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  1. #1
    Senior Member ehilge's Avatar
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    Best way to clean a bike frame?

    I just bought myself a new aluminum/carbon road bike and I want to be able to keep it nice and clean. I have read to use soap and water but also some people suggest using solutions like Simple Green. I would like to do the latter because I think it would be easier but I'm not sure if it is safe to use on my bike. What do you think is the best solution to use to quickily clean light dirt and dust off of a bike frame but not damage the paint job?

  2. #2
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  3. #3
    Senior Member capwater's Avatar
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    Baby butt wipes. Cheap, quick and effective.

  4. #4
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehilge View Post
    I just bought myself a new aluminum/carbon road bike and I want to be able to keep it nice and clean. I have read to use soap and water but also some people suggest using solutions like Simple Green. I would like to do the latter because I think it would be easier but I'm not sure if it is safe to use on my bike. What do you think is the best solution to use to quickily clean light dirt and dust off of a bike frame but not damage the paint job?
    Old bike mechanic's solution: Lemon Pledge. It takes the dirt and dust off, and cleans the grease off nicely. Don't get it on your rims, though- the wax will make them slippery.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  5. #5
    BAM! theextremist04's Avatar
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    In our shop, as long as it doesn't have disc brakes, the basic idea is to go completely crazy with Simple Green- get it everywhere.

  6. #6
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    Simple Green is some harsh stuff, I wouldnt recommend it.

    What I used is Meguirs car soap, the same stuff I used on my car.



    The problem with Simple Green is that it is a degreaser, and it'll do exactly that to all the stuff you want to keep grease on, and since the dust cap on these bikes doesnt look 100% waterproof, it'll get into your bearings and act like a solvent on the grease there. But car soap is strong enough to get the grime off, but not so strong that'll dissolve everything in sight.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Beware of Citrus Cleaners, they CAN damage paint.(Been there done that)
    Last, not all bikes have sealed bearings, lower priced units have basically no seal in head sets or bottom brackets or even wheel bearings, after time washing will get some degreaser and water into places it shouldn't be.
    It's your bike, your money, All I say here is from experience.
    I hate cars,

  8. #8
    Senior Member skiracing's Avatar
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    Others might disagree but most of the time I don't require anything more than warm water and a rag to clean my road bike frame and wheels. Things like cranks I'll usually wipe down with dry old rags.

    At one point I used to wipe the bike down with a wet rag and then polish it with some Pledge citrus for wood, I've stopped doing that now. Believe it or not, using Pledge is quiet common...

    In my mind... these bike specific cleaning products are overpriced AND I don't like the idea of actully soaping the bike and then hosing it off.... I don't know, just doesn't sound right to me, espically with a road bike.... perhaps I'd do it with a MTB.
    Work hard, play harder.
    2004 Giant TCR C2

  9. #9
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    If a bike needs more than just a quick wipedown...I just go at it with soap, water, WD-40, Simple Green, Orange cleaner...whatever it takes in the bike shower I built.



    The pan was coated with Rhinoliner by a friend that owns an off-road shop. Believe me...it's the best way to clean a bike, no matter how dirty, any season.
    Last edited by Wordbiker; 05-11-08 at 10:30 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  10. #10
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
    If a bike needs more than just a quick wipedown...I just go at it with soap, water, WD-40, Simple Green, Orange cleaner...whatever it takes in the bike shower I built.

    <snip>

    The pan was coated with Rhinoliner by a friend that owns an off-road shop. Believe me...it's the best way to clean a bike, no matter how dirty, any season.

    Duuuude... that's exactly what I need. Living in the Great Northwet, my bikes tend to stay dirty from October through April. There's never enough "dry" days to go out and wash 'em off.

    I stripped my wife's bike down to the bare frame and washed out the nooks and crannies. There was 5-year-old mud in there, I'm sure.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  11. #11
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    Duuuude... that's exactly what I need. Living in the Great Northwet, my bikes tend to stay dirty from October through April. There's never enough "dry" days to go out and wash 'em off.

    I stripped my wife's bike down to the bare frame and washed out the nooks and crannies. There was 5-year-old mud in there, I'm sure.
    Yeah, it only took a couple failed attempts at washing a bike in the CO winter and having the water freeze on the frame til I made provisions for year-round cleaning at our new location. We offer a bike wash with every tuneup, and it sure makes working on it after a lot less messy prospect.

    The shower is also set up to be used as a people shower for touring cyclists and commuting employees.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jed19's Avatar
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    I also just like wiping my bikes down with a rag dunked in warm water. I have not summoned the courage to clean the chainrings/crankset with Simple Green. I sure would like to find a safe and effective way to clean the grease that accumulates on my chainrings/crankset.

    Regards,
    Regards,

    Jed

  13. #13
    Pwnerer Wordbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LUCAS View Post
    I also just like wiping my bikes down with a rag dunked in warm water. I have not summoned the courage to clean the chainrings/crankset with Simple Green. I sure would like to find a safe and effective way to clean the grease that accumulates on my chainrings/crankset.

    Regards,
    You can take a classic approach as shown in the intro to A Sunday In Hell.
    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    Ski, bike and wish I was gay.

  14. #14
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    www.eldukedegreaser.com - best degreaser/cleaner around. made from soybean and coconut oils. biodegradable.

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