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Old 03-19-05, 02:28 PM   #1
whisper
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I'm kind of a n00b so sorry if I sound naive. Chance are it's because I am I'm wondering how often you guys would recommend cleaning your bike and lubing up your chain for someone (like me) who rides almost daily. To and from work during the weekdays and for fun on the weekends. I live in the Northeast so the winters are not nice to bikes here. I've had my new Rockhopper for two weeks and already it was covered in mud, salt, and sand (especially the chain, chainrings, freewheel, derailleurs... basically all the components). Also, what are some essential do's and don'ts for bike cleaning. Here's what I decided to do this afternoon:

1. sprayed the whole bike down with water (gently) using a hose, and then applied a foamy layer of "simple green bike cleanser and degreaser" (purchased at a local bike shop). I basically put it everywhere including the frame and components because it's supposed to be pretty safe stuff. I cleaned the rims, chainrings, and freewheel using a brush which I also purchased along with the simple green.

2. rinsed everything with water and dried with a cloth.

3. applied some chain lube around the chain and let it sit a few minutes, then wiped with the cloth as I peddled backwards to move the chain through the cloth. I used "Pedro's Ice Wax" cuase this is what they sold at the shop and it said it was for dry to damp conditions which pretty much covers my normal riding conditions.

I think everything went pretty well, just not sure if I put enough lube back on the chain or not. I'm also wondering if there are any other components besides the chain that I should be lubing up, and how often I should be doing this whole process. Thanks in advance.

Last edited by whisper; 03-19-05 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 03-19-05, 03:28 PM   #2
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Here's a start:

For bike cleaning, CLICK ME

For chain cleaning, CLICK ME
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Old 03-19-05, 03:31 PM   #3
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Here's another:

For lubricating cables, CLICK ME
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Old 03-19-05, 03:57 PM   #4
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Those are pretty welds in your avatar.
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Old 03-19-05, 08:20 PM   #5
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Ahhhh, nice guides. Thanks guys. That chain cleaning tool looks pretty cool, though it seems like one could probably do an adequate job using a regular brush instead.

Any suggestions about how often to do a cleaning? I've heard as often as every ride, but to be honest I probably don't have the time to do that. I was thinking every two weeks for the chain, and the rest of the bike/components whenever they start to look crudded up (probably two week intervals in the winter and maybe a little less in the summer when it's dryer weather). Of course, if I take it out on a trail ride and get it really nice and gritty (the sign of a fun ride for sure) then I imagine it's good to give it a cleaning right away?
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Old 03-19-05, 09:09 PM   #6
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you dont need to do everyride unless your going in super muddy conditions. Once a week, maybe every two if your riding in nicer conditions.
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Old 03-19-05, 09:16 PM   #7
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This will be overkill to most. After every ride, I use a home air compressor and blow All components and do a preventitive maintience check. After any rain ride or approx. every 2 weeks. I remove the rear wheel and wash it and whole bike with mild car wash soap. Then apply citrus cleaner to all components and clean . With wheel off clean cogs with citrus cleaner. With the wheel off it's easy to get to the chain stay/seat stay/bottom bracket areas. Remove chain(I use a power link) and put it in 1 gal milk jug. Add approx 1 pt. of mineral spirits . Shake well. No matter how clean the chain looks I assure you the mineral spirits will turn dark. Repeat until mineral spirits stay clean. I use two chains and rotate them every cleaning. Let this one air dry at least a couple of hours. Then apply White Lightning lube.Wipe of excess. (this one will be ready to install after next cleaning). Install clean/lubed chain. Remount rear wheel. After everything air drys. I use the air compressor and blow ALL the water out of every component, nook, and cranny. Next spray a small amount of dry silcone to all component pivot points. Wipe off any excess.Do a preventive maintience check and take care of anything that needs it. You now have clean bike and one you know is road worthy. This probably seems like overkill. But I'm retired so I have the time. And I just love my bike. <><
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Old 03-20-05, 08:01 AM   #8
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On my commuter bike I've experimentally done virtually no preventive maintenance for two years of year round riding. I only fix things that stop working correctly. Again, this is an experiment, and I have an internal geared hub (nexus 7), but I'm discovering the chain is the most susceptible to problems in a short time. I recently had to replace a chain that got too crunchy to ride. It wasn't very old. I'm learning that you minimally should clean, dry and protect the chain soon after wet / sloppy rides. Maybe I'll learn more soon.
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