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How to clean your bike?

Old 08-17-05, 11:42 AM
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How to clean your bike?

Ok guys, I hit my first trail yesterday with my brand new bike. Now it's all dirty. I got to say, mtn biking is harder and dirtier than I thought. I have to give you hardcore mtn bikers some props. Anyways, just wanted to know how you guys went about cleaning your bikes after each ride? Do you just hose it down with the water hose or what? I haven't done it before so please let me know if that's ok...
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Old 08-17-05, 11:58 AM
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I think its best to avoid washing it unless u have to. I let mine get dirty until the mud starts affecting my shifting or riding. The more water, the more rust... But if your worried about keeping it clean, just use a hose with a nozzle and try to avoid spraying your drivetrain as much as possible, but enought to knock off the mud.. Also after every time u wash it, dont forget to lube your chain. Thats very important!! I usually do it about every other time I ride, depending on the conditions I ride in.
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Old 08-17-05, 12:56 PM
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I don't wash my bikes unless the amount of mud and crud is too much or get shifting probelms but when I do wash mine this is what I do.

1) Dilute biodegradable degreaser with water and spray it all over the bike and let it sit for a minute or two.
2) With a soft brush, scrub the bike to remove excess dirt/mud.
3) Hose it down with the nozzle in spray mode. Try not to spary directly the hubs, freehub and headset, the crud will go in instead of out.
4) Raise the front tire to let the water out of the frame, this is important if your frame is made of steel.
5) Let it dry or dry it with a rag.
6) Relube.

The important thing is not to use pressured water, the water will push in the dirt into the bearings and other moving parts affecting their performance and shortening their life.
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Old 08-17-05, 01:53 PM
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Here you go. This will give you a general idea on the cleaning process. You don't have to use their tools.

Bike Cleaning

After cleaning follow these instructions on taking care of your chain.

Chain Cleaning and Lubrication
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Old 08-17-05, 01:57 PM
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I take a different approach. I try and wash / clean my bike after each ride. This way I can inspect each part and access damage and wear. I lightly spray the bike with the garden hose and apply some Simple Green to any particularly dirty areas. Spray off the major crud and wash down the whole thing with soap / water and a soft brush. Dry and lube as required.

It may sound like alot of work, but my bike is now three years old and has been ridden and raced alot. I relube my wheel bearings, brake pivots, headset and drivetrain regularly and have had no mechanical issues. The only parts replaced in that time due to wear are brake pads, rd (it was an Acera) and one cable. Still using stock wheel bearings, head bearings and bottom bracket.

I understand the idea of not washing the bike until absolutely necessary; but there are other options that work.
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