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  1. #1
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    tips for cleaning bike with mud?

    I rode my touring bike on my dirt roads and some parts of it had mud. My bike got muddy mostly on the wheels. I think my fenders helped it to not get muddy on the other parts of the bike. How should I clean my bike? How do you clean the gears and other parts around that area? Will water damage the gears? I dont want to mess up my bike by cleaning it wrong.

  2. #2
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    When I've gotten my MTB good and muddy I start by hosing it down, then I bring out a bucket of hot water, some detergent and a discarded washing up brush and go at it. Then a rinse and then I'm done. When it's dry I might have a go at the chain and such with a rag and some lube. On festive occasions I bring out the cloths, the car wax and the old tootbrush for a more thorough cleaning.

    Generally speaking bikes are quite rugged, and as long as you don't go aiming a high-pressure washer straight at bearings you can was them pretty much as you please.

  3. #3
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    So I wont damage it by using a water hose on the whole bike?

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Rather than use mud, I'd opt for soap and water, along with liberal aplications of a hose.......

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Mud is a terrible cleaner. Don't clean your bike with it.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  6. #6
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    Use a bucket. Spray from a hose tends to go places it shouldn't. Keep the pressure low.

  7. #7
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garage sale GT View Post
    Use a bucket. Spray from a hose tends to go places it shouldn't. Keep the pressure low.
    I'm inclined to just take a garden hose, put my finger over the end and have at it. Don't aim the jet at the hubs, and you should be ok. Or, let it be muddy.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    wait 'till it dries, then dry brush it and wipe with a towel and paper towels. you can get a nice assortment of brushes at grocery stores and hardware stores. keep a couple brushes just for the drive train

    if you have to use water - use a spray bottle or some windex. the less water the better.

    forced water spray can force water and crude into drivetrain parts which currently do not have that crud embedded in them.

    in a pinch you can use a gentle water spray just keep it away from the sealed bearing areas such as bottom bracket and hubs

    but seriously - consider the dry brushing idea first - it's very safe for the bike! :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  9. #9
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    dry brushing is more abrasive.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    soft brush
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  11. #11
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    Rub abrasive mud particles against the finish with a soft brush? I don't know. I'd rather rinse them off while they are lubed with soapy water.

  12. #12
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Even though people advise against it, I never had a problem with hosing it down and then padding it dry with an old towel. Just don't spray directly at any bearings or drivetrain parts. Lube the drivetrain afterward.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  13. #13
    Senior Member chi-james's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Mud is a terrible cleaner. Don't clean your bike with it.
    I can't agree more.

  14. #14
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    I highly recommend against spraying your bike at even remotely high pressure. Bike's that people spray in order to clean are coined as "car wash bikes" in my shop. Often times, you end up getting the bike to look aesthetically pleasing, but muck up everything. I prefer a toothbrush and a rag.

  15. #15
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    Also, for the wheels I use a bigger brush (think like a small broom head) on the tires. Dip it in simple green water and get the water all over the top of the tire (I do ~8in segments going from the valve hole). Scrub scrub. Sidewall/rim. Scrub. Turn wheel. Dip in simple green water. Repeat.

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