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where do you wash your bike in the winter?

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where do you wash your bike in the winter?

Old 11-22-14, 08:48 AM
  #1  
Rerock
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where do you wash your bike in the winter?

It's cold. It's frozen. The hoses are in the shed, and the spigots are turned off and covered.

Meanwhile, your bike is full of salt, sand, and black side-of-the-road snow sludge goo.

Where do you go to keep your ride looking (and operating) civilized?

Pressure washer/ coin op car wash?
Unfinished basement?
Your bathtub/ shower?
Warehouse/ shop at work?
Drag it through a snowbank?
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Old 11-22-14, 09:04 AM
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Run a hose from the hot water heater and clean the bike in the driveway. The runoff freezes in the street. Also works for rinsing cars.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:06 AM
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I let the rain do it for me, then I wipe it down when I get home. Then again I'm nice and relatively warm California.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:29 AM
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I never wash my whole bike. The only thing I do is rinse my disc brakes with water to get the salt out of them, I've had problems with disc brakes before because of too much road salt getting in there. Rinsing the salt out seems to help. I let the spring rains do all the washing.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:41 AM
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Sadly, I make sure the chain is lubricated regularly and wash the bike in the spring.

You could make do somewhat with a spray bottle filled with warm water to get the worst parts.
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Old 11-22-14, 10:23 AM
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The Rain rinses it when parked outside.. , a few rags, bike on the repair stand , Cleans off rim slurry.
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Old 11-22-14, 11:21 AM
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I rinsed it off on the driveway yesterday, but I will not do it again. The valve for the hose will be turned off soon. The spray bottle is a possibility, but it's going to be tough in the winter.

I could possibly take it to the coin car wash in my minivan, but I'm not sure if I want to spend $4 to wash the bike every time.
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Old 11-22-14, 03:07 PM
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Wet cloth, dry cloth, in the garage.

- Andy
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Old 11-22-14, 03:14 PM
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"Wash my bike in the winter"? Crazy talk.
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Old 11-22-14, 10:27 PM
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I don't. If I really must, I'll take the chain inside where it can thaw out and clean and lube it there, but I'm not going to try to wash anything when it's 10 degrees F outside.
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Old 11-22-14, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Rerock View Post
It's cold. It's frozen. The hoses are in the shed, and the spigots are turned off and covered.

Meanwhile, your bike is full of salt, sand, and black side-of-the-road snow sludge goo.

Where do you go to keep your ride looking (and operating) civilized?

Pressure washer/ coin op car wash?
Unfinished basement?
Your bathtub/ shower?
Warehouse/ shop at work?
Drag it through a snowbank?
I think it's tsl that has a special hook mounted in his shower but my wife wouldn't be happy if I were to try something like that.

Personally my bike just plain gets grungy during the winter and stays that way until spring. I've considered putting the hitch rack on our car and bringing into a coin operated car wash but I'd be worried about cables and other stuff icing up once it got outside.

In Minneapolis and similarly cold places, you will still typically get some days above freezing during the winter and I suppose you could bring out a pail of warm water but unless the thaw happens on a weekend you'd be doing it in the dark.
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Old 11-23-14, 12:05 AM
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I haven't tried this on a bike yet, but have done it on occasion with other things that needed quick clean-up during the winter -- just make a snowball and use it to displace the road salt and crap from the things that could rust. Then roll it inside and let it drip dry.
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Old 11-23-14, 12:18 AM
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Since I have a basement...... I keep a short garden hose in the basement.

Then I can hook up the hose and use a bucket of hot water... and clean a bike pretty much like summer. But I have also used water in a 2 liter soda bottle with a small hole drilled in the cap to rinse off the bike after washing.

Nothing is as good as a backyard and a bicycle stand on a sunny summer day for washing a bicycle.
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Old 11-23-14, 07:57 AM
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I think I'll give the coin op pressure washer a try. I live in a townhouse with a commons area, so I've been parking my bike under the stairs next to my front door. I after I wash it, I can let it thaw/dry there, then do a quick lube.

I would venture to guess I wouldn't want to blast things like derailleurs and bearings with high pressure as to blast the grease away. The chain, cassette, and chainring are going to get attacked though! Haha

I park my bike in my office, so I don't mind it looking like it gets used, but I don't want it looking disgusting.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:56 AM
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I take a gallon jug filled with hot water and lean the bike against something outside and rinse it off that way. Been doing it like that for years. And no, your aluminium bike parts and stainless steel bike parts will not rust. You may get a few of your small screws/nuts that may rust but its no big deal to me. I then let it drip dry in the garage. But I have noticed when the temps get in the teens or single digits that letting the bike sit in the garage over night it doesn't' let that days crud/frost melt off and the bike doesn't run as smoothly. So I bring it indoors over night until the temps go back to normal.
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Old 11-23-14, 03:55 PM
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In my basement I have a utility sink with threaded faucet and an open drain underneath. There are hoses hanging on the wall right next to the sink. I'm thinking about giving it a shot, though I'm not sure what the landlord will think (my first winter in this place, landlord seems laid-back, but might be upset none-the-less)... The floors don't appear to be sloped toward the drain (looks like it is mostly just meant the washing machine and sink to drain into). The floors are concrete, so a bit of water probably won't be the end of the world...
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Old 11-23-14, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
"Wash my bike in the winter"? Crazy talk.
If you saw the way the paint on mine looks when it's clean, you'd find your self wiping it down as well.

- Andy
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Old 11-23-14, 07:38 PM
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brushes and towels
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Old 11-23-14, 08:16 PM
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Garden sprayer full of hot water. Spray on. Wipe off.
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Old 11-23-14, 09:48 PM
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I'm in the same boat as others here who don't bother cleaning the bike until spring. It's mostly just wet here. I lube the chain every so often but nothing else until it dries up and warms up.
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Old 11-23-14, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TransitBiker View Post
If you saw the way the paint on mine looks when it's clean, you'd find your self wiping it down as well.

- Andy
Touche. Your bike is probably much nicer than my 20+ year old stuff.
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Old 11-23-14, 10:57 PM
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When it's very cold I heat the garage to maybe 50F, and then gently dump a bucket of hot water on it. Then I blow dry it with the compressor. Then maybe a soft brush or rag for some parts. Wipe and lube chain. Nothing ever gets put away wet or dirty.
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Old 11-23-14, 11:54 PM
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That's what winter bikes are for. So you have a bike you don't need to wash!

Ben
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Old 11-24-14, 12:13 AM
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Removeable shower head in bathtub. With high pressure and a washcloth and Dawn dish soap. Maybe a nylon brush. Hot water heater set to high.
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Old 11-24-14, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I think it's tsl that has a special hook mounted in his shower but my wife wouldn't be happy if I were to try something like that.
I deep water all the indoor plants every 10 days in the shower and my girlfriend doesn't mind, yet. Maybe it's because she's never seen the mess before I spray it all down the drain, haha

The tub/shower is a pretty industrial area in our house. Anything big that needs hot water to wash, or winter cleaning (Iowa here) when the outside hoses are drained, or what doesn't fit in the sink or dishwasher, or the deep watering of indoor plants every so often -- all goes in the tub/shower. Bikes included. A couple big roasting pans are going in there after Thanksgiving cooking. Hot water with the removable shower head and a little Dawn dish soap washes it all down the drain. My sweaty feet and day-old crotch/behind go in there, so should plants and greasy roasting pans and bikes also Plus, don't we all pee in the shower sometimes anyways? What's worse, urine or salt? Lol

Last edited by RatMudd; 11-24-14 at 01:06 AM.
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