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Old 02-02-03, 11:50 AM   #1
dazco
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Cleaning your bike

Looking at my bike after it's first ride, i can see that a hose will clean off the majority of it just fine, as it's just dust. But what about the areas that are oiled and are now coated in a oil/sand mix? Can i use gunk or some similar engine cleaner, or will that hurt the paint or anything? I was thinking it might be easy to spray gunk on the chain and other oily parts, then spray off the whole bike and then oil the chain.

I really wanna find the quickest method because the last thing i want is to spend as much time cleaning it as i do riding it. So what do you guys do?
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Old 02-02-03, 12:19 PM   #2
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I usually just spray it down with low pressure and use an old rag to get most of it off. Then re-lube.

Sram makes a chain called the "Powerlink" that can be taken off the bike very easily.

Pedros makes an "extra dry" chain lube that works very well. It keeps a lot of junk from sticking to your chain. They also make a degreaser...
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Old 02-02-03, 01:10 PM   #3
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I'd do what schnell said. Take a look at the Extra Dry and the Pedro's bio-degreaser. I rinse the bike under a low pressure hose and use a soft cloth to wipe down gunked up areas. Just be careful about where you point the hose. You can use an attachment on the hose to blast things off the bike, but be aware that you shouldn't point it at the bb, hubs, or headset, as the spray can push debris farther into the bearings of these assemblies. A soft cloth and careful use of the bio-degreaser and hose should have your bike sparkly clean safely and quickly.

-Moab

P.S. - One way to lower the danger of contaminating the bearings/grease in sensitive areas is to use a house without an attachment on the end. This greatly limits the amount of pressure that is put behind the water.
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Old 02-02-03, 01:18 PM   #4
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I think i need some kind of cleaner like gunk tho, because the rear derailer gears were just coated in a thick grease/sand mixture that was a real pain to remove. Gunk degreases stuff like that easily, tho i don't know if there is any chemical reason not to use it on a bike. I think it would be fine. But i'd like to try and use products like that instead of bicycle specific products because i know they'll be far more expensive. And my experience with things like this is that companies will come out with products that supposedly have specialized specific use as with certain products like bikes for example, but are really no different than products made for use in a much larger market, and cost much more. For example, gunk, an automotive degrease verses a bike specific degreaser. The bike degreasers, tho i haven't checked them out yet, i would bet are far more expensive than gunk because the market is much smaller and specialized. There are i'm sure cases where the products made specifically for bikes may indeed be much better than a generic or automotive product, but i'd bet that in most cases that wouldn't be the case.

So unless someone gives me a reason not to, i think i'll get a can of gunk for the derailer gears. As for the dry lube you mentioned, that sounds like a bike specific product that would indeed be worth trying. The grease on my derailer gears is just caked on so thick.......a dry lube that doesn't cause that sounds like a real winner. Thanks
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Old 02-02-03, 01:20 PM   #5
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I wash my down with a regular garden hose and nozzle. Just use the misting sprayer unless directly pointed at a piece of frame. I'll then clean the chain and rings with degreaser than hose off again. I let it dry over night than reapply chain grease. I try to use the dry lube since it does not seem to collect as much dust. I try to let the grease set in for a couple hours before I ride again.
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Old 02-02-03, 02:05 PM   #6
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By derrailleur gears, do you mean the two pulleys of the derrailleur? These can be easily removed on most derrailleurs from my expereince. It is simply a case of removing two small allen bolts(one from each pulley). When you do this, the pulleys and some washers will fall out, along with one of the derrailleur plates. Make sure you keep track of the configuration of these pulleys and washers, and which pulley came out of the top and bottom of the derrailleur, as they are different. You can probably find more detailed info on doing this at sheldonbrown.com or in most any repair book. After the pulleys have been removed, you remove the dustcap from the inside of the pulley, being careful not to damage it. After doing this, you just regrease/re-oil the bearing/roller/whatever you want to call it that lets the pulley spin, put it back into the pulley, and reattach to the derrailleur. This does not require removal of the derrailleur from the bike. I use Phil Wood bike lube or Finish Line cross-country for the pulleys.

It sounds as though maybe you are using the wrong kind of lube or too much lube for your conditions if your derrailleur and chain are this gunked-up from one ride. I hope this explanation helps. If not, it is at least something to look at doing periodically to keep everything spinning smoothly. You can also hold a clean cloth against the edge of the pulleys as you pedal the chain by hand to clean off the grime faster, as your pulleys don't need to be dissassembled and re-oiled often. Good luck!


-Moab
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Old 02-02-03, 02:09 PM   #7
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If this is your bike's first ride, you might also be experiencing an excess amount of dirt and grime stuck to your bike and its moving parts because of the factory grease that is applied to the chain. If this is not cleaned first and the chain relubed with a better, less dirt-attracting lubricant, then a huge mess will result. This grease, often applied in thick amounts, will also gunk-up the derrailleur pulleys, which I think you were referring to in your earlier post about "Derrailleur gears." A bicycle-specific, though maybe more expensive lube, is definitely something worth picking up to keep everything clean and running smooth.

-Moab
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Old 02-02-03, 03:12 PM   #8
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moabrider47,

That makes sense about the original grease being the cause. I never considered that, but i can see how they might add a lot of heavy grease to preserve the bike from the time it leave the factory till it's purchased. Guess i'll look into some sort of dry lube and remove all remaining factory lube, then use the dry stuff.

As for dis-assembling those derailer pullys, thats osmething i don't think i should have to do if i degrase them. Maybe once a year.......i dunno. But definatly not something i wanna have to do very often.
Thanks.
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Old 02-02-03, 03:43 PM   #9
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Look into a lube called pro link for lube, it is made by catepillar, works well with heavy gunk, it's also a degreaser as well.
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Old 02-02-03, 05:48 PM   #10
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Dazco,

Dissassembling the derrailleur pulleys was something I researched one time because I had a particularly dirty ride and I felt that the pulleys were the cause of some noise. You're right - it doesn't need to be done often at all. I usually only do it once/twice a year unless I feel like they are caked to the point of needing to be removed to be cleaned. Just something to try sometime if they seem to be a big problem. Good luck with getting everything cleaned up.

-Moab


edit: A coat of Pedro's Extra Dry chain lube for the chain has worked well for me and doesn't collect dirt and dust easily. I use Finish Line Cross-Country lube for derrailluers, etc. Pedro's Bio-Degreaser has been the best degreaser I have used for general purpose stuff. Using a chain cleaner might be a good idea if your looking to clean the bike quickly. Park Chainbrite is the best degreaser that I have found to use in a chain cleaner.
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Old 02-02-03, 06:52 PM   #11
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Thanks Moab. Gonna get the pedros and chainbrite, plus one of those park CM-5 chain cleaners. By the way, after checking prices online i found a site that had all those products cheaper than anywhere else i found. Maybe you guys know of better, but this is the best i could do after a bit of searching.....

http://www.big-wheel.com
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Old 02-02-03, 10:43 PM   #12
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Does the aforementioned SRAM powerlink chain work equally as well with Shimano as with SRAM components?
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Old 02-03-03, 08:55 AM   #13
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Does the aforementioned SRAM powerlink chain work equally as well with Shimano as with SRAM components?
Yes, get one. They work great!

I would stay away from GUNK. It's too harsh, and can damage (etch) some of your aluminum parts.(read product label).

The best thing to use for cleaning is a degreaser, something like Simple Green. It's cheap, readily available and easy to use. I personally use a Citrus degrease, but it's a bit more $$$$.

Go to the hardware store and buy two stiff bristle brushes and a heavy sponge. Use one brush for your drivetrain, and the other for the rest of the bike.

I use a bucket of water with a shot of Dawn dishwashing detergent. Why Dawn? Cannondale recommended it for cleaning their disc rotors to prevent squeling, and I've been using it for years. Works for me.

I hose down the bike, and spray all the mud off the frame and tires. I then use the "bike" brush and scrub the tires and get the chunks off of the frame, fork, seat...etc. I then use my "drivetrain" brush and hit the cogs in the back and rear derailleur, and the chainrings up front. I rinse, then do a quick "once over" the bike (not drivetrain) with the sponge. Rinse and let dry overnight. I then lube the chain to next day making sure all moisture is out of the chain.

Start to finish about 15 mins!

About every couple of months (more often depending on amount of riding), I scrub the drivetrain as mentioned above, but then I'll remove the chain and drop it into a 2-litre bottle of degreaser. I put the cap back on and shake for about a min. I'll then take a brush and clean out any junk between each of the cogs. I'll go back to shake the chain again. Remove it, rinse it and hang it to dry. Install it the next day and lube!

Another 15-20 mins.

L8R
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Old 02-03-03, 04:22 PM   #14
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Thanks all........i'll use a lot of the advice here. I ordered the Park cyclone chain cleaner and chainbrite, plus a bottle of Pedro's dry lube. Oh.....and while not on topic, also ordered a saddle to replace that rock hard specialized torture device.
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