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Old 07-05-10, 11:20 AM   #1
TomChgo
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Keeping Hybrid clean: How often, and tips/tricks to make cleaning easier.

Understand that properly maintained bike provides for better performance and increases longevity of components.

For bike path with crushed limestone that kicks up plenty of dust and dirt, especially in dry conditions, how often do you wash bike, clean, and lube chain?

There seems to be divided opinions on using a garden hose for rinsing dust/dirt from bike, even using a low pressure 'shower like' stream of water...maybe need to call in the "Myth Busters" on garden hose topic??

Tips/tricks to make cleaning easier? What's your method??
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Old 07-05-10, 11:28 AM   #2
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Park tool and Youtube can help you a lot, ride one dirt does require more cleaning
http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=85
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Old 07-05-10, 11:53 AM   #3
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Well I'm no expert but here's what I do:

Mid-week (quick wash):
1. Rinse with water
2. Spray with Muc-off
3. Rinse off with water
4. Dry with Chamois
5. Lube pivot points in brake levers/derailluier/cables etc etc
6. Wipe chain with rag
7. Lube chain.

Weekend (Good Wash):
As above but with the following
1. Wash it with a sponge and car wash
2. Clean gears/cassette and all that jazz
3. Whip the wheels off and give them a proper clean
4. Take chain off and give it a proper clean
5. Clean any crud off the brake pads and give them a blow out with air

I think that's pretty much it for me.. could and should probably do more but it's working alright so far.
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Old 07-05-10, 11:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomChgo View Post
There seems to be divided opinions on using a garden hose for rinsing dust/dirt from bike, even using a low pressure 'shower like' stream of water...maybe need to call in the "Myth Busters" on garden hose topic??
i think it can damage the bike but nevermind that...it's not necessary! i know not everyone is a clown but i'm one of the few guys with whom the lesser i do the better...otherwise i'll screw something up.

i have a parktool chain cleaner that i fill with simple green.

1. i put the bike on a trunk car rack so someone can pedal it easily.
2. i run the chain through this cleaner for degreasing. make sure the degreaser is on the entire chain.
3. keep moving the chain and shift the rear derailer so that the chin moves around the entire cassette.
4. i take a towel, slowly have the chain moving and get the extra simple green off. maybe put the towel above the chain for one cycle and then below.
5. i take my boeshield lube with a straw and spray the chain (where the overshoot hits the ground and not some component like the cassette) and run it around.
6. repeat step 4 with a towel to get the extra grease off.

lastly, i spray one towel with more simple green and just gently handwipe a dirty part of the frame or *maybe* a component like the cassette. not really necessary imo. even if the frame is dirty - take pridethen i may spray another towel with lube and wipe the teeth of my crank.

don't worry about making your bike look spotless (like i did the first time). the above steps allow my drive train to function smoothly and silently like butter. if you try to do too much, either you'll do more harm than good (but not everyone is a clown like me so maybe this doesn't apply to you) or you're really not making a difference in terms of performance. exceptions include if you're commuting on salted winter roads or have a steel bike and got it wet.

i'm a newbie, i could be wrong with my advice, people have written far better and comprehensive steps for cleaning than i...these steps work very well for me. if your bike isn't spotless but the drive train works fine with the limited maintenance i suggested...then be happy and take pride of the dirt on your bike (unless you store it in the living room)...it shows that you've used it...it's a war scar to take pride in...and your bike is tough as nails...it won't harm the bike imo
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Old 07-05-10, 12:00 PM   #5
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oh i forgot the clarify, i only do it if i notice my drive train make noise or it is visibly too dirty...i ride on clean paved paths so i guess it's not a problem for me...holy moly i can't imagine cleaning my bike every week....i have no need for it
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Old 07-05-10, 12:01 PM   #6
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Weekly minimalist cleaning regime from a guy who spends more time riding than washing.

I take my wheels off and wash rims/tires with a nylon brush and bucket of soapy water. I wipe off brakes with a damp cloth.

I use a wax based chain lube that doesn't attract as much dirt as an oily chain lube. This type cleans and lubricates! If my chain is dirty, I wipe it off, soak it with lube, wipe it off again and I'm ready to roll. No harsh solvents which are difficult to remove and will contaminate fresh lubricant. Very little lubricant is left on the chain which is key to the minimalist cleaning regime. Any lube, even wax-based attracts dirt.

I tend not to worry much about the frame and other parts that don't need to be clean to work properly, but will occasionally go over everything with a nylon brush followed by a damp rag.

My cogset no longer gets filled with crud but a Park crud tool is good for that. http://www.parktool.com/products/det...4&item=GSC%2D1

Last edited by qmsdc15; 07-05-10 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 07-05-10, 12:13 PM   #7
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i think this is the best way to clean your chain...in the long run it is worth the time and money...one should do this at least once a week to have the bike in working condition

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
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Old 07-05-10, 04:43 PM   #8
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Go get a bike repair stand to make it very easy. get your work up to a level where you do not have to sit or kneel where your grime will fall. I just used my repair stand for the first real good drive train cleaning on my hybrid.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:40 AM   #9
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The biggest help you can have, is a set of fenders. It's amazing how much grit and dirt is kept off of everything with a decent set of fenders, and a mud flap. Even your water bottles are kept clean........
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Old 07-06-10, 06:49 PM   #10
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Yeah, then you need to clean the fenders.

I get up on rainy mornings and get on my bike and ride to work. I wonder how many of those who swear by fenders can say the same. Fenders definitely get in the way of cleaning your bike. More trouble than they're worth.
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Old 07-07-10, 08:38 AM   #11
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Fenders are extremely easy to clean (insides - as the outsides are even easier. ) Just one wipe with a wet sponge, followed by a rinse, whenever the wheels are off, takes less than a minute for both fenders. Fenders have cut my cleaning (and lubrication chores) to less than a third of what it used to be - and I have no goose poop on my water bottles.....

They keep both me, and my bike, sooooo much cleaner.

I have two friends who I ride with frequently, and I have installed fenders on both of their bikes, once they see how much cleaner my bike stays. We usually take advantage of my workstand for cleaning, so they get cleaned the same morning. Then, go on the same rides. The difference of the cleanliness of the whold bike, including the drivetrain, is really amazing. One or two cleaning cycles is all it takes to convince them - AND then, they congratulate themselves for the decisions...... LOL

The only downside to fenders, IMHO, is that it's a little more of a chore to inspect your tires for hitch hikers.....

Back when I was a kid, ALL bikes came with fenders, even the English Racers. Then, in the 60s, 70s, 80s, they started coming without - and even got hard to find, if you wanted them. Now, 50 years later, some of them even come with fenders, OEM, and many manufacturers are filling the void by providing alternatives.

Good fenders are now inexpensive, easy to mount, come in a variety of sizes and styles, don't rattle, and are very functional.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:11 PM   #12
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I picked up some cheap brushes and a chain cleaning kit from Nashbar - I think the whole thing was less than $30 but it makes cleaning so much faster and easier.
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