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  1. #1
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    My Bike Was Filthy

    Getting ready for a 50 miler tomorrow with a friend. Decided to check the bike over and clean it up a bit. I didn't expect to find both the idler pulley and the jockey pulley completely gunked up with grit and grime. Tried just chunking it off with some degreaser and a rag but ended up using a flat blade screwdriver to scrape it off. I had no idea that it had accumulated so much junk. I think the cleaning will help the shifting and I just hope the neglect hasn't done any damage to the chain or the cassette. I need to be more conscientious I guess.

    Moral of the story, there is more to cleaning than the body of the bike. Come the fall a full bottom up cleaning is in order.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  2. #2
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    I'm kinda new here, just got into cycling, kids and wife joined in, now got 5 bikes to maintain( no clue) what's the standard cleaning and maintence method for bikes

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridernthestorm View Post
    I'm kinda new here, just got into cycling, kids and wife joined in, now got 5 bikes to maintain( no clue) what's the standard cleaning and maintence method for bikes
    This could go on for pages (Google "bike maintenance" or go to Park Tools website for details), but here are some key things:
    Check the tire pressures often, every ride or two. Use a gauge. High pressure road tires need it more often than fatties. Also inspect the tires for thorns, glass etc.
    Lube the chain every 50-100 miles, or whenever it squeaks or shifting gets balky. It's worth buying a real chain lube, like ProLink. Motor oil holds dirt and WD40 is too...well, I've used WD40, and it worked OK, but it's supposed to be too light or something. Buy chain lube.
    Especially on the kids' bikes, occasionally check the tightness of the bolts and fasteners. Yours, too, but you'll probably notice if something works loose.
    That about does it for daily stuff. Eventually you'll have to repack bearings, true wheels and things like that, which requires special tools, but you can pick them up as you need them. Park Tool is a good site for maintenance and repair information, but don't sweat it. Once you get things dialed in, you can ride hundreds of miles with just air and oil.
    Oh--CARRY A PATCH KIT OR SPARE TUBES AND A PUMP on all rides. You WILL have flats, guaranteed. And if you don't know how to fix one, google it and practice at home. My first time took half an hour; I can do it now in 3-4 minutes with a frame-fit pump.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Bikes can take so much dirt and grime before they start losing efficiency- and all that grease will stop the C.F. from corroding

    Parts I never look at are the brakes. They get a wipe down where I can see but last clean-up of a bike and I looked a bit further. This was after a ride with mud on the road and I thought the brakes were binding but it was dirt build up between the forks and the tyre. That suggested to me that I strip the brake unit and the dirt was not peel off with a screwdriver--It was with a knife blade it was so encrusted.

    Every year I strip the bikes down to bare frame and rebuild. Only takes a few hours to strip and rebuild but it is surprising how filthy bikes can get away from just sight. And you pick up the problems while still a problem and not a breakdown.
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    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timtruro View Post
    Getting ready for a 50 miler tomorrow with a friend. Decided to check the bike over and clean it up a bit. I didn't expect to find both the idler pulley and the jockey pulley completely gunked up with grit and grime. Tried just chunking it off with some degreaser and a rag but ended up using a flat blade screwdriver to scrape it off. I had no idea that it had accumulated so much junk. I think the cleaning will help the shifting and I just hope the neglect hasn't done any damage to the chain or the cassette. I need to be more conscientious I guess.

    Moral of the story, there is more to cleaning than the body of the bike. Come the fall a full bottom up cleaning is in order.
    Hmm. Actually you have had it backwards. It really doesn't matter whether you clean the frame, dirt isn't going to do it any harm. The drivetrain is the only bit that really needs cleaning on a regular basis, because grit and accumulated gloop will both compromise efficiency and accelerate wear.

    Don't lubricate with WD-40, it isn't a lubricant.

    Beyond the drivetrain and keeping the tyres inflated, check the brake pads for wear and replace as necessary, and every now and again look at the brake and gear cables. Any sign of wear and corrosion and these need replacing, but you may find that they are fine for years at a time. Sealed bottom bracket units are pretty much maintenance-free, as are headsets these days.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    During the ride today it seemed that the shifting was smoother and the pedaling quiter. Whether this was psychological or not I dont know, but I guess that really doesn't matter as I thought the cleaning made it so. The ride ended up being 56.4 miles ( don't forget the .4 as we were very tired by then). My wife and a friend met us and drove home after fish and chips, but alas, no pie. Now that I think of it there might be some apple pie in the fridge!
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  7. #7
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    A clean bike is a happy bike!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post

    Don't lubricate with WD-40, it isn't a lubricant.
    WD-40 is indeed a lubricant. It has several properties besides lubing and is considered as a light purpose one.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    WD is not a lubricant but still a useful product. It has water repellent properties that are second to none and will put a coating over metals to stop corrosion. Superb assembly lubricant and will protect those parts that you never see with the thin film of oil. And great for softening those bits of crud that take ages to scrape off parts. I use a lot of it and buy in 5 litre cans nowadays and saves buying those very expensive spray cans that always seem to be empty when you need it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I use Boshield T-9.

    Boeshield T-9® was developed and licensed by The Boeing Company to fill their need for a superior lubricant/protectant.

    The formulation, based on a unique combination of solvents and waxes, is designed to penetrate metal pores and dissolve minor corrosion, then leave a resilient waxy coating that lasts for many months.

    We began by successfully introducing Boeshield T-9® to the tough saltwater marine market for lubricating and protecting all metals. It works well on engines and deck hardware as well as electronics, batteries and wiring connections. It is non-conductive and will not cause short circuits.

    For bicycle chains, T-9® has proven to be a tough, long lasting waterproof lubricant. Our sales keep growing every year despite many competitors.

    On woodworking tool surfaces Boeshield T-9® recently topped all other surface treatments in Wood Magazine’s article on Rust Busters*. According to them: “Except for the section treated with Boeshield T-9® all sections have completely rusted over”. “There is only one choice for protectant as far as we’re concerned: Boeshield T-9®”.

    We feel we have the best product of its type on the market. In fact, if you think you’ve found a better penetrating lubricant and protectant, let us know, and we will refund your purchase price.


    ® Trademark and Technology owned and licensed by THE BOEING COMPANY

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    WD is not a lubricant but still a useful product.
    before you make statements like that refuting what others have said, know what you are talking about. It's 15 percent mineral oil which is a light lubricant like I said
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  12. #12
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Stan,
    The WD-40 does have a mineral oil component but the solvent in it that allows it to evaporate so well and fairly quickly eliminates its lubricant properties. The W D stands for water dispersant, as I am sure you know. (40 was the 40th formulation evaluated.) I just hate to see riders have a chain ruined by depending on it for a lubricant. It had no film properties that can be measured so the metal isn't protected like a chain lube can. A mineral oil won't adhere to the plates and pins well enough even if it wasn't diluted by the other components.

    As a "Light lubricant" with no evaporation or dilution it is okay but the stresses in a bicycle's drive are more than it can hope to achieve. As a motorcycle mechanic when I was young and an MX racer I have seen too many chains and sprockets ruined by riders that thought the WD-40 they used to clean their chain and figured the oily feeling was enough to serve as a lubricant.

    Hope this sheds a little light on the WD-40 debate, I swear by it as a dispersant after I clean my motocross motorcycle or my road bicycle. best wishes and great riding to you! have a good Sunday.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

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  13. #13
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    I could see using a degreaser and then cleaning the degreaser off with weak soapy water and then plain water--after which, post wiping the chain down, using WD-40 to eliminate other traces of water, but one should definitely use a quality bike chain lube as a final step.

    But, hey, I'm no expert. I've only been riding a very short time compared to many, if not most here.

    Definitely do not use WD-40 as your lubricant.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
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    Thanks Bill. I wouldn't advocate using it as a chain lube but there are people here that do. Anyway that's a good point you make about the evaporating properties also take away from the lubrication.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  15. #15
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    Thanks Bill. I wouldn't advocate using it as a chain lube but there are people here that do. Anyway that's a good point you make about the evaporating properties also take away from the lubrication.
    I suppose I started this by being imprecise. Yes, WD-40 has a mineral oil content and does lubricate. I should have said it isn't a suitable lubricant for a bicycle's drivetrain. I've unstuck a few locks with it, though...

  16. #16
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Chasm54,
    You didn't start any bad feelings here, you have a lot of experience to share with us and that is why I love 50+. Many people use WD-40 as a lubricant, it just will wear out there parts, needlessly. Too long a product history to erase this use, I just hate for a 50+ member to ruin a good chain or component. I have seen people on forums for dirt bikes go ballistic about WD-40 both ways. No need to get heated about anything here or any forum. It is just electrons in the ether after all, as Denver tells me when I get upset. And he is right, too.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

    "We can't control that we have Parkinson's, but we can control how we live with Parkinson's" Davis Phinney

  17. #17
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Don't forget to keep the braking surface on your rims clean. I use alcohol to remove any and all grease that can fall off the chain and contaminate the braking surface. I clean the front rims at the same time.
    When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

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