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What has been the biggest cleaning mistakes you have made with your bike?

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What has been the biggest cleaning mistakes you have made with your bike?

Old 09-27-18, 10:52 AM
  #26  
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The OP asked about mistakes.
Avoid high pressure washers.
Along same lines, if/ when you do wash, use the hose with some common sense.
If you choose to use a degreaser be aware of where you use it and where it might migrate to.
Avoid the on-bike chain washer machines. They do a great job of removing all the lube in derailleur pulleys.
Dry the bike when done.
Pretty simple stuff.
Good to keep corrosive sweat washed off the bike.
Sometimes a wash is in order, other times just a wipe down with some spray detailer.
Agree that keeping it clean helps you stay on top of maintenance items too. While cleaning (usually only 5 min upkeep) you basically touch every part of the bike and can take care of stuff before it becomes an issue on the road.
Good luck.
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Old 09-27-18, 11:39 AM
  #27  
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I left mine in the dryer overnight and it got all wrinkly once.
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Old 09-27-18, 11:58 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I left mine in the dryer overnight and it got all wrinkly once.
I've got a hack for that: Take a hot, steamy shower with it. The wrinkles will disappear like magic.
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Old 09-27-18, 12:04 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I've got a hack for that: Take a hot, steamy shower with it. The wrinkles will disappear like magic.

Pro-tip: Don't try that with an e-bike.
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Old 09-27-18, 12:44 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Pro-tip: Don't try that with an e-bike.
That's prejudiced against e-bikes. Hater!
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Old 09-27-18, 12:50 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That's prejudiced against e-bikes. Hater!

I tried, I really tried.

Also don't try it with a mule, either.
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Old 09-27-18, 01:58 PM
  #32  
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To address the OP...

Avoid using products that contain ammonia on unprotected aluminum -- it can cause a bleaching sort of look on the metal surface. The same goes for using some automotive wheel cleaning products.

Avoid getting waxy or greasy substances (think wax or Armorall) on brake tracks or rotors. It won't bring about The Apocalypse, but it will make braking interesting for the short term while it wears off. If you get enough of the slick stuff where you don't want it, you might have to do a little work to get things right.

High pressure water use won't end the world, but it'll probably get you just as greasy, dirty and wet as the bike with all the water blasting going on. Using very high pressure on a poorly painted bike can cause the paint to come right off. Most bikes are painted well enough and most pressure washers don't generate high enough pressure to cause problems, but just know it can happen.

Using a "hands on" approach to cleaning your bike is a good practice. The act of wiping down the bike -- every nook and cranny -- will bring to attention issues of concern. You'll notice the loose spoke, cracked cable housing, or any number of little things before they become big things or roadside repairs.

Regardless of the macho, chest thumping, "I never clean my bike" bravado going on, there's a certain amount of pride in ownership with cleaning ones bike. Keeping a bike clean is a healthy part of keeping it in good working order -- no matter how forcefully some will express their opinion otherwise. A clean bike may not work any better than a dirty bike, but proper cleaning won't make it work any worse either, and it provides the opportunity to catch things before they become problems. The great part is that we're all free to decide how much time we want to spend on it.


-Kedosto
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Old 09-27-18, 02:07 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
Avoid using products that contain ammonia on unprotected aluminum -- it can cause a bleaching sort of look on the metal surface.....

The act of wiping down the bike -- every nook and cranny -- will bring to attention issues of concern. You'll notice the loose spoke, cracked cable housing, or any number of little things before they become big things or roadside repairs.
Gots to give props to those two. I asked my frame builder about Windex and he said it can theoretically damage aluminum parts like headsets. He suggested Pledge instead.

As for the second one, many years ago I was sitting on the ground cleaning the underside of my Colnago Dream Plus' headset when I saw a crack at the very top of the head tube at the 6 o'clock position. Never would have seen it had I not been so meticulous because when looking down while on the bike the crack was obscured by the headset. .
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Old 09-27-18, 03:17 PM
  #34  
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always clean it yourself & do not delegate it to someone else. By you doing the work, not only will it prevent unwanted damage from someone else cleaning the grime off, it will also allow you to address anything of concern before a larger issue may crop up leaving you distressed upside down in a ditch beside a pile of dog dookie.
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Old 09-27-18, 03:25 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I've got a hack for that: Take a hot, steamy shower with it. The wrinkles will disappear like magic.
There are pills for that.
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Old 09-27-18, 04:46 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
... leaving you distressed upside down in a ditch beside a pile of dog dookie.
Sounds like me after a few belts of Scotch.
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Old 09-27-18, 05:19 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
You think pilots walk around their planes before they take off because they're bored? Cleaning is a fundamental part of maintenance-- it's when you notice a frayed cable, or a loose headset, or any number of other things.
Airplanes arenít bicycles. Nor do pilots do the cleaning and maintenance on most airplanes. Do you do a complete walk around of a car before you turn the key? A car is much more complicated than a bicycle and sees far less maintenance than an airplane.

Iím well aware of my bicycles as I ride them and Iím well aware of how they function. Doing a ďwalk aroundĒ or wiping the bike down isnít going to revel anything that I canít see or feel from the saddle.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Don't assume that your successful inaction negates the actions of those who actually care about their stuff.

The implication here is, if you don't clean it, you probably don't maintain it very well either. I cannot generate the energy to care about your approach to bicycle touring. It just sounds lazy. Whatever... man.
I care about my stuff...you make lots of assumptions that donít have any evidence...I just donít need to clean it after every ride or to clean it twice a week. My bikes all roll well, shift well and have nothing wrong with them mechanically. The reason that I donít ďcleanĒ my bike while on tour is that it doesnít need it. Thatís the same reason that I donít wipe down my bikes after every ride. Bicycles arenít that delicate.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Many times on this forum I detect the subtext of one who is deliberately contrarian, purely for the sake of being contrarian. Most times I can resist taking the bait. But not every time. Shame on me for that.
Not contrarian but realistic. I see people at my co-op who clean their bike way too much. Often problems arise from people who have to take everything apart just to ďcleanĒ it but have no idea how to put it back together.

Ride your bike. Enjoy your bike. If you like clean it every inch of every ride you take. But you really donít need to.
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Old 09-28-18, 04:51 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 02Giant View Post
There are pills for that.
You must speak from experience.
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Old 09-28-18, 04:58 AM
  #39  
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Sometimes a power washer is your only recourse.


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Old 09-28-18, 05:08 AM
  #40  
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I'll say again, as I did on another thread ... I purposely don't over clean my bike as I'm worried it will increase the risk of it lasting longer and taking away one of my rationales for getting a new bike.
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Old 09-28-18, 06:07 AM
  #41  
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Care should be exercised in washing older brake hoods. Solvents can leave those sticky. I don't know that it's an issue on newer hoods.
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Old 09-28-18, 07:55 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I left mine in the dryer overnight and it got all wrinkly once.
Had that problem. Then I got the bright idea of taking my bikes to the dry cleaners. What could go wrong, right?
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Old 09-28-18, 09:40 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
You must speak from experience.
I can neither confirm nor deny that accusation.
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Old 09-28-18, 09:57 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Had that problem. Then I got the bright idea of taking my bikes to the dry cleaners. What could go wrong, right?

Tried that, but I lost the ticket, and it's left me a mule to ride.

Doesn't the death beam from the interocitor have a "sanitize bike" setting?
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Old 09-28-18, 10:08 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Tried that, but I lost the ticket, and it's left me a mule to ride.

Doesn't the death beam from the interocitor have a "sanitize bike" setting?
Yes, the GT Interocitors do, but I only have the Rally Sport package.
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Old 09-28-18, 10:13 AM
  #46  
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I can confidently say that I have made zero cleaning mistakes. Of all the things I have attempted, I still have not damaged or messed up my bikes
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Old 09-28-18, 01:26 PM
  #47  
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We tried to fit the tandem in the dishwasher. Didn't work. So we've compromised and hose it down, washing gently with warm soapy water, once a month or so. Whether it needs it or not (we ride it about 5 times a week).
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Old 09-28-18, 03:00 PM
  #48  
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Someone mentioned using pledge. Unless the bike is really dirty, I usually just go over the frame with a rag and Lemon Pledge. Gives a little bit of protection plus it smells lemony
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Old 09-29-18, 01:22 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
Yes, the GT Interocitors do, but I only have the Rally Sport package.
If you turn the set screw on the hyperbolic recirculating veeblefetzer, you can lessen the intensity of the lowest setting of the RS death ray just enough to make it a good bike sanitation device. It's a bit finicky though, I set it slightly wrong the first time and it cost me one tire and a cat.
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Old 09-29-18, 02:52 AM
  #50  
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If you have a front loading washing machine you will not need a veeblefetzer for your cat.
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