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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-02-13, 05:51 PM   #1
LAG-bolt
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How often do you clean your commuter?

I just spent some time cleaning, adjusting and lubing my commuter bike. It's the first time in close to a year that I have cleaned it. I regularly clean and lube the chain, but the rest not so much. Happy and SAFE commuting ...
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Old 06-02-13, 06:33 PM   #2
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I never wash or clean my bikes. No need. Bikes are not babies. I don't mind having road grime on my bikes.
I only ride FG/SS bikes so there isn't any maintenance besides lubing chain once in a while.
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Old 06-02-13, 06:42 PM   #3
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I clean my commuter same as auto commuters clean the undersides of their cars and trucks...never. Same as the OP, I maintain components as necessary.
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Old 06-02-13, 07:31 PM   #4
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never
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Old 06-02-13, 07:33 PM   #5
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About once a year on a whim, if I have a bike on the workstand, I might decide to clean it. But it's not really necessary.
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Old 06-02-13, 07:51 PM   #6
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Once every 5, 6 years... I think about it, and then decide , well it's just going to get dirty again real quick, so once in 12 years would be my answerer...
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Old 06-02-13, 08:17 PM   #7
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This winter, I did the following every one to two weekends (depending on conditions): remove chain, chain ring (1x9 setup), and cassette. Degrease and clean these parts. Wash wheels and bike with soap. Re-oil.

It sounds excessive compared to other replies, but the Minnesota snow, sand and salt really gum stuff up. By Thursday and Friday nothing felt like it worked crisply. Now that the weather's good I don't usually do much besides oil, but I still take things apart and clean them every once in a while. And I try to wash everything with dish soap every couple weeks.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:19 PM   #8
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after every rain ride.

dry brush the mud weekly.

wipe/lube chain weekly.

hose down after a deep mud ride (my commuters are also my fun bikes).
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Old 06-02-13, 08:32 PM   #9
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Once a month or so, I'll knock off the major gunk, maybe power wash the panniers. Otherwise, I grease regularly and use a dry rag to clean off my components of any extra crap.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:46 PM   #10
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Clean, not much. As for adjustment I fiddle with it constantly, probably just because I enjoy it
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Old 06-02-13, 08:51 PM   #11
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WIth my old bike, a $300 black hybrid, I rode it 8 years and never cleaned it. I blasted it with a power washer when it got caked in crap but I never actually wiped it down or anything.

The new bike is an $800 road bike from BD, and it's white and pretty. I know it's not really necessary for its operation but I have wiped it down a bit. Mainly when I've been wrestling with the chain or a tire or something and smudge grease onto the white paint, when I put it up on the stand to adjust something I'll put some degreaser on a rag and wipe the smudges off. I also hit it with a power washer whenever I've ridden it in the rain, because grit gets under the brake pads and they grind. I don't want to wear down the rims prematurely.
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Old 06-02-13, 08:58 PM   #12
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My "commuter" is my only bike. I clean the rims and wipe off and lube the drive train about once a week. (I have rim brakes.) If you do these things regularly, the life span of the rims, the chain and gears is twice what it would otherwise be. I never clean the rest of the bike.

Last edited by bragi; 06-02-13 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 06-02-13, 09:06 PM   #13
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Usually whenever I am fiddling with some parts, mostly to keep the grime off my carpet. Pretty generally, rain takes care of most of it for me.

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Old 06-02-13, 09:54 PM   #14
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Shouldn't hit your bike much with a power washer, can get soap and water in loose bearing hubs and bottom brackets.
Don't really clean my commuters much.
Clean the drive train and lube as needed.
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Old 06-02-13, 10:15 PM   #15
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Pretty much never. When the drive train starts to get noisy I'll wipe it off and oil but that's about it.
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Old 06-02-13, 10:27 PM   #16
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When it rains.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:09 PM   #17
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Chain, cassette, chain rings, and derailleurs- Clean and lube every two weeks or after a rain day (or consecutive rainy days).
I wipe the chain every few rides or so.
I wipe down the rest weekly.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:12 PM   #18
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I wax mine once a month and that keeps almost all the dirt off the frame. After every few commutes I'll wipe it down with a soft cloth to get any grease smudges off.

I often neglect cleaning it after every ride because I'm tired, and the first thing I'm worried about isn't a smudge, but rather going to sleep.
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Old 06-03-13, 12:21 AM   #19
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At least once a week. Wiping them down with Protect-All and a micro-fiber cloth gets 'em nice and shiny and allows me to look for issues. I oil the chains and drive trains at least weekly.
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Old 06-03-13, 12:58 AM   #20
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Once a week on Sunday usually. It's less a "clean" and more a check-up so my 5 days a week riding to work can hopefully go on without issue.

If it rained really badly one day, I usually wipe it down at night when I get home.
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Old 06-03-13, 05:41 AM   #21
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I cleaned mine for the first time in a year last weekend.
The reflective sidewall on my rear tire was so grimy it no longer reflected.
I took a brush and tire/whitewall cleaner to the tires, the rest was simple rubdown and relube.
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Old 06-03-13, 05:52 AM   #22
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When I notice it's dirty. I dont have a program, sometimes I might go weeks, sometimes every week for a while. I have noticed the more I ride it, the less I clean it. I guess I dont have time to clean it while I am riding to work. I do lube it and air up the tires. At that time I usually wipe down something.
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Old 06-03-13, 06:17 AM   #23
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I clean mine once a month or so. Dirt hides moisture, and moisture causes corrosion. So, it's just something to keep it up to snuff.

Of course, the drive train gets cleaned/lubed as needed, not just monthly.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:13 AM   #24
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The chain and drive train I'll keep clean, whenever it starts to make noise or needs lubrication. As for the rest I go through mud and flood water often enough that caked-on mud and leaves shames me into scraping it off and then I go ahead and clean the whole bike. That can vary from between twice a week this year, to weeks in between cleaning.
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Old 06-03-13, 07:26 AM   #25
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I'll wash it every couple of months, just like my car.
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