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How do you wash your bike?

Old 11-07-21, 08:00 PM
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Stateguy
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How do you wash your bike?

Was wondering how everyone cleans there bike
i was told not use a hose
i just brought a fat bike and want to know how to get the salt off
is there any products to use
how do you folks clean your bike
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Old 11-07-21, 08:25 PM
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That's the neat part!
I DON'T!!!
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Old 11-07-21, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CrimsonEclipse View Post
That's the neat part!
I DON'T!!!
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Old 11-07-21, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
i was told not use a hose
I think that's a reference to firing high pressure water from a hose? Yeah, I think that's a no-no unless you're in a pro team with pro mechanics and replaceable bikes.

But I do use a hose, just not in high pressure. Just to get the bike wet, then wipe down with wet cloth.
Also degreaser on the chain and cassette, then hose with not-high-pressure water to wash it away.
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Old 11-07-21, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
Was wondering how everyone cleans there bike
i was told not use a hose
i just brought a fat bike and want to know how to get the salt off
is there any products to use
how do you folks clean your bike

When I do…but that’s not often…a car wash does the trick. If you have loose bearing hubs, headset and bottom bracket keep the high pressure spray away from them. Most car washes have a low and high presssure setting. Just use the low pressure near the bearings.

If you have cartridge bearings in those locations, spray away. There is a GCN video out there where they put a pressure washer directly on the bearing and got no penetration.
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Old 11-07-21, 09:00 PM
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Usually, I just wipe the frame down with a cloth sprayed with Lemon Pledge, degrease the drivetrain parts, wipe them off, and lube the chain. If the bike's gotten muddy, I'll use the "shower" setting on my hose nozzle for the frame and wheels, then wipe and polish with dry rags. If you get in the habit of giving it a five-minute wipe-down after every couple of rides, you'll rarely have to deal with a major cleaning.

Last edited by Rolla; 11-07-21 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 11-07-21, 09:45 PM
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I wash and wax my bikes regularly. I use dish detergent most of the time, but for really tough areas Simple Green works well. A coat of car wax does a good job of making it easier to clean the next time. It also keeps the bike looking nice.

This is part of a sequence of pictures I used in a bike maintenance class. Gentle, fine spray from a hose will not hurt anything.



A toothbrush, a small brush, and a sponge are all you need, unless you are doing a deep cleaning and lubrication.




[

Last edited by Doug64; 11-07-21 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 11-07-21, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by atwl77 View Post
I think that's a reference to firing high pressure water from a hose? Yeah, I think that's a no-no unless you're in a pro team with pro mechanics and replaceable bikes.

But I do use a hose, just not in high pressure. Just to get the bike wet, then wipe down with wet cloth.
Also degreaser on the chain and cassette, then hose with not-high-pressure water to wash it away.
This is just not true. I was one for over 10 years. The last thing any team mechanic wants to do is build another bike unnecessarily. I've fired lots of high pressure water at lots of bikes for lots of years. Use your brain and it's not a problem.
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Old 11-07-21, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
This is just not true. I was one for over 10 years. The last thing any team mechanic wants to do is build another bike unnecessarily. I've fired lots of high pressure water at lots of bikes for lots of years. Use your brain and it's not a problem.
I think you mischaracterized my meaning of "replaceable bikes". I don't mean it in the way where they get rebuilt unnecessarily, but the fact that pro teams get practically brand new bikes every year (or at least every time the sponsor/manufacturer releases a new model), is the meaning I was going for.

Also it's easy to say "use your brain" for those of us who are careful and know what to look out for, but if the intent is to convey advice to random strangers on the Internet who may read this message days/months/years from now on, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution and don't assume they'll be competent enough to direct the high pressure jet appropriately and responsibly (not referring to the OP, but this is a public forum and any Tom, Dick and Harry can find and read it, after all).
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Old 11-07-21, 10:43 PM
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When my chain picks up enough dirt from my daily rides its time to clean the bike.

1 - Clean the chain. I use automatic transmission fluid just squirting it on the chain without getting it on the tires then wiping with a towel till I get the crud off.

2 - I use a soft long bristle hand brush and laundry soap. I brush and lather the entire bike top to bottom, front to back.

3 - I then rinse all the soap off.

4 - I blow it with a leaf blower to remove as much water as possible. I might let it dry a little but most of the time I don't.

5 - I then spray it completely with a thick coat of Armour All tire foam (Brand Specific). I get everything especially the spoke nipples. The tire foam spares and protects paint and synthetic materials as well as leaving a fine coat of most likely silicone on the surfaces.

5 - I hit it with the leaf blower again then with a clean rag go over everything getting the foam off and leaving a nice shine.

6 - Finally I lubricate, tighten, adjust, and inspect everything. I don't use special lubricants, just Marine Grease, ATF, 30 Weight Motor Oil, and on very special occasions CPL.



If the bike is not too dirty then I'll just hit it with the foam and do a good wipe down. Also note the other tire foams are not proven. They could damage the paint. The ArmorAll has not hurt anything on my bikes in well over15 years of use.
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Last edited by zandoval; 11-07-21 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 11-07-21, 10:55 PM
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I use diluted Simple Green in a spray bottle.

Hose it off with the nozzle set on mist.

Dry chain and re-apply White Lightning.

Lube derailleurs, brake calipers with TriFlow.

Every so often, remove guide and tension pulleys; clean and lube with TriFlow.

John
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Old 11-07-21, 11:09 PM
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A good hosing and wash down with rag and water.
I've never had a problem in 50 yrs of doing it this way.
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Old 11-08-21, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Stateguy View Post
Was wondering how everyone cleans there bike
i was told not use a hose
i just brought a fat bike and want to know how to get the salt off
is there any products to use
how do you folks clean your bike
sponge and a bucket of warm soapy water. Then rinse it off with a hose set on shower, not jet. Wipe off the excess water with an old towel, let it dry, than lube all the bits that need lubing. I look after the mechanicals regularly - I wash the bike every few months, so it works better than it looks.
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Old 11-08-21, 05:00 AM
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maybe it depends on the circumstances. this weekend rode the MTB thru some mud & water. got plenty of buildup under the fenders & on the tires. still have the hose hooked up, so gave it a quick spray. stayed away from the wheel bearings & bottom bracket
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Old 11-08-21, 07:07 AM
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I haven't washed a bike in three years. I do something akin to a sponge bath infrequently, without spraying water. This is especially true in winter months, when my hose bibs are off.

Normally, a wipe down while lubricating the drivetrain is all that you need.
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Old 11-08-21, 07:39 AM
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I use this, don’t normally buy it from Amazon though, directly from Griots, or local Autozone.
Tim

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Old 11-08-21, 07:56 AM
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If there's salt on the bike, like the O.P.'s bike, the normal "wipe it down with Lemon Pledge" approach won't work. You need water to rinse the salt off.

I start cleaning and lubing the chain. Do this first instead of last so your chain lube doesn't seal water inside the chain.

Option 1, a good squirt of Dawn in a bucket of warm to hot water. Using a good brush, start with the bars, work your way down and back. Finish with the wheels (don't forget the spokes) and the cassette. You don't need to rinse the Dawn off.

Option 2, spray water at a low flow rate. I figure if I can see the individual drops' trajectory turning down, it's not going to penetrate any bearings. Wash with detergent of your choice, brush, sponge, or rag, and rinse.

It's best if you can let the bike stand in the sun for an hour or so to dry off, but balance that "goodness" with the possibility your bike will ride off under a thief. Picnic on the porch while the bike's in front of you in the sun? Great! Bike left leaning against the side of the garage while you take a shower indoors? Not good.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:11 AM
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I only wash my bikes with soap and water about once a year, or if they get particularly muddy. But if you're fighting salt, that's a different story. Whoever told you not to use a hose was wrong. Like others have said, just use common sense with high-pressure water. When I was touring, every few days I'd visit a carwash and hose her down - no harm done. It actually doesn't require a lot of pressure to clean a bike anyway.

I like the tire foam idea - I'll have to give that a try.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:16 AM
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Do whatever you care to do. If that's hose it down with a garden hose, go for it. I find just wiping it off with a moist towelette easy and can be done inside with the comfort of my HVAC.

When I ride in the rain, I'll sit a box fan in front of my bike to circulate air around all those spaces that are too tight to get a towel in to dry it, so if you do use a hose, maybe consider using the fan to help it dry quick.

Pressure washer? I haven't ever needed to, but if it was dirty and gunky enough I would. Just try not to blast the axles with the wand close to it or else you might force water past the seals and into the bearings. But if you hold the wand back like they say to in the machines instructions, you are probably good. Then, like before, try to do something to dry it off. And again, a fan works wonders for lazy people like me.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:20 AM
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Stateguy if you’re washing salt off a fat bike, that describes a winter scenario, so a lot of the advice above is probably not practical unless you have a particularly suited facility to work in. For example, up until I sold my business last year, I had a heated warehouse with a truck bay, floor drain, hose and equipment at my disposal anytime, so that was deluxe.

Last winter I had to re-adapt my cleaning regimen of 12 years to an unheated home garage scenario. I’ve been using a wash/rinse program with a hand-pressurized, 1gal. garden sprayer. First I fill the sprayer with warm water and rinse down the bike, getting the big dirt off. I then use a little car wash— I like a shampoo with ceramic component— in a bucket with a brush (or rag) to hand wash the bike, followed by a spray down rinse, and a detailer spray and a towel dry to finish.

The nice thing a out the garden sprayer is that it’s very parsimonious with the water, so I can use it in the garage without getting everything wet or worrying about runoff freezing on the driveway. Its got a little pressure to knock stuff loose, and the tiny wand head lets me work around the bike very precisely using only as much water as needed.

Really, it works great, so much so that I found myself using the sprayer this summer even though I have just as ready access to garden hoses with sprayer heads and an electric pressure washer, too. It’s just so easy and efficient, although admittedly doesn’t develop enough pressure to really blast out gummed-up cassettes. A $20 Park Tool cleaning kit with the cassette scraper is a charm tool for that, and just for general cleaning, too.

Lastly, a propane heater for my garage was a smart addition to the arsenal, making winter chores like that much less burdensome.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:23 AM
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A gentle hose sprayer, some diluted Simple Green and a soft brush works well.

I creamic-coated all my painted surfaces so the dust pretty much just rolls right off with the water. It's a lot like a really good and durable wax job.
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Old 11-08-21, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I haven't washed a bike in three years. I do something akin to a sponge bath infrequently, without spraying water. This is especially true in winter months, when my hose bibs are off.

Normally, a wipe down while lubricating the drivetrain is all that you need.
Hose bibs [sic] is a term I didn’t know! I was pretty sure it was what I simply call a spigot or tap, but is apparently more specific in that a bibb always has a threaded fitting for a hose whereas a spigot or tap does not. The things I learn on BF…
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Old 11-08-21, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
maybe it depends on the circumstances. this weekend rode the MTB thru some mud & water. got plenty of buildup under the fenders & on the tires. still have the hose hooked up, so gave it a quick spray. stayed away from the wheel bearings & bottom bracket
There’s a reason you don’t use fenders on a mountain bike. Just sayin’.
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Old 11-08-21, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
There’s a reason you don’t use fenders on a mountain bike. Just sayin’.
like you I have lots of clearance, if that was the reason you were referring to? or ... it doesn't matter cuz everything is gonna get dirty anyway?
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Old 11-08-21, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
...so it works better than it looks.

That's the ticket!

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