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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 09-29-18, 05:04 AM
  #51  
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It was about the Michelin tires that matched my Ksyrium wheelset. Since Ksyrium wheels were a light color aluminum, I decided the light shade of grey tires would be a nice match.

Those tires get dirty a bit faster as far as appearance. So I tried to clean the Michelins with the same spray-on that I used for my car tires. This resulted in the disintegration of the grey color on the Michelins.
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Old 09-29-18, 12:31 PM
  #52  
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I clean my bikes when they need it and the other day I buffed off the monogram off one of the brake callipers. I am still bummed.
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Old 09-29-18, 12:42 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by frogman View Post
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
You gotta be careful; the orange scented stuff draws bees from miles around.


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Old 09-30-18, 11:49 PM
  #54  
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I just hammer it through huge puddles and it cleans itself.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:12 AM
  #55  
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Biggest mistake was over washing and washing off all my paint

Seriously is there mistakes, you like a clean bike go for it. I can offer a tip or two, avoid overly aggressive soaps like dish detergents, buy a quality auto soap (I substitute it with hair shampoo in a pinch). 2 wax the non porous paint finishes, dirt washes off easier next time around and it keeps fine scratches down to a minimum. Armor all does that too. I even armor all rims then if the chain flicks any oil its easier to clean off with a wipe later.
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Old 10-01-18, 06:08 AM
  #56  
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Quick wipe down as needed after a ride seems to work fine for me. I try not to over think it.
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Old 10-01-18, 07:55 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
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.
You guys are using amusing pseudo tech babble and as an engineer I like doing this to my non-engineering friends. You mention a recirculating veeblefester, and they look at you like a dog does when its confused, twisting their heads. "That's not a real thing, right". "As far as you know, it is". But the most masterful use of tech psuedobabble is from a British engineer, John Hellins Quick, in 1944. You can find the article online (I did, but can't find it now). But there's been a couple of videos made. Here's one:

The publication is pretty famous. See https://www.computerworld.com/articl...cabulator.html


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Old 10-01-18, 10:57 AM
  #58  
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"Its not cheap but someone will buy it"

why bother to wipe your only gona' have to go again later
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Old 10-01-18, 11:29 AM
  #59  
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Water pressure

You need to get the bike wet to clean properly. I use on of those rain shower wands that are used for watering fragile plants. The water almost just falls out. Less pressure than the hose pressure. Wet / bike friendly spray on bike soap / wipe around with a paper towel and then rinse again.

Big mistake - letting lubrication get on your braking surfaces. Bad times when you need to stop.

The big thing is the chain. It's one thing to clean your bike and make it pretty. Cleaning the chain is something that I see a noticeable performance improvement from. You should get one of those chain cleaning devices (about $20), run it through until the chain is shiny. Then rinse and run it through a cloth to dry. Then use chain lube per bottle instructions and wipe / wipe / wipe. The perfect chain would have no lube on the actual visible surfaces. It's only doing it's job inside the link joints. Lube on the outside of the chain only helps attract and accumulate road dust / dirt, etc. Besides making the chain less effective, it also becomes and abrasive that can age your cassette / chain rings more than normal.
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Old 10-01-18, 12:43 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
You guys are using amusing pseudo tech babble and as an engineer I like doing this to my non-engineering friends. You mention a recirculating veeblefester, and they look at you like a dog does when its confused, twisting their heads. "That's not a real thing, right". "As far as you know, it is". But the most masterful use of tech psuedobabble is from a British engineer, John Hellins Quick, in 1944. You can find the article online (I did, but can't find it now). But there's been a couple of videos made. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac7G7xOG2Ag

The publication is pretty famous. See https://www.computerworld.com/articl...cabulator.html

There's a bunch of videos on YouTube of people presenting the "product" in various eras. I spent a couple hours watching as many as I could find once, it was pretty fascinating watching the different deliveries and demonstrations.

I'm a huge fan of "The Missile Knows:
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Old 10-01-18, 12:44 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
This wasn't even all that true 30 years ago and it's even less true today. Modern hubs are quite well sealed. The guys at GCN did a several minute test of direct spray at the bearings and saw little to now water infiltration.
To a degree this is true. But only true on more expensive components. Some of the cheap ones aren't sealed very well and the bikes that still use cup and cone bearings vs. sealed cartridge bearings don't stand up well to direct spray.
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Old 10-01-18, 12:46 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
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.
Uhhhh...you don't have a to clean your bike to notice these things.
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Old 10-01-18, 12:51 PM
  #63  
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On a more serious note...if you are going to wash your bike a few times a week...That's some serious OCD right there.

I'd post a pic of my hardtail but it's really dirty and I haven't washed it in 3 months. I don't want to be the source of a cardiac arrest for anyone here on this forum.

When I finally do wash the bike...I'll fill a pale with some hot water and dawn dish soap. Then I'll dip a big ol' rag in there and wipe all the dirt off.
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Old 10-01-18, 01:59 PM
  #64  
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I use the air compressor to blow off debris a couple times a week, wipe it down a couple times a month. The air compressor gets the sand and stuff that collects in the hard to wipe places.
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Old 10-01-18, 04:14 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by topshopper19 View Post
Hello,

Need some info on what to avoid.

I want to clean my bicycle regularly (maybe a couple of times per week), but i want to learn from the mistakes of other people.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made when cleaning your bike? Maybe as a result it caused breakage or damage to the mechanisms?

Thanks
The biggest mistake I've made is not cleaning my bike on a regular basis.
I recommend waxing it right out of the box. Never use a high pressure spray on it! Wax it at least twice a year. Lightly oil after washing.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:18 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
On a more serious note...if you are going to wash your bike a few times a week...That's some serious OCD right there.

Then again not really. I'd ride almost daily in an area that had a natural clay type of medium for miles. When it was wet it would get on the bikes and leave behind a puky greenish residue that got harder and harder to wash off the longer you allowed it to set. Even direct power washer beaming a couple inches away wouldn't remove it all, after leaving it to set about a week the first time.

Bikes get muddy, its almost like a ritual to meet and power wash them off and drink a beer after riding dirty.
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Old 10-01-18, 05:25 PM
  #67  
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It's about me

I like having a clean bike but I do not clean the entire bike thoroughly that often. Most of the time it is wiping the chain, chainrings and cassette, rims and the areas where dirt and grime like to hide. Then I lightly wipe down other areas when they look like they need it. Also lubricate the drive train often and other parts/areas less often. I feel more tuned in with my bike when I have done what I feel is needed. As for what to use and when and where to use it, it somewhat depends on the material used to make it. It's your bike, it's up to you. Mistakes are made by all and they are the real teachers.
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Old 10-01-18, 06:10 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by topshopper19 View Post
Hello,

Need some info on what to avoid.

I want to clean my bicycle regularly (maybe a couple of times per week), but i want to learn from the mistakes of other people.

What are some of the biggest mistakes you have made when cleaning your bike? Maybe as a result it caused breakage or damage to the mechanisms?

Thanks
No breakage or damage but the biggest mistake I did was using a de-greasing wipes on my rims. Sure, they got cleaned but braking for the first few kilometers were very problematic. The smallest pressure on the rim (obviously rim brakes) would make the pads squeal and jump. Couldn't modulate my braking. I had to ride with the brakes very slightly touching the rims to fix it.
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Old 10-02-18, 07:10 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Oldbikeride View Post
The biggest mistake I've made is not cleaning my bike on a regular basis.
I recommend waxing it right out of the box. Never use a high pressure spray on it! Wax it at least twice a year. Lightly oil after washing.
Waxing your bike? !!
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Old 10-02-18, 08:13 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by WizardOfBoz View Post
You guys are using amusing pseudo tech babble and as an engineer I like doing this to my non-engineering friends. You mention a recirculating veeblefester, and they look at you like a dog does when its confused, twisting their heads. "That's not a real thing, right". "As far as you know, it is". But the most masterful use of tech psuedobabble is from a British engineer, John Hellins Quick, in 1944. You can find the article online (I did, but can't find it now). But there's been a couple of videos made. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac7G7xOG2Ag

The publication is pretty famous. See https://www.computerworld.com/articl...cabulator.html
Love it! I can picture the late Leslie Nielson doing something like that.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:17 AM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Waxing your bike? !!

Don't try to give your bike a Brazilian wax. Trust me on that one.
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Old 10-02-18, 08:26 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
To a degree this is true. But only true on more expensive components. Some of the cheap ones aren't sealed very well and the bikes that still use cup and cone bearings vs. sealed cartridge bearings don't stand up well to direct spray.
I can't tell you the number of times I've been told on this forum that sealed cartridge bearings aren't "sealed". Tons of people have tried to tell me that the seals on the bearings are just dust seals...and poor ones at that. According to them, the water should just shoot through the hub and come out the other side.

On the other hand, I did add the caveat that modern hubs are well sealed. Even cheap modern hubs. You would have to go way down into the cheapest of the HelMart bikes to find the kind of hubs you are talking about and, even then, the grease will stand up to a momentary blast of water from a handwand. Not minutes, to be sure, and the further away you hold the wand the better.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
On a more serious note...if you are going to wash your bike a few times a week...That's some serious OCD right there.
That's kind of what I thought. Cleaning a bike twice a week is just fiddling with the bike too much and wiping it down after every ride is sanitizing it for no apparent reason.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I'd post a pic of my hardtail but it's really dirty and I haven't washed it in 3 months. I don't want to be the source of a cardiac arrest for anyone here on this forum.

When I finally do wash the bike...I'll fill a pale with some hot water and dawn dish soap. Then I'll dip a big ol' rag in there and wipe all the dirt off.
I'm not afraid.

IMG_1248 by Stuart Black, on Flickr

A dirty bike is a happy bike!

With the caveat that my drivetrains aren't oily messy drivetrains and that I do more cleaning in winter to remove salt than in summer. Salt is corrosive and does damage. Good ol' dirt doesn't.
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Old 10-02-18, 10:28 AM
  #73  
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I only ride on paved roads so my bikes don't really get dirty. However, at the end of the ride I almost always wipe my bike down with a micro-fiber, a beer in one hand(for drinking) and the tunes cranked (in the garage).

Biggest mistake?.....putting Amour-all on the sidewalls and seat. Looks pretty but going around corners can get a little squirely and hitting the front brake hard can get the boys jammed. As a matter of fact I still do the Amour-all....on my Cruiser
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Old 10-02-18, 11:24 AM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Speedway2 View Post
I only ride on paved roads so my bikes don't really get dirty. However, at the end of the ride I almost always wipe my bike down with a micro-fiber, a beer in one hand(for drinking) and the tunes cranked (in the garage).
If you're wiping down your dusty bike with a dry cloth, you're doing much more harm to the finish than good. Have at it, but you should never wipe a dry surface with a dry cloth, if your aim is other than to cause micro-abrasions.
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Old 10-02-18, 12:53 PM
  #75  
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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.

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.

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.
+1
I couldn't agree more. I have been fortunate enough have been employed in aviation for 30+ years. I have applied the same standard to my bikes.

I have my bike work stand and my Harbor Freight work stool. I put on a proper work apron and clean my bike after every single ride. I look were I clean and I have found burrs on the chain ring, when it was getting worn, loose spokes, tell tale signs that the head tube bearings needed to be serviced, disc brake contamination, on and on, I have found numerous common issues as I use my older micro fiber towels and Maguires Final Touch detailing spray. I only spray the towel, not the bike. I get up and close to inspect and maintain my bike to highest level possible. I ride hard and average around 140 miles a week during the summer. I even use a bag of thin painters rags (small) to detail the FD and RD and pedals. Put my bike next to one that gets a once a month power wash, and the difference in appearance, reliability, integrity, and just overall functionality/safety doesn't even come close.
I see aircraft that are stored outside in the elements, never waxed and get cleaned when a rain storm passes. Those are the same airplanes that have system failures during flight, corrosion issues, dry rot, sun rot, on and on.
If you want to call that OCD, fine, I call it preventative maintenance and safety.
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