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Where do you wash your bike?

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Where do you wash your bike?

Old 11-22-20, 12:23 PM
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Metallifan33
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Where do you wash your bike?

I ride in dry conditions only and was hoping to not have to clean my chain/wash the bike (other than the post-ride wipe down) until I take my bike into the shop twice a year.
This plan however isn't going to work as my chain is getting annoyingly loud and I'm going to have to de-grease, wash, and lube it.
I am not someone who works on bikes/cars etc., however I think I would enjoy working on the bike.
My question is, where do you guys wash your bike? I thought about in my back porch (cement), but I don't want to stain the cement. I may do it on the front driveway or back yard grass.
Either way, I'm curious as to what you guys do. Also, what do you do with greasy rags afterward? Can you clean and reuse them? (I suppose you don't want to drop them in the washer).
These may sound like stupid questions, but keep in mind, I haven't washed a car by hand in decades.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:55 PM
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If you first remove the chain and rear wheel (for the cassette) you shouldn't end up with any runoff that will stain anything. Clean the chain and cassette with mineral spirits and re-use. Or wax lube. Do not put oily rags in the washer or dryer, just throw them away.
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Old 11-22-20, 12:58 PM
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Driveway. Spray drivetrain and chain with citrus degreaser. Use dawn liquid or similar to wash. It may not be perfect but reasonable.
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Old 11-22-20, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
I ride in dry conditions only and was hoping to not have to clean my chain/wash the bike (other than the post-ride wipe down) until I take my bike into the shop twice a year.
This plan however isn't going to work as my chain is getting annoyingly loud and I'm going to have to de-grease, wash, and lube it.
I am not someone who works on bikes/cars etc., however I think I would enjoy working on the bike.
My question is, where do you guys wash your bike? I thought about in my back porch (cement), but I don't want to stain the cement. I may do it on the front driveway or back yard grass.
Either way, I'm curious as to what you guys do. Also, what do you do with greasy rags afterward? Can you clean and reuse them? (I suppose you don't want to drop them in the washer).
These may sound like stupid questions, but keep in mind, I haven't washed a car by hand in decades.
I found that using a mild detergent and hand washing works best
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Old 11-22-20, 03:45 PM
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I wash my bike on a concrete slab in my back yard. Never once had issues with grease staining anything.
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Old 11-22-20, 03:47 PM
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I do it in my garage. but if you're concerned about staining the cement, do it on the grass.
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Old 11-22-20, 04:38 PM
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Stain concrete?...my driveway isn't pristine enough to even consider that as an issue.

Just wash the bike in grass. Or out in AZ, wash it in the pebbles.
Spray with water, soap the bike, and rinse. Its like a 5min job.
Then apply chain lube after.
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Old 11-22-20, 05:06 PM
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On my front porch, actually the loading platform for our shop, which has a tarp over it so I can even wash them in the rain. The boards have 1/4" spaces between them for the rain and wash water to drain through. Most convenient.
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Old 11-22-20, 05:46 PM
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I wipe mine down in the house were it's a comfortable temperature. Depending on where I am I might put down an old towel or a drop cloth. Those canisters with premoistened wipes generally work well for me. Even for getting the gunk off the chain and sprockets. Though I see STP has these that claim to be for degreasing....https://www.walmart.com/ip/STP-Cleaning-Engine-Degreasing-Wipes-Citrus-Scent-30-count/905072168

I might try them and see if they cut through chain grime better.

I've never felt a need to take a hose or other thing to my own road bikes. They just don't get dirty enough.

Last edited by Iride01; 11-22-20 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 11-22-20, 06:45 PM
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On a Park Tool stand, in the driveway, with my hose and my car wash bucket.

Simple Green the drivetrain, let it soak, scrub, rinse, then the entire bike with car wash soap, dry thoroughly with electric leaf blower, finish with a microfiber towel, lube the drivetrain, wipe down the Park Tool stand, put it all away.

I usually do it on car wash day, since I already have the hose, bucket, etc. out.

I use a microfiber wash mitt to scrub the bike with soap, BTW.

My decade-old bike looks brand new.
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Old 11-23-20, 10:26 AM
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I live in an apartment. For me its the bathtub for the complete bike. For heavy duty once a year take it all apart clean, couple buckets to soak and then a bathtub
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Old 11-23-20, 03:07 PM
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If you're going to fully degrease, take things off the bike, you'll be able to get them cleaner and not have to worry about the mess. Otherwise, car wash soap, a spray bottle and some blue shop towels.
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Old 11-23-20, 03:34 PM
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I never wash my bikes unless they get muddy. I just spray Pledge and wipe with a clean cloth. Chain gets wiped with a rag before re-lubing. The chain never comes off until time to replace.
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Old 11-23-20, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CeeDotA View Post
I wash my bike on a concrete slab in my back yard. Never once had issues with grease staining anything.
I've stained the concrete in the back yards of two different apartment buildings where I've lived. Not sure if that's because my bike gets covered with a "special" kind of grime, or because I'm such a selfish inconsiderate tenant that I don't even take a few remedial steps to clean up the area after I've cleaned the bike. But those stains ain't goin' nowhere. :::shrugs:::
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Old 11-23-20, 10:04 PM
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I take both wheels off and put the bike on the stand in the backyard on the grass. Today I left the chain on with a roller but once or twice a month I'll take the chain off and soak it in white spirits to really get it clean.

I use simple green for the drivetrain areas and a sudsy bike wash for the rest of it. After the bike is dry I lube the chain and (usually) the derailleur pivots.
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Old 11-26-20, 06:04 AM
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I strip the wheels, cassette and the chain
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Old 11-26-20, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
I ride in dry conditions only and was hoping to not have to clean my chain/wash the bike (other than the post-ride wipe down) until I take my bike into the shop twice a year.
This plan however isn't going to work as my chain is getting annoyingly loud and I'm going to have to de-grease, wash, and lube it.
I am not someone who works on bikes/cars etc., however I think I would enjoy working on the bike.
My question is, where do you guys wash your bike? I thought about in my back porch (cement), but I don't want to stain the cement. I may do it on the front driveway or back yard grass.
Either way, I'm curious as to what you guys do. Also, what do you do with greasy rags afterward? Can you clean and reuse them? (I suppose you don't want to drop them in the washer).
These may sound like stupid questions, but keep in mind, I haven't washed a car by hand in decades.
You will certainly enjoy working on your bike. Regarding the need to wash it, you shouldn't have to do anything else than wiping it off with a clean microfiber clothe & hot water if you ride in dry conditions. The less water you put on your bike, the better it is. I ''wash'' mine inside. By wash, I mean I wipe it off after every ride. I use a separate rag to wipe my chain off after every ride as well while I am cleaning the rest of the bike. I don't clean that one, however, I throw it in the garbage after the summer.

If I would wash it with a garden hose, I'd certainly do it in my backyard on the grass.

Regarding your chain that is noisy, frequent lubrication is the key. I lube mine every 100-200kms and perform a full decontamination every 1000kms (Fuel does a marvelous job!). When it's time, I also remove my cassette and clean it under hot and soapy water using a brush. I don't like to spray degreaser directly on the bike.

Last edited by eduskator; 11-26-20 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-26-20, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post
I live in an apartment. For me its the bathtub for the complete bike. For heavy duty once a year take it all apart clean, couple buckets to soak and then a bathtub
Same. Sometimes challenging getting access to the building's water and hose access. I've thought about but haven't done it -- getting one of those 2 gallon pump garden sprayers for rinsing after soaping up and scrub with dawn and a car sponge.
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Old 11-26-20, 10:20 AM
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We have a stamped and colored concrete patio. I’ve been washing my bikes there for years and never managed to stain it.
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Old 11-26-20, 10:51 AM
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On the grass---it can grow back.
No hose driving dirt where I don't want it.
I grab the worst rag in the house, and throw it out after. Start with the frame, end with the greasy parts.
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Old 12-13-20, 06:58 PM
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I live in an apartment. For a quick job I sponge it down in bathtub. For more through job I’ll take outside in front of building with a couple warm buckets of water, one suds and one clean water. Park tool brushes are helpful. Drop of Organic dish soap or simple green for suds, degreased for chain.
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Old 12-13-20, 08:43 PM
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I'm in an apartment. I *could* wash my bikes indoors, but I don't.

I trundle out the bike to the back yard or parking lot, toting a bucket of warm water with Dawn, a spray bottle of generic "green" degreaser, some junk brushes and sponges, and do it quick and semi-dirty. I'm not that picky, just knock of the mud and worst road grime.

Switching to cleaner chain lubes cut down on some grime. I use either hot wax (a hassle to set up but easy once the process is underway) or Rock 'n' Roll Absolute Dry or Gold, both very light lubes that are mostly naphtha carrier with PTFE, and with the Gold, a bit of oil. I dribble a few droplets using a needle dropper once a week, kinda randomly. That's cut way back on the mess from oily lubes that collect grime and splatter the bike.
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Old 12-13-20, 09:41 PM
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I wash my bike during rides but only when it's raining hard and there's no mud in the streets
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Old 12-13-20, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Metallifan33 View Post
Also, what do you do with greasy rags afterward? Can you clean and reuse them? (I suppose you don't want to drop them in the washer).
Get empty gallon ice cream container (plastic ones, not the paper ones).

Put 1.5 scoop powder detergent in there, add water until 3/4 full. Stir with your hand until powder detergent is fully dissolved in it. And then soak your greasy rags in it for at least one hour. Rinse and hang dry after.

Don't expect your greasy rags to be spotless clean after washing them. You'll never be able to completely remove stains in it and that's not not a problem and you'll be able to re-use them without issues. Obviously, if you used these dirty rags in the drivetrain, you should only use them on the drivetrain each time. Never use the rags you used on the drivetrain on the frame, wheels, and any other parts of the bike, have a different set of rags for these and wash them in a different ice gream gallon container.
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Old 12-13-20, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Same. Sometimes challenging getting access to the building's water and hose access. I've thought about but haven't done it -- getting one of those 2 gallon pump garden sprayers for rinsing after soaping up and scrub with dawn and a car sponge.
This is the way to do it, even if you do have access to a hose. Adjustable pressure that isn't too high, and you can fill it with hot water instead of cold. 2 gallons is enough for a fairly muddy mountain bike, or any road bike. I also fill an empty spray bottle with about 1/4 dish soap and 3/4 water, and use that after a first rinse.
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