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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 12-25-04, 11:45 PM   #1
Yuppie
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Do you wipe down your bike?

Just wondering. Lots of people ride older road conversions or steel frames and with the snow and salt, that could theoretically damage a steel frame. So, does anyone or everyone wipe down their frame from time to time or always or what?
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Old 12-26-04, 12:19 AM   #2
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-Wiegle's (sp?) frame protectant inside
-car wax outside
-nice and greasy, but not too much, on all bearings, etc
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Old 12-26-04, 08:47 AM   #3
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I wipe mine down a couple of times a week depending on conditions. Clean the drive train, too. You need to worry about components much more than the frame. A rusty frame is just ugly, but stuff like brakes and cogs get really rusty really fast.

I cleaned a bike with windex once. It was for an internet bike porn shoot. I shouldn't have told anyone this, because I've been asked if I used windex every time that I mention cleaning a bike now...
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Old 12-26-04, 09:42 AM   #4
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how does aluminum deal with salt? should one be more or less concerned about aluminum vs. steel in the winter?

i'll be wiping down my bike regardless...but it would be nice to know.
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Old 12-27-04, 01:35 PM   #5
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Back in the late 80's when I thought my bike was just a toy to get me from A to B, I had a friend who owned a Bianchi road bike. After every ride, he would wipe it down. We would make fun of him everytime as we thought it was silly. He still has that bike hanging in his garage in practically mint condition!!

I try to wipe my bike down after every other ride, but most times forget. I haven't ridden in the snow and salt yet though...
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Old 12-27-04, 01:51 PM   #6
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I've been giving my Bianchi a shower & drying it off after every ride. I wasn't going to ride it through the winter, but I like riding it too much to stop.
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Old 12-27-04, 03:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ink1373
how does aluminum deal with salt? should one be more or less concerned about aluminum vs. steel in the winter?

i'll be wiping down my bike regardless...but it would be nice to know.
Aluminium and salt..........Bad
Salt on popcorn.............good
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Old 12-27-04, 04:43 PM   #8
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i just wiped mine down.
20 mile winter ride = 1/4 inch of sand built up around the bottom bracket shell. gross.
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Old 12-27-04, 05:22 PM   #9
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Definately when there's salt out there and occasionally when I'm out in the rain or it's wet and muddy out there.
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Old 12-28-04, 01:31 AM   #10
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been wiping down the tires with a wet rag, there's been a bit of snowy slushy salty crap all over the roads. don't know if it really helps, but doesn't road salt corrode tires faster?
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Old 12-28-04, 02:49 AM   #11
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Fenders are really handy for keeping salt off your bike.
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Old 12-28-04, 07:05 AM   #12
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Gilby, do you actually put the bike in the shower? (serious question!) I think that might be a good alternative for me instead of the car wash across the street...(cheaper)

I have to keep my bike clean, it stays in my 250 sq. ft. apartment with me, and I don't want it getting everything dirty. (especially the clothes I hang on it!)
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Old 12-28-04, 08:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwinnbikelove
Gilby, do you actually put the bike in the shower? (serious question!) I think that might be a good alternative for me instead of the car wash across the street...(cheaper)

I have to keep my bike clean, it stays in my 250 sq. ft. apartment with me, and I don't want it getting everything dirty. (especially the clothes I hang on it!)
Here is a cheap and easy solution:
Get a bug sprayer/deck sprayer at your local Home Depot type store - they run about $15. They are 2.5 gallons and you can fill them with water and they have a built in pump to pressurize. The spray is much milder compared to a car wash (you should never use that, bad for your bearings). The sprayer is easily portable for road trips/camping trips.
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Old 12-28-04, 08:46 AM   #14
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i like to use simple green soap and some warm water. then the tutle wax prouduct intented for cars is a nice finish. that's just me. call be nuts.
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Old 12-28-04, 09:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riderx
Here is a cheap and easy solution:
Get a bug sprayer/deck sprayer at your local Home Depot type store - they run about $15. They are 2.5 gallons and you can fill them with water and they have a built in pump to pressurize. The spray is much milder compared to a car wash (you should never use that, bad for your bearings). The sprayer is easily portable for road trips/camping trips.
Hmm, sounds worth checking into for sure. Thanks!
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Old 12-28-04, 10:07 AM   #16
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riderx is right, one should be careful when cleaning their bike by spraying it with something, i.e. using a hose. anything that's not sealed cartridge (headset, hub, whatever) could get the grease flushed out of it, and no grease is no good
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Old 12-28-04, 10:11 AM   #17
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Oh, I'm all sealed up, baby!
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Old 12-28-04, 10:19 AM   #18
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Yup, I take off the QR front wheel to make it more manageable. Then I just wipe off any remaining gunk & dry it off. I'm moving this week to a new place, though, and I have a feeling my new roommates might not be okay with my bike showers...
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Old 12-28-04, 10:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwinnbikelove
Oh, I'm all sealed up, baby!
Even w/ full sealed bearings, the pressure from a car wash and even a regular garden hose will penetrate the bearings.

Here's an example of the sprayer I was talking about.
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Old 12-28-04, 11:02 AM   #20
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Arright, arright you guys, I've never pointed it at the bearings. I'm a sensible gal! (seriously, I know better.) Actually I'm so over-protective about them, I hated repacking, and now I'd hate replacing. I don't even want to ride my new wheels in the snow... (or I'm just lazy!)

Ooh, that thing's cheap! It sort of reminds me of a Super Soaker...hmm.....

Gilby, I may have to give it a try. The intimacy level of this is kind of frightening, though. LOL I only have a stall shower, though.
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Old 12-28-04, 11:24 AM   #21
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Regarding showers - I tried this a couple of times, and asked about it here in the winter forum. Rattking warned against it, as you can easily clog your pipes and the landlord will charge you a ton to clean it out...
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Old 12-28-04, 12:12 PM   #22
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Make sure to shut off your outdoor water supply if you live somewhere where it is below freezing for long periods over the winter. I was hosing off my bike regularly until last week, then the pipe cracked.
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Old 12-29-04, 04:17 AM   #23
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Never wiped down a bike unless I've been riding through ploughed fields and it's got ten pounds of mud on it. The commuter and the fixie toy just drip-dry and get stored indoors. Never had a frame corrode badly because of it. Paintwork gets ratty, but I trash paintwork anyhow. Each bike gets properly washed maybe once a month. NO pressure washer, just hot soapy goodness and a big sponge.
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Old 12-31-04, 09:54 PM   #24
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Do I wash down my bike? NO!
Here are a few pics of my bike after riding all winter in mud/rain/snow/slush/sand/salt
That is a mixture of grease, chain oil, dirt, sand, and salt on the BB area.
Spring is my bike wash. When things get wet around here, my bike will be washed for me.
Interesting little tidbit about the clip on rear fender that I have. It seems to funnel water/snpw/grit/etc. towards the BB junction. It never got this dirty last year, or any of the other years that I have had the bike.
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Old 12-31-04, 10:33 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Do I wash down my bike? NO!
Here are a few pics of my bike after riding all winter in mud/rain/snow/slush/sand/salt
That is a mixture of grease, chain oil, dirt, sand, and salt on the BB area.
Spring is my bike wash. When things get wet around here, my bike will be washed for me.
Interesting little tidbit about the clip on rear fender that I have. It seems to funnel water/snpw/grit/etc. towards the BB junction. It never got this dirty last year, or any of the other years that I have had the bike.
Oh! Dear god! I'm scarred for life!

I don't keep my bike clean, but it's never been like BostonFixed's. I don't wipe down after every ride. I just wipe down when it starts to look pretty dirty. Maybe once every three weeks?
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