Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy
The best practice is preventative. After each ride, do a wipe down. I combine that wipe down with a jersey and shorts washing. First I get a 2 gallon bucket from Home Depot, the white one. I use laundry detergent and cold water. I soak the jersey and shorts and then proceed to use that same solution and a shop rag to wipe down the bike.
The toughest part is the down tube, the under side where all the grime attaches. I am careful here because the rubbing will scratch the paint surface. So I use a well soaked solution to remove it. Then I rinse that shop towel to get the grime off. I then wipe off again the same area to make sure all the particles are removed. The other part that gets dirty is the bottom bracket, the seat tube, the rear wheel's chain stays, and the front fork, especially in the wheel well near the crown of the fork.
The seat post sometimes gets dirty depending on the wetness of the road and how much gets splashed up there.
In about 10 minutes to 15, your bike is wiped down and now your jersey and shorts are ready for a little agitation, rinse and hang dry in the sun. That's how I remove the body sweat and odor from the clothing each time. The detergent should be enough to remove the body oils in the sweat. The sun drying makes it smell nice.
I have steel, aluminum, and carbon. So I use a automotive product like Mother's or Meguiar's detailer spray on thing. I don't know if it qualifies as a wax but it goes on fast and makes the surfaces shine and slippery.