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  1. #1
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    How do you guys clean your bikes?

    I've gone on a few muddy rides recently and I just hosed the rig off with water. Will this cause certain parts to rust? I never used to do this before, but there was just way too much mud. I lubed up most of the moving parts right awfterwards, but I noticed some metal parts (screws/cable ends) show some rusting.

    What do you guys do after a muddy ride?
    06 Trek 5200
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  2. #2
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jtown
    I've gone on a few muddy rides recently and I just hosed the rig off with water. Will this cause certain parts to rust? I never used to do this before, but there was just way too much mud. I lubed up most of the moving parts right awfterwards, but I noticed some metal parts (screws/cable ends) show some rusting.

    What do you guys do after a muddy ride?
    I usually do the following:

    [1] Take both wheels off and scrub the braking surfaces.

    [2] Take the chain off (I have a SRAM chain and the PowerLink makes this easy) and throughly clean it in a tuperware container with Simple Green. Remember to really rinse and dry if you use a detergent based cleaner like Simple Green.

    [3] Scrub down the gears and cables to get all the mud off

    [4] Scrub down and inspect the frame (especially important if you have a carbon frame or any other carbon component for that matter). I also use a frame polish not just to make the bike look nice but it also helps make it easier for future cleaning.

    [5] Put everything back together and lube any moving part. Don't forget to lube the cables. Also don't forget to wipe off any excess.

    As far as rust goes, I'd be worried about rust on the cables but a little bit of rust on the boltheads is nothing to be too concerned about.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by khuon
    I usually do the following:

    [1] Take both wheels off and scrub the braking surfaces.

    [2] Take the chain off (I have a SRAM chain and the PowerLink makes this easy) and throughly clean it in a tuperware container with Simple Green. Remember to really rinse and dry if you use a detergent based cleaner like Simple Green.

    [3] Scrub down the gears and cables to get all the mud off

    [4] Scrub down and inspect the frame (especially important if you have a carbon frame or any other carbon component for that matter). I also use a frame polish not just to make the bike look nice but it also helps make it easier for future cleaning.

    [5] Put everything back together and lube any moving part. Don't forget to lube the cables. Also don't forget to wipe off any excess.

    As far as rust goes, I'd be worried about rust on the cables but a little bit of rust on the boltheads is nothing to be too concerned about.
    wow that's a pretty lengthy process. I think I would take more time to do stuff like that if a) I had a nicer bike b) If I wasn't going to have to clean it again the next day because I go quite frequently and during the winter, it rains pretty randomly.

    I think when I get a new rig I'll take more time to clean it after those muddy days.
    06 Trek 5200
    03 Stumpjumper FSR Comp
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  4. #4
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    It depends on which bike I clean. My race bike gets the works. Everything is taken apart, cleaned bit by bit, lubed, and then reassembled. Then she get a fresh coat or two of wax.

    My freeride/trail bike just gets a good blast from the hose, making sure I do not spray directly into the bearings and such, then dry her off and lube everything.

    Race bike might take 3hr to clean depending on how dirty, the other takes 10 min.

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I grab a cloth and wipe it. If it is really wet I may dry some other parts (deadset for example). I can't be bothered with a detailing as I live in rain central

  6. #6
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    I think your chances of rust are nill if you keep the bike inside the house. In a garage that isn't well insulated from outside and doesn't share ducts with the rest of the house, then you might have some concerns. Outside and you're guaranteed rust. Just have look at my old road bike........it's a rust fest.
    I keep telling my lungs this is a normal healthy activity, but they just won't listen.

  7. #7
    www.titusti.com montlake_mtbkr's Avatar
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    my bike gets muddy every weekend and it's usually raining when I ride also.
    I often just stick my bike in the garage and clean it the next day.
    By that time the mud has all dried and I wipe it off with a little broom and rag. I don't shine up or wax the frame.
    Take a fine brush to get at mud between the cogs and in all other hard to reach areas.
    I use a shop rag saturated with simple green and hold it to the chain and spin the crank. then do it again with a dry rag to remove most of the degreaser. then lube it and wipe the excess in the same way.
    every other ride or so I remove the cable housing on the rear derailleur, clean and relube the cable and derailleur.
    then scrape the brake pads clean and clean the rims with a brush or rag.
    this only takes about a half hour or so for me.
    I've only once removed the rear wheel to thoroughly clean the rear cassette after an extreme mud-fest.

  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jtown
    wow that's a pretty lengthy process. I think I would take more time to do stuff like that if a) I had a nicer bike b) If I wasn't going to have to clean it again the next day because I go quite frequently and during the winter, it rains pretty randomly.

    I think when I get a new rig I'll take more time to clean it after those muddy days.
    One reason in particular for me is that I'm riding carbon. It really pays to do a postride inspection on carbon fibre. One of the best ways to make sure everything is in tip-top shape is to clean it first. I think I'm also pretty anal about these things because of pilot training where they teach you to always do inspections and be diligent about small details.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  9. #9
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    1. Allow to dry and scrape off mud with a brush.
    2. Run my chain through a chain cleaner.
    3. Scrub and degrease my rear cogs, remove the degreaser and re lube.
    4. Take some water proof grease and put some on my exposed cables on my downtube to keep them from rusting anymore.
    5. Clean my wheels or touch up any other part that is still dirty.

    Here is a handy set of brushes that come in handy while cleaning, you can pick em up from most retailers:

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by jtown
    What do you guys do after a muddy ride?

    I run my chain through a rag, lube it, and then run it through a rag again.

  11. #11
    the lone outdoorsman
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    my chains a tad rusted after yesterdays ride, I was going along, and im like "its not that deep" Next thing I know im up to the handlebars

  12. #12
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I used to care alot and detail things often, but I really don't give a damn anymore. I blast it off with the hose, degrease/relube the chain, and dry everything off to prevent rusting. I don't really go into "Detailing" like I used to... I'd rather spend the extra time riding.
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    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  13. #13
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    If it is really wet I may dry some other parts (deadset for example
    So Mael, is a deadset a new item

  14. #14
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    I don't clean my winter bike at all. I just lube the chain, even if it is a little bit dirty. Once a year I will take apart everything and clean it (not to waste to much time). So far it worked. In my summer bike (nice one) I clean it much more often - but in summer in Poland there is not much mud.

  15. #15
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by dirtbikedude
    So Mael, is a deadset a new item
    A new special secret weapon to improve my riding. Instead of a headset I actually have a built in computer do everything for me. I just sit back and LOOK like I am working

  16. #16
    member Yo MikeOK's Avatar
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    For me, it depends on where I ride. Usually on a weekend ride I drive an hour or two to get to where I want to start. On the way back, I stop right away at a car wash and blast my Jeep and bikes squeaky clean, with the bikes hanging on the rack. Then I drive all the way home at 70 MPH to air blast them dry. As soon as I get home I unload the bikes and liberally spray lube into everything that moves. I let it sit that way overnight and wipe all the excess off the next day. I've done mine this way for years with no problems, even my dirt bikes after a race day. One thing you want to do occasionally is to take everything apart and inspect / lube.

  17. #17
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Well, I used to give it a go with the hose before using some RP-7 to clean the chain etc, then re-lubing it with some of that Finish Line stuff. However, hoses have been banned around here for the last few months, so I skip that bit now. The fine for using a hose around here right now is $15,000.
    "I am never going to flirt with idleness again" - Roy Keane
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