Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  

Go Back   > >

Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

User Tag List

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-24-10, 02:42 PM   #1
Plays well with others
Thread Starter
ziggydcat's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fort Gratiot, MI
Bikes: Specialized CRUX
Posts: 92
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cleaning do's and don'ts

I had a very messy ride this morning and am a little confused as to how to go about cleaning my trusty steed. After 8 miles of pouring rain my bike is covered in plant material, dirt and worst of all sand. Should I just hose it off? And will that cause any damage? I know that this post may seem a little infantile, I just don't want to wreck something. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
ziggydcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 03:00 PM   #2
Ovdabak, OR
DArthurBrown's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Michigan
Bikes: 2008 Mercier Corvus Steel, 2007 Trek 4300, ~1980 Takara Deluxe 12, 1985 Trek 620 (modernized)
Posts: 495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you're riding regularly on trails, I say hose it off, wipe it dry, and relube drivetrain.

If you're riding on roads, it's worth it to be a little more delicate, keeping water away from the bearings when possible.

I usually wipe my road bike down with a wet rag and then with a dry rag.
DArthurBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 06:04 PM   #3
Torchy McFlux
Senior Member
Torchy McFlux's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Vancouver
Bikes: NOYB
Posts: 1,438
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hosing off isn't bad unless you're firing water into the bearings or breather holes of the frame tubes. Make sure you oil the chain afterward though. It will rust up if you don't.
Torchy McFlux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 07:17 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The main place to avoid the axles & the headset, thou some bikes have rubber gaskets around the axes to keep water out. What I usually do is give my bike a sponge bathe, then relube the chain.
YellowDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-10, 07:58 PM   #5
the sasquach
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 37
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
mild citrus based degreaser and scrub your chain/cassette (do it whenever you get the chance) and sponge off the frame. Relube chain and pivots, call it a day
the sasquach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-10, 09:39 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Leeds, England
Bikes: Meercat
Posts: 138
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I was thinking about a jet wash at my local garage, is this wrong? Just been on a 40 mile towpath ride and my cycle is dusty. Its an old bike that as been outside for years, just riding again now. I sold my car a month ago, so I am new.
I thought maybe a jet wash n oil once every couple of months?
sevenhills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-10, 02:27 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sesame Street
Bikes: Swobo Folsom, Diamond Back Master TG, Mongoose Alta, Huffy Daisy Tandem
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would not suggest any sort of relatively high-pressure cleaning such as a jet wash unless you are willing to basically regrease all of the bearings. If your bike is only dusty, then wipe it down or hose in of gently. and relube the chain as stated above.

lverhagen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-10, 03:13 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter
Posts: 35,265
Mentioned: 103 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3610 Post(s)
I know this is politically incorrect, but I have a simple cleaning method that's served me well for 40 years. Whatever God gets on my bike he's responsible for getting off. Over those years I've probably accumlated as many rain miles as anyone else except maybe a Scot.

My commuter route takes me through a park and on rainy days it gets covered in organic crap. I used to bring indoors when I got home, and the crud would dry all over it, and take days to flake off. Now I simply leave it outside and let nature complete the job it started.

With the exception of some high end race equipment, bikes are outdoor vehicles and should be able to handle all but the most extreme weather. In forty years of touring and all season riding including a few floods, I've only washed my bike a handful of times, and that's only to de-salt it as I neared the end of winter, or part of a seasonal overhaul.

If you want to wash it, gentle soap, and a garden hose, not directing the spray at the gaps between moving parts. If you have good chain oil it should survive rain or a wash and only need drip dry, though with some which wash off easily, you'll need to dry or re-lube the chain consistent with the product you're using.

BTW- If you think I'm callous about bikes, my friend takes his expensive machine through the brushless car wash, mounted on a trunk rack. Comes out fine but once he paid for hot wax, and it took a while for his brakes to work normally afterward. He'll never make that mistake again.
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-10, 03:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,221
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 120 Post(s)
Never take it to a high pressure car wash. A friend washed the grease out of his BB with the 1500psi these things put out. Use a garden hose and don't use a hard spray. Just let the water flood down on the bike.
davidad is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:02 PM.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
  • Ask a Question
    get answers from real people!
Click to start entering your question.