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Old 05-15-09, 11:06 AM   #1
ranoobu
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Bought a used bike. Need frame cleaning tips

Hey everyone. I did a search and someone gave advice about this thread:

Washing your bike

Has great cleaning advice, but I somehow doubt they don't clean their bikes often

I bought a used bike that's fairly dirty.. has stickers on it so there's sticky stuff on parts of the bike..

Does anyone have any tips on cleaning a REALLY dirty bike?

I want to wash the frame of the bike so it looks fairly new again.

Thanks!
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Old 05-15-09, 11:12 AM   #2
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It's paint on metal. Just wash it the way you would anything else.
WD-40 or something similar will clean off the sticker goo (kerosene or cheap Home Depot paint thinner works, too). Use a rag or a soft brush with detergent and water, a toothbrush for the nooks and crannies, solvent of your choice for the greasy mechanical parts. Rinse with a hose or clear water from a bucket. Bounce it on the grass a few times to shake off the water, dry with a towel, wax with car polish or Pledge if you want, then lube all the brake and derailleur pivots and the chain.
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Old 05-15-09, 11:14 AM   #3
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Thank you!
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Old 05-15-09, 11:50 AM   #4
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I also have black stuff on the chains and sprockets.. is this grease? Is it suppose to be there?
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Old 05-15-09, 02:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
It's paint on metal. Just wash it the way you would anything else.
WD-40 or something similar will clean off the sticker goo (kerosene or cheap Home Depot paint thinner works, too). Use a rag or a soft brush with detergent and water, a toothbrush for the nooks and crannies, solvent of your choice for the greasy mechanical parts. Rinse with a hose or clear water from a bucket. Bounce it on the grass a few times to shake off the water, dry with a towel, wax with car polish or Pledge if you want, then lube all the brake and derailleur pivots and the chain.

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Old 05-15-09, 03:48 PM   #6
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I also have black stuff on the chains and sprockets.. is this grease? Is it suppose to be there?
If it's on the teeth and sprockets, no it's not, it's grime from the chain. The previous rider probably used WD-40 or something like that to lubricate the chain. Bad idea, that stuff picks up dirt and all kinds of grime. If the chain is really bad, you might want to just replace it, since it'll continue to transfer that junk onto the sprocket and rear derailer, which will mess up the perfomance of the bike.

Not to mention, the grime on the chain tends to solidify a bit over time, which makes the chain less flexible.
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Old 05-15-09, 04:39 PM   #7
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For old, oxidized and/or faded frames, use automotive polishing compound. It is cheap and brings back the luster. Apply with a toothbrush around lugs. Careful around non-clear coated decals
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Old 05-15-09, 10:17 PM   #8
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I also have black stuff on the chains and sprockets.. is this grease? Is it suppose to be there?
Sorry--I should have included that. The black stuff is probably a combination of lubricant, either grease or oil, and dirt. You can get it off (except for the chain) with any solvent (WD-40 works) and a rag, brush, Q-tip or whatever's appropriate for the space. Depending on how far you want to disassemble the bike, it can be quick or tedious to get it pretty clean, and there are a few tricks. For instance, you can run the edge of an old towel between the cogs on the cassette or freewheel and just pull it back and forth. The cassette will rotate in one direction but not the other, and pretty soon it's clean. Some people spray the whole driveline (chain, derailleurs and all the gears) with WD-40, let it stand a few minutes, then wipe it all down.
The chain is a special case, because it has so many parts and little crannies. A lubricant like ProLink (from a bike shop) works well and doesn't leave much residue.
I'm assuming you don't have many tools or much bike-specific stuff and that you don't want to take the bike apart. If that's the case, here's a chain procedure that isn't ideal, but will work: Spray the chain with something like WD-40, rotate the cranks backward several times, then leave it alone for a few minutes.
Now, take a rag or old towel (you're going to ruin it), grasp the lower part of the chain with it and rotate the crank backward while wiping the chain, moving to a fresh part of the towel as needed. You'll be amazed how much crud comes off. You'll probably have to repeat this three or four times before it even looks a LITTLE clean.
When it's shiny enough to suit you, wipe it once more, then apply a chain lube like ProLink or White Lightning (bike shop; ask for a recommendation if you're not sure) according to instructions. Repeat this a few times at, say, 200-mile intervals, then lube periodically. ProLink itself is a pretty good chain cleaner, but too expensive to use that way.
Or get a new chain, as the other post suggested, and clean and lube that.
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Old 05-16-09, 12:37 AM   #9
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Thank you guys for all the great advice : )
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Old 05-16-09, 12:50 AM   #10
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Hey Velo Dog,

Will the WD-40 on the chain go away after i apply the chain lube?

Because on Biketutor, they say never use WD-40 on the chain because it's actually bad for it..

They say something to the affect of: The chain is too fast for the WD-40 and actually ends up stripping lube off the chain so it becomes metal on metal friction.

Here's the vid for reference http://bicycletutor.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/
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