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  1. #1
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    Water Or No Water?

    I have asked my local bike mechanic about washing my carbon bike with water and he frowned on it. Yet i look at this Park Tool website and they wash their carbon bikes with water. So what is the truth about washing carbon bikes???

  2. #2
    Low car diet JiveTurkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SUBYDELIGHT View Post
    I have asked my local bike mechanic about washing my carbon bike with water and he frowned on it.
    So I guess carbon fiber bikes aren't supposed to be ridden in the rain, huh? Right....
    Quote Originally Posted by slopvehicle View Post
    Not wearing a helmet makes me more aware of my surroundings. I find myself anticipating the hardness of concrete 50 or 100 feet in front of me, it's almost a zen-like connection between my face and the pavement.

  3. #3
    Harbinger xiamsammyx's Avatar
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    carbon melts if you get it wet
    Quote Originally Posted by jmartinez View Post
    I've learned to always take off my wedding ring when polishing my crank.

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    Senior Member FlatFender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xiamsammyx View Post
    carbon melts if you get it wet
    thats not the half of it. when it melts, it forms a black pool, and if left alone, will eventually form a wormhole to another dimension.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender View Post
    thats not the half of it. when it melts, it forms a black pool, and if left alone, will eventually form a wormhole to another dimension.
    So this is like the manholes and tunnel entrances on Bugs Bunny/Road runner?

    What page of the Acme catalog are these carbon frames on?


    The shop guy is an idiot for saying that or was having you on. Did you have a silly expression of unplaced trust on your face when you asked? A petunia perched on your bike helmet?

    Use whatever you'd use on a nice shiney painted frame and it'll be fine.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    I don't wash mine. I am afraid it will rust.

  7. #7
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    I wonder if the mechanic wasn't concerned about the frame but about getting water into the hub, bb and headset bearings. Washing a bike with a hose (or worse yet at a DIY car wash) and directing the spray directly on the bearings can cause early bearing failure.

    Use a fine spray and avoid the bearings and you will have no problems.

  8. #8
    my brain hurts! fosmith's Avatar
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    go for it

  9. #9
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fosmith View Post


    go for it
    Pic from Park Tool?

  10. #10
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlatFender View Post
    thats not the half of it. when it melts, it forms a black pool, and if left alone, will eventually form a wormhole to another dimension.
    No. No. No. It forms this guy



    He's all evil and resentful and stuff.

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  11. #11
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
    ....Use a fine spray and avoid the bearings and you will have no problems.
    I like to describe it as no harder a spray than you would use on delicate plants.


    The picture with the pressure washer is RIGHT OUT!
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  12. #12
    Lost in the Black Hills mx_599's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey View Post
    I don't wash mine. I am afraid it will rust.
    you can try frame saver

    mx

  13. #13
    'Mizer Cats are INSANE Mentor58's Avatar
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    Well it all depends on what TYPE of water you're using. If you use ordinary tap water, water suited for the common riff-raff, then don't be surprised if your bike bursts into flames, or at the very least the "Peloton Police" don't arrive and toss you into a dark and musty cell, where you are forced to ride a walmart comfort bike that has been left out in the rain for a year, and all off the maintenance (what little there was) was done by a ham-handed individual who's only tools were a set of vice grips and a ball peen hammer.

    Now if you use the factory recommend water, water that is gathered from pure Italian springs, deep in hidden grotto's, by maidens wearing nothing but garments made from gauze obtained from organic cotton, bottled in artisan glass bottles, and each one shipped individually to America with it's own seat on the airplane, then your bike will magically become 2 pounds lighter, your legs will become the envy of all who see them, and all who watch you ride know that they are in the company of a cycling Deity.

    As for me, I'd take my chances and do it with a bucket of warm water and some gentle carwash suds, and one of those shaggy stringy type sponge thingies (Official technical name for it)

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  14. #14
    Senior Member Ray Dockrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mx_599 View Post
    you can try frame saver

    mx
    I was being sarcastic. My frame is carbon fiber.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Dockrey View Post
    I was being sarcastic. My frame is carbon fiber.
    Uhm, he saw your sarcasm and raised you.
    Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

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    Why anyone have to WASH it. Can't u just wipe it down? Not like u gotta wipe down a bus.

    If u have a dirt-crusted MTB, no opinion.

  17. #17
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    You'll be fine as long as you don't use heavy water.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    Why anyone have to WASH it. Can't u just wipe it down? Not like u gotta wipe down a bus.

    If u have a dirt-crusted MTB, no opinion.
    heh, i use the u-wash-its from time to time on my bike ... but it is a 'dirt-crusted MTB' ... that being said ... i never pull the lever for the high pressure, and never aim the wand directly at the bike, just using some of the side spray to break loose the bigger such, then lightly rinse it off .. and towel it dry ...

    then take it home, relube everything ... then take it back out and get it dirty again.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    No. No. No. It forms this guy



    He's all evil and resentful and stuff.

    OMG no! not the episode where Data's girlfriend Tasha dies!

  20. #20
    Senior Member nmanhipot's Avatar
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    I'm neither a mechanic, nor the son a mechanic, but having torn down bikes and rebuilt bearings since the 80's, I can caution you to avoid high pressure water. If you'll take an air compressor sprayer to your bike after washing it, you'll be amazed at all the water that's sprayed out from every crack and crevice of the components, especially the chain and rear deraileur. Rear derailers, hubs, cassette bodies, headsets, brifters and bottom brackets are very susceptible to water impregnation. I still wash my bikes with water because it works well, but I either blow them out with a compressor afterwards (in the fall and winter) or leave them in direct sunlight for at least an hour in the spring and summer.

    Having said that, you will see pro team mechanics using high-pressure to clean their team bikes, but the bikes and components are replaced more often than yours (chains, for instance, are replaced weekly). I don't think there's anything a high pressure sprayer can do that good solvent and a wet sponge can't do.
    "I will do today what others will not so that I can do tomorrow what others cannot"

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    Is that a great quote or what?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmanhipot View Post
    Having said that, you will see pro team mechanics using high-pressure to clean their team bikes
    Yeah, but were u paying attention to what they were aiming/ not aiming?

    Put a power polisher on the hands of a pro, u will get a professional and fast job. Put the same power polisher on the hands of a noobs, and say goodbye to your paint.

    The above pix was posted I believe, for entertaintment value.
    Last edited by jsmithepa; 07-25-08 at 12:26 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Joshua A.C. New's Avatar
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    Washing bicycles with water is one of the leading causes of bicycle fires.
    Joshua A.C. Newman,
    Passionate lover of construction

  23. #23
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    That's why I ride titanium. It doesn't melt or rust with when wet.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsmithepa View Post
    Yeah, but were u paying attention to what they were aiming/ not aiming?

    Put a power polisher on the hands of a pro, u will get a professional and fast job. Put the same power polisher on the hands of a noobs, and say goodbye to your paint.

    The above pix was posted I believe, for entertaintment value.
    Actually the pro mechanics are pretty cavalier about using power washers and harsh methods on nearly everything on the team bikes. I've seen pictures of them scrubbing wheel hubs with a stiff bristle brush and a pail of soapy water. Not the best way to insure longevity.

    However, those same wheels are overhauled at very frequent intervals and even new wheels and/or bearings installed often so long-term bearing health isn't the issue for them it is for those of us paying for components out of out own pockets.

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