1: I'm planning on spring cleaning my Specialized Allez. Anything I should watch out for, common newbie mistakes? (I've got Park Tools Polylube 1000 and generic chain grease -- any other lubricants I should stock up on?)
2: Bike gets REALLY dirty, REALLY often. In Texas the crude oil just sort of seeps out of the ground, like the scene in the opening of the Beverly Hillbillies where Jed misses the bunny but hits the crude oil reservoir. I'd like to clean it more often but don't have the time. If I take it to one of those car pressure-wash places then re-lube the chain and spread some more of this polylube grease on the chainrings, will my bike rust and/or explode? I'm in Austin, so it should go from wet to air-dried in about 30 mins.
Hi pressure spray can get into your hubs and other bearings, and cable ends - not advised. A bucket of warm soapy water and a rag is best, followed by a wipe down with a clean towel.
Your chain should be almost dry when done. Clean, but almost dry. Just enough lube to ward off corrosion and noise. Any more will attract grit. No need to lube the rings.
I clean each of mine once or twice a season - which means taking off the cranks and washing them in the sink, and that let's me get all around the BB, too. With the proper tools (and use of those tools) it takes about 1 minute to do.
yeah, no pressure wash, for sure. dry cleaning i find is the best, never use water on my bikes.. polylube is for bearings and stuff, not really for chains. i really like using finish line cross country lube for my chain when i think it's going to get dirty. it holds up well in water/grit. also, if you are getting sprayed with crude oil, i would imagine that that would be enough lube to cover most everything on your bike so that maintenance would become unneccesary.
The guys at my university bike co-op recommended using something like Simple Green and warm water... tooth brushes to clean the chain and cogs, get all the crud out of the nooks and crannies. I just bought a bottle. I'm not going to go crazy until this New England winter is over (I am an optimist - it's got end eventually!), but I did spray some on a rag and wipe a lot of the grime off of my frame this week prior to leaving it to sit unridden for a week or so. WHOA, does that stuff take grime and salt off of a frame! I am suitably impressed. I think I'm gonna dilute it next time, though . I just hope that the stuff isn't bad for my paint job. I figure it's safe for most surfaces (according to the bottle) and it's been recommended to me by quite a few folks, so it should be okay.