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  1. #1
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Cleaning your Commuter in the Winter

    No hose, no problem! I just gave my bike a serious scrub-down and it's only 12F here. Thought I'd share and see what you guys are doing this winter season:

    http://maxthecyclist.wordpress.com/2...ke-clean-mind/

    So, how are you cleaning your horses?
    Ultralight Gear Lists and Reviews... MAXTHECYCLIST.COM

  2. #2
    Senior Member blakcloud's Avatar
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    Live in a condo and the parking garage is too cold to wash a bike comfortably so I take it and wash it in my shower.

  3. #3
    bragi bragi's Avatar
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    I clean my rims and drive train once a week the old-fashioned way: with chain lube, a few rags and a lot of elbow grease. Every once in a while I get lazy and take the bike to a car wash; it's adequate, but not as good as doing it by hand, and you have to be careful about not getting high-power spray into the bearings.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I lube the chain and wipe the bikes down when they find their way into the shop... they stay outside in the cold to keep things from thawing out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I contemplate bringing it in to the carwash now and then. Does that count?
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  6. #6
    Fork and spoon operator
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    Every week or two I take off the chain and cassette. While I soak those in soapy water I clean the bike with dish soap and rinse. After I let everything dry for a while I put it all back and lube. It only takes about 30 minutes of my time (it does sit around drying for a few hours), and it works great.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Here, they get a rinse while parked outside and I'm inside

    pull the chain off and clean off the drivetrain occasionally .

    IGH needs little service other than that.

  8. #8
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Shower.
    ...if you do this warn your SO before hand. Bikes are apparently worse than plants if in the shower.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  9. #9
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    I've done the shower as well as the rags and soapy water approach before. And I had to take a hammer to my brakes last night to loosen up one of the sides so I could pull it off and re-grease it. The shower works great but really annoyed the wife.
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

  10. #10
    Senior Member jrickards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I lube the chain and wipe the bikes down when they find their way into the shop... they stay outside in the cold to keep things from thawing out.
    I like this idea as I can't bring my bike into the shower, nor into a car wash (it would freeze up when finished). I know it's not the best but when I bring my bike to work and into the indoor storage while I'm at work, at about morning break when the bike has warmed up and snow has melted off, I do I quick spray of the cassette, r-derail and chain with WD40 to ward off rust and in the spring, I'll have to do a good cleanup.
    A word to the wise ain't necessary - it's the stupid ones that need the advice. Bill Cosby

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Last night, I used a sponge and Fantastik. Then I set the bike atop the bedroom dresser. Then my wife came home. She didn't like the aesthetic. Well, I tried.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
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  12. #12
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    I haven't cleaned my commute bike all winter. Every couple weeks I've wiped down and re-oiled the chain. It has been way too cold to take the bike outside for a pressure washing, and I am too lazy to clean it any other way. It has been too cold to really do much of anything in my (unheated) garage. As a result the bike is really quite dirty. I feel kind of bad about it.
    Your signature contains too many lines and must be shortened. You may only have up to 2 line(s). Long text may have been implicitly wrapped, causing it to be

  13. #13
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I don't clean my bikes during winter. It doesn't do anything. I wait until spring, usually around April and then I just hose them down with cold water or let spring rains do the washing.

  14. #14
    Seior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I just clean it 20 times on March 20. Over the season, it averages out.

    Seriously, no point. If I cleaned the bike, it'd be muddy as hell a mile later.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Clean Bike, Clean Mind..... I like that.

  16. #16
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I lube the chain and wipe the bikes down when they find their way into the shop... they stay outside in the cold to keep things from thawing out.
    Same for me, but they do make it into the garage where the snow/ice ususally does melt. That's why I use fenders to keep the spray down, and wipe down the chain and lube it every day.

  17. #17
    Senior Member awfulwaffle's Avatar
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    Posted on this same topic at the beginning of the winter, and got a lot of great responses from folks. Living in an apartment and being unable to bring a snowy mucky bike inside, I had to resort to bringing out milk jugs full of hot water to the garage to douse the drivetrain. Then, thoroughly wipe, dry and relube everything. I left the frame/wheels the way they were until I recently pulled the bike completely apart. Still got a bit of rusting on some of the chain links, chainrings and the pin joints in the derailleurs. Nothing that kept the bike from functioning, but it WAS a convenient excuse to finally upgrade my drivetrain

  18. #18
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    When I've been in really sloppy weather (stuff even full fenders can't keep away from frame and drive train) I take a bucket of hot water and douse the bike, bounce it up and down a few times, and in we go to the slate covered floor of the sunroom. There, the bike goes up on the repair stand and gets wiped down and drive chain lubed. For the most part I do this so that the bike isn't a complete mess when I take it into my office and learn it against the front of my desk. The morning commute is almost always so cold that there is not much slop to ride in. Ice and snow, yes. Slop, no. Now on the way home when it's warmed up a bit that all changes.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
    Clean Bike, Clean Mind..... I like that.
    I had a professor in college whose motto was, Clean body, clean mind, take your pick.
    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

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I clean the chain and relube every few weeks, but let it go otherwise. It's just going to get dirty again.

  21. #21
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    ... clean? I just brush it off when it dries off, and degrease/relube the chain once in a while. The braking surfaces get a rubdown and the pads will get some steel wool once in a while.

    Last edited by bigbenaugust; 02-19-14 at 10:51 AM.
    --Ben
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    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I openSUSE: III

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Using water isn't a very good option here as our winter temperatures are usually below freezing... I'd end up with a bikecicle.

    My Extrabike stays remarkably clean and this is due to the full coverage fenders... it gets wiped down a few times a year whether it needs it or not, gets a coat of wax, and I maintain the chain as needed.

    After six winters it is looking as good as the day I built it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I had a professor in college whose motto was, Clean body, clean mind, take your pick.
    Hummmmm.... Everybody knows a healthy body, makes a healthy mind.
    ~ MR. APOLLO,
    The Bonzo Dog Band

  24. #24
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    It's been pretty rain-free here in California, but I also keep my bike inside for the most part. I have a patio and if it's not cluttered, I can wash my bike there. Chain cleanings and the like are best done at a shop.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Last night, I used a sponge and Fantastik. Then I set the bike atop the bedroom dresser. Then my wife came home. She didn't like the aesthetic. Well, I tried.
    see what your girlfriends thinks ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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