aim the spray directly at the bearings.
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Old 05-09-08, 03:46 PM   #15
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Aw, h*ll - forget all that - mount it on top, go to the drive-thru wash, report back here.
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Old 05-09-08, 03:48 PM   #16
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Aw, h*ll - forget all that - mount it on top, go to the drive-thru wash, report back here.
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Old 05-10-08, 10:58 AM   #17
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In theory, yes it could be bad on your bearings, however, the water is not hitting them directly with anywhere near the pressure that it is coming out of the nozzle.

I've done it many times on every kind of bike besides high end road with no problems. The key is do not pull the trigger handle on the sprayer, this keeps the pressure from getting too high, and as stated before avoid focusing direct spray on delicate parts such as bearings. When spraying things such as, chain, chainrings, and pedals, standfacing the front of the bike so they can freespin while washing. Also spray the bike down with simple green before washing, it makes a big difference.
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Old 05-10-08, 11:00 AM   #18
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The car wash is not a fit place for bicycles or babies.
http://www.local6.com/news/15505090/detail.html

If its not baby safe, its not bicycle safe
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Old 05-10-08, 05:37 PM   #19
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Normally high pressure washing is to be avoided. your bearings are not sealed against that sort of pressure (BB, Headset and shifter internals.)
Arent sealed bearings sealed?

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The car wash is not a fit place for bicycles or babies.
http://www.local6.com/news/15505090/detail.html

If its not baby safe, its not bicycle safe
Big liberal government again.
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