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Washing road bikes

Old 10-04-20, 12:49 PM
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Bikerdrummer
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Washing road bikes

How much do you wash your road bike?

Whats your routine?

I typically dont ride in wet weather but do roll through a puddle here and there.

I live in an apartment so Id have to use the bathtub or the power washer at gas stations.
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Old 10-04-20, 12:53 PM
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IMO, cleaning the drivetrain/brakes is more important than washing the frame.
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Old 10-04-20, 02:08 PM
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I use a brush for the caked on dirt and worms and then a handi-wipe/butt wipe. I don't generally wash the entire bike unless I've been caught in the rain. Chain and other greasy parts need different attention.
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Old 10-04-20, 04:57 PM
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Wasn't there a washing topic here just a day or two ago?

Bike Washing

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Old 10-04-20, 05:04 PM
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waterless car wash & them there handy butt wipes
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Old 10-04-20, 08:13 PM
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Power washer hooked up to a Wrtsil RT-flex96C engine. I like my bikes clean!

Really though I just use a bucket and sponge and some soap or my Muc-Off bike wash. Usually the bike wash but occasionally if the bike is really dirty I go bucketing.
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Old 10-04-20, 08:33 PM
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I wipe it down if dirty then use a bike polish if im in the mood. Honestly, as long as the drivetrain is clean it probably doesn't matter.
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Old 10-05-20, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
I use a brush for the caked on dirt and worms ....
I am hoping there usually aren't very many of the latter!
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Old 10-05-20, 06:27 AM
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It's seasonal but quite a few in the Spring when the roads are damp. They collect under the fork crown and brakes and they dry hard as a rock. Disgusting for sure.
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Old 10-05-20, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
It's seasonal but quite a few in the Spring when the roads are damp. They collect under the fork crown and brakes and they dry hard as a rock. Disgusting for sure.
Back in the 90s I did a two day, 150 mile charity ride in DE farm country. The second morning was wet, causing countless worms in the road, then it got really hot. By the time the ride was over there were several worms baked onto the bike in places, including the brakes and seat tube. They were tough to remove. The ones under the fork crown were the worst.
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Old 10-05-20, 11:29 AM
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Pedros frame polish 👍
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Old 10-05-20, 11:33 AM
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Along with all the standard suggestions for cleaning, I've found multi-purpose kitchen cleaning wipes to be great for a final wipe-down.

I'd never use a pressure washer on a bike, it's just asking for trouble (flushing grease out of bearings, mostly).
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Old 10-07-20, 02:45 PM
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Gentle cycle, cool water
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Old 10-07-20, 03:18 PM
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Wet rag, most of the time. Sometimes a bit of wax polish or carbon care oil to make ot really shine. Very rarely, bucket of soap and water.

Whem traveling, baby wipes, we always have some around and they're super handy to give the bike a quick clean.
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Old 10-07-20, 03:55 PM
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Once a year in the late fall after riding season. Wipe down after each ride during the year, especially the chain. Always riding dry roads helps.
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Old 10-07-20, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bikejrff View Post
Once a year in the late fall after riding season. Wipe down after each ride during the year, especially the chain.
I go a bit deeper.



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Old 10-07-20, 04:56 PM
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I've been using auto detailer spray or polish to wipe down the frame. I found doing the hose and bucket thing to be cumbersome and puts water into places I don't want to wipe.

Not going as far as GlennR, I pull off the wheels, chain and cassette beforehand. The cassette and chain soak in mineral spirits as I wipe down the frame and wheels.
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Old 10-07-20, 06:39 PM
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Soap, a bucket, water, rag, brush, sponge. If I did not have access to an outdoor hose like yourself, I'd wipe down the chain and derailleurs with a damp rag, lube as required and keep going. My bike gets pretty dirty every ride. Washing a bike to make it look as close to it did when it was new is a different story. I have no need for that, I am more concerned with the mechanicals.
I have no need to get out the pressure washer or pay $ for 5 minutes at a wash world but even if you did... it will not start to displace grease unless you are literally purposely aiming directly at a bearing with full pressure for a looooooooong time. Try it and see.

Last edited by u235; 10-07-20 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-07-20, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt View Post
Gentle cycle, cool water
Tumble dry?
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Old 10-08-20, 06:32 AM
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I use a hand spray bottle with a very diluted dish soap and water solution. Spray it on, and wipe it off with a microfiber cloth. The dish soap does well at removing grease and oil. It will also remove any type of wax you may have applied to your frame so you will need to reapply it after.

I only use the hose when the bike is muddy. But then I still finish up with the spray bottle and cloth.

I also remove the wheels, chain, and cassette. The chain and cassette gets soaked in chain-brite while I am cleaning the rest of the bike. The cranks stay in place most of the time and are only removed for a deep cleaning as needed.

If you have disc brakes, take care not to spray any cleaners on the brake pads or rotor braking surfaces. Many people report noisy brakes after a deep cleaning. I generally use denatured alcohol or similar product on the rotors.
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Old 10-08-20, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Tumble dry?
Line dry only. You don't want to shrink the frame.
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Old 10-08-20, 09:22 AM
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Im gonna give it a shot in my bathtub (live in an apt) tomorrow. Bought some brushes and rags. Gonna use simple green. Its not super dirty but needs a cleaning.
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Old 10-08-20, 11:12 AM
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I wash bikes the same as the car - outside on the apartment sidewalk or driveway, small bucket of mild soapy water (like carwash soap or dish soap) and old sponge. An old nylon scrubbie for caked on dirt/bugs/worms. I have a hose for a gentle rinse, but a few water bottles also works. Dry with some rags, and do the drivetrain clean/lube later after it dries.

I would think wrestling the bike in the bathtub will result in an oily tub and holes in your walls where your fork hits. I've also heard Simple Green can have a corrosive effect on aluminum, but if diluted and washed off, probably no problem.
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Old 10-08-20, 12:12 PM
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I take wooden twigs off the ground. I flip my bike upside down. I run the pedal and use the tip of the twigs to dig out the grime that collects on the derailleurs, chain and cassettes.
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