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Old 09-24-15, 06:36 AM
Hypno Toad
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Hopkins, MN
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Bikes: 21 Bianchi Infinito; 17 Breezer Radar Pro; 15 Surly Pugsley; 13 Felt Z85; 11 Globe Daily; 09 Kona Dew Drop; 96 Mondonico

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Originally Posted by RedandBlack View Post
So, I've recently purchased a Surly LHT and have put a decent amount of miles on, mostly, crushed gravel. The problem is that I've never cleaned a bike before. I know it can't be rocket surgery, but I'm afraid that I'll do some sort of damage to a bike that costs more than my car. Should I just hose it off? Soap or no Soap? Chain lube afterwards and if so, how do I lube a chain? Any other general maintenance? Sorry for the stupid questions, but this is the first bike I've bought since middle school (and yes, that bike for middle school still hasn't been cleaned). Thanks in advance.
Like @dabac said

I have a couple things to add. I like a baby bottle brush for cleaning, it helps get into tight places and it's soft. The baby bottle brush is great on spokes and hubs too. I use Dawn soap, I'm sure most liquid dish soaps would be just as good.

I like the Park Tool chain cleaning kit for cleaning the drivetrain. If you don't want to spend the money, a tooth brush and Dawn soap will work. After cleaning, be sure to rinse the drivetrain well, getting all soap/chain-cleaner off. Dry with rag, let stand for a hour or more to be sure the water is out of the chain (overnight if you have time, I rarely have that kinda planning and patience). Then apply lube to chain.

I will also add that my good friend is a daily bike-commuter, year-round in Minnesota. His route is mostly crushed limestone. His year-round bike is a LHT, and he rarely cleans the bike, the bike can take it.

Enjoy the Trucker and enjoy the ride!
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