New to biking so I want to make sure im doing everything correctly. How would I go about cleaning my 2002 Fuji Roubaix? I usually just wipe down the bike itself then the chain and then I oil the chain, im not sure if there are any other steps I need to take so my bike doesn't get all the wear and tear early. I bought some chain oil called Road Rage, and it works well.
As far as cleaning the frame, I use Finish Line Bike Wash because it's biodegradeable, it also has rust inhibitors to prevent rust from washing and it does a good job at cleaning. I clean the chain using the Finish Line Cleaning machine and their solvent which is also biodegradeable and it gets the chain clean then use a brush to clean the gears. Do not rinse bike with forceful water spray just a gentle shower and avoid concentrating the water on the bottom bracket or headset areas (I wipe those areas off with a damp cloth). I then relube the chain with Finish Line Teflon Dry...maybe I should be a Finish Line Rep!
When the washing is done and I've dried the bike with towels I then wax it using standard non abrasive car wax like Mequires Gold. Obviously don't wax the rims unless your a professional stunt rider!!!
Pledge is nice for frames, for the chain, lube, wipe it off really well. I can't tell you how many bikes I see with and inch of black goo on their jockey pullies. There IS such a thing as over lubrication!
My LBS guy pulled me aside when I wanted to buy the cleaner they sell and he said "just use some simple green." I liked that tip.
One thing I have found is if I don't clean and lube the chain after every ride the chain develops a sticky link and then it starts skipping on hills and then I generally end up throwing them away and starting over.
I don't remember having this kinds of problems as a kid - we just rode. Just getting persnickety as I get older, I guess...
Some of the old cycling crumudgeon's like me use a hot-melt paraffin wax for chain lubrication... doesn't cause the drive train components to collect grime and turn into a black goo like most wet lubes, and it's also not as 'attractive' to road grime as some of the dry-lubes. Lasts about 300 miles (< 50 degrees) - 500 miles (> 50 degrees) between applications, unless you end up in a downpour -- in which case it will be washed-off in about 30 miles, i.e., not recommend for use in wet climates. I keep a small bottle of Pedros Ice Wax in my seat pack or jersey pocket when rain is likely. Cassette and chain get tossed in citrus degreaser bath about once a month, then hosed off. Cassette air-dries while the chains go into a cold Fry-Daddy filled with a mixture of paraffin wax, petrolatum, mineral oil and then either some beeswax or powdered teflon -- depending on the time of year. As the Fry-Daddy heats up the water is boiled out of the chain by the hot wax bath which works its way into the pins and rollers by capillary action. The chains are pulled out to cool off stacked in a pile so as not to squeeze out any wax. It sounds more involved than it really is, but it's a process best practiced outdoors or in the garage by bike geeks. We have a small fleet of 7 bikes, including 3 tandems with their extra timing chains, so multiple chains are "cooked" at the same time assembly line style.
As for the frame and other components, the painted road bikes used on the weekends only get washed after a nasty ride. I use citrus degreaser on the mechanicals which is applied with a heavy parts brush and then hosed off. After a sponge bath with auto car wash soap, the frame and shiny bits are cleaned with Meguiars "Cleaner/Wax", followed by a coat of polish, and then a coat of carnuba wax. About once a week or after a long weekend of riding I use a spray-on "detail" wax to clean the frame.
My daily rider is a Ti Dean Castanza that gets washed when it rains. However, the drivetrain gets pretty good attention at least once a month. Mountain bikes and their anodized finishes are similarly neglected unless we end up mud-bogging but, the drivetrains get hit with a dry or wet lube on a regular basis and cleaned before they get bad enough to create bigger problems.
Thanks for the tips guys/girls, I auctaully went down to the LBS today and got a nice cleaning kit for $25, Pedro Wax, Degreaser, and some chain lube, as well as a nice handy brush. I must say cleaning your bike does take some time but to see it shine in the sunshine when its waxed and clean does pay off especially when you go to ride it too.