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  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Bike primping tips

    OK, so I like to keep my bike clean & shiny. Call me pickey, but I like for the bike to look as good as it did when it was new. I've found several easy tricks that seem to work well for me. I'll share mine in hopes that youse gals & guys will reply with others that I might not know.

    1. To keep aluminum shiny like new, I use a product called "Nevr-Dull" (sic). The product comes on cotton wadding in a can. To use it, tear off a small bit of the cotton wadding, and rub the aluminum with it. Aluminum comes out looking like chrome.

    2. To keep paint looking like "freshly waxed," I use a can of Pledge spray furniture polish. Spray the polish on a rag and wipe the paint. This will displace moisture and make the paint look "wet." Don't get the overspray on the rims, though - the polish will act like a lubricant on braking surfaces.

    3. To get moisture & dust out of hard-to-reach places on the bike (between the arms of brake calipers, for instance), I use "canned compessed air." This is available in the computer section of most stores & can be had cheaply. If you've an air compressor at your house, the can won't be needed. For most folks, though, the can goes a long way. If there's really hard to dislodge crud, I use some degreaser (full strength) on a Q-Tip.

    4. To keep my chain from picking up lots of dust and crud, I minimize the amount of lube on the chain. This takes more time when lubing, but pays off in less frequent cleaning & lubes. To minimize the amount of lubricant used, I use a "pinpoint oiler." This is a small tube of oil with a small-ga. needle on the front. The needle allows a drop (and a small drop, at that) of oil to be placed directly on each pin-plate junction on the chain. The small amount dispensed prevents the oil from migrating too much onto the actual cross-bolts of the chain (where it isn't needed & just picks up dust). To see what links I've lubed & which I haven't I put a plastic-coated wire-tie around my starting link. The wire tie is thin enough to travel through the derailleur cogs without incident. When the wire tie comes around again, the chain is lubed!

    Hope these helped. I'd like to hear your "tricks & tips" too. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Here's a good site with information on keeping a bike clean. I believe it was posted on here once before.
    http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=85

  3. #3
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    I find that the most effective way to keep my bike clean is to not ride it, but I can never manage that.

    The bike that I ride the most is used for commuting, in all weather, it gets 150 to 200 miles per week put on it,and I spend about 30 mins, once a week, cleaning it up, relubing etc. More time is spent cleaning and relubing the chain than anything else. I'd rather spend my time sitting on the saddle than polishing it.

  4. #4
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Wow. Good tips. Thanks. Any tips for removing small pockets of rust? I've been told that steel wool is bad because little shards get embedded and then created their own problems.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    My bike is filthy.
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    • 1993 Giant Kronos
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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    Wow. Good tips. Thanks. Any tips for removing small pockets of rust? I've been told that steel wool is bad because little shards get embedded and then created their own problems.
    Any liquid metal polish rubbed in with stiff cardboard. One we used to use was Brasso. But that is an old product in the UK and has probably disappeared under Health and safety.

    Now Fibre glass and Carbon Fibre. When it starts to lose its lustre- The best polish is Brylcreem. Lightly applied on a fine cloth and it works wonders and does not affect the outer Gel coat.

    For washing down the mountain bike- I spray it with MUCK OFF before hosing down. It even gets rid of the mud stains that stay on the frame -no matter how many times you hose it down. Is also biological and works wonders as a chain cleaner- Comes as a 1 litre bottle and is not cheap so I buy it in bulk 25L As I am also tight fisted- I mix it 50/50 with water and it works just as well. Mind you the water is a special Scottish Highland water that is naturally carbonated and comes from a Tiny glen in Ayreshire. If I can't get hold of that special mineral water- I use Tap water and it is almost as good. So good in fact that I can hardly tell the difference.
    Last edited by stapfam; 07-07-06 at 02:50 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    All of this cleaning talk shamed me into washing and lubing my and my wife's bikes....

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Gosh stapfam, I have always found that Perrier works best. You just need to get about 4 cases of those little bottles. The plus is you can then wash the bike anywhere. lol

  9. #9
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    This is one great thread. Is there any way to save it for reference? Thanks FarHorizon for starting this. Now I have a question. My alloy crank on my Fuji has some sort of discoloration/funk (see attached). Is it possible to bring this up like new? If yes, what is the best method? Thanks

    EDIT: I saw FarHorizons response to this question on another thread. Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by roccobike; 07-07-06 at 04:35 PM.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  10. #10
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Agree keeping bike cleans is a must. Keep crud, mud, off all parts.
    We use the 'wax' method for lubricating chains. Canning wax works fine. Clean chain, then drop it in a can of heated/liquified wax for a few minutes. Haul it out with pair of pliers; let it drip-dry (don't touch it for a while: it's hot!). Re-install chain after wiping chain down with clean rag. Some tiny bits of blackened wax may come off and adhere to chainstay, but that wipes off easily. Wax penetrates around chainlink pins, where lube is needed . . . good results; and you can grab chain barehanded and NO mess on the hands!
    In the dry climate of Arizona, we can get 3,000 miles out of a chain waxing.
    Pedal on!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    To minimize the amount of lubricant used, I use a "pinpoint oiler." This is a small tube of oil with a small-ga. needle on the front. The needle allows a drop (and a small drop, at that) of oil to be placed directly on each pin-plate junction on the chain. The small amount dispensed prevents the oil from migrating too much onto the actual cross-bolts of the chain (where it isn't needed & just picks up dust).
    A larger hypodermic needle (from a farm/animal supply) with the point ground down works wonderfully for getting into tight places--and flows exactly where and how you want it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    Any tips for removing small pockets of rust? I've been told that steel wool is bad because little shards get embedded and then created their own problems.
    You can try a marine supply for bronze wool--like steel, but doesn't rust. Personally I tear small pieces of fine sandpaper and force them into the tight spots with my fingertip. Fine grits tend to be thin and conform to odd shapes easily.

    On a real rare occasion I'll pull out my small bead blaster--about $15 from Harbor Freight-- but it's a real pain (real messy, glass bead everywhere--I mean everywhere) and I'll do almost anything before resorting to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    My alloy crank on my Fuji has some sort of discoloration/funk (see attached). Is it possible to bring this up like new?
    I'd try DuPont red rubbing compound (little white plastic tub), available at the 'Mart stores or at almost every auto supply store. Use a clean rag and polish. Repeat. If this isn't satisfactory, use a fine steel wool (000), lightly rub the area, then polish with the red compound. Just a note: try this on the back of the crank first just in case.
    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    One we used to use was Brasso. But that is an old product in the UK and has probably disappeared under Health and safety.

    .
    First used Brasso while in the service. It is still available. I purchased a big tin last year to clean my copper awnings on the house.

  13. #13
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    Wow. Good tips. Thanks. Any tips for removing small pockets of rust? I've been told that steel wool is bad because little shards get embedded and then created their own problems.
    To remove rust from chrome, wad up a bit of aluminum foil (the baking kind). Buff with the wadded foil & the chrome will look like new. This won't work with painted steel, though.

    By the way, the furniture polish works great on auto finishes too!

    An additional tip that I just saw in the Mechanics' forum bears repeating: To adjust your index shifter, put the bike in any gear, then look at the derailleur cogs - adjust the cable barrel until the derailleur cog is directly in line with the cassette cog. Once one is in line, they all are!
    Last edited by FarHorizon; 07-07-06 at 05:47 PM.

  14. #14
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    All of this cleaning talk shamed me into washing and lubing my and my wife's bikes....
    Some people are weak!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    This is one great thread. Is there any way to save it for reference? Thanks FarHorizon for starting this. Now I have a question. My alloy crank on my Fuji has some sort of discoloration/funk (see attached). Is it possible to bring this up like new? If yes, what is the best method? Thanks

    EDIT: I saw FarHorizons response to this question on another thread. Thanks.
    You can also try toothpaste. It's a bit less abrassive than rubbing compounds.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  16. #16
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Nokon cables.... and maybe one of those green light tubes to put under your chaninstays.... they look kind of pimpin'.....

    OOps! you said pRimping.... Never mind.......
    Carpe who?

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88
    You can also try toothpaste. It's a bit less abrassive than rubbing compounds.
    Let's see. I need to make sure I have this straight!

    Clean my bike with toothpaste and brush my teeth with Brasso.

    Correct.

    Youse guys drive a slob like me nuts.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    This is one great thread. Is there any way to save it for reference?
    I would be pleased to put a link on the Rogue's Gallery web site when I update on the 15th. However, that would only work for those who visit the Rogue's Gallery!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  19. #19
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Let's see. I need to make sure I have this straight! Clean my bike with toothpaste and brush my teeth with Brasso...
    Parts is parts...

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