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What do you guys use for cleaning the gunk off of your bikes? I don't want to inadvertently destroy my paint or frame (Al). Also, what's the best stuff for making my drive train look "new" again? Thanks in advance for the tips!
 

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Simple Green works great. I go to the parts store for the automotive formula. I use is as needed, but mostly on the running gear including the chain.
 

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Car Wash soap mixed with water in a spray bottle, a soft brush, and some water bottles. Just like I wash a car. It keeps the wax that I keep on the bike nice and long-lasting. Long-term use of simple green on paint (or any degreaser for that matter) will dry out the top coat of paint and shorten the life of your paint job. For driveline cleaning the kits sold by Pedros and others are quite fine. I find that cleaning frequently is the most efective way to make sure your bike looks it's best.
 

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Bike Lust

I give my bike a quick wipe down with Pedro's Bike Lust after most every ride. It takes less than 2 or 3 minutes and I don't have to do any major cleaning untill it's time for drive line cleaning.
 

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uhhhh, what?
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i used to use simple green, but a while back i switched to orange blast. same results, but orange blast tastes better when you get the inevitable splash on the snout. i usually assembly line 3-4 bikes at a shot, so no matter how careful i am i'm gonna be sampling some eventually...
 

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dilute goo gone in water with shampoo

goo gone is d-limonene, a solvent based from citrus extraction, by itself its very active, and can make polystyrene (and decals) soften. In water at 2-3% , it cuts grease without the alkalinity and harshness of simple green. It has the advantage of smelling like oranges.

Rinse with water (Mr Clean gun for cars..extracts the dissolved solids in eater,) and bingo! dries to a perfect finish. It will remove any wax on the paint, so you'll need to rewax once done. In areas where there's extra thick grease, spray it on undiluted, and use a good soft bristled brush.

FYI
Supercorsa's Orange Blast is d-limonene too.
 

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Can you then use Simple Green to clean the carbon fiber stays on an aluminum bike?

I've recently purchased a Fondriest Carb Level Plus with carbon seat- and chainstays. They've got a rather dull finish (not clearcoat) and I'm personally a bit concerned over using a degreaser to clean them.

Should I be cautious and use another cleaner for the carbon bits on my bike or can I throw it to the wind and use it anyway?
 

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Antonio_B said:
Can you then use Simple Green to clean the carbon fiber stays on an aluminum bike?
NO, absolutely not. Not because of the carbon though, that should be fine, it's the aluminum that's the problem. If you read the warning label on simple green it says to keep away from any and all aluminum. This is because it reacts very badly with aluminum and will corrode the surface enough that it will weaken the material, also the corrosion will follow into the tubing if you try to polish it. you can sometimes get away with it, but once you damage some Al with the stuff you'll never do it again.

Find some Simple Green: Extreme Aerospace cleaner, it's more powerful than the original SG and is specifically made for use on Aluminum (and is completely CF safe as well). You can get it at any place that sells airplane cleaning items (your guess is as good as mine, www.simplegreen.com to start).
 

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Pro mechanics use washing up liquid, you know, the stuff losers without dishwashers use to get their plates etc. clean. It works.
 

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NO, absolutely not. Not because of the carbon though, that should be fine, it's the aluminum that's the problem.
actually, the simplegreen website (http://consumer.simplegreen.com/cons_faqs.php), has this to say about SimpleGreen and aluminum:

Aluminum - Is it safe to use Simple Green on aluminum?
Simple Green products have been successfully and safely used on aircraft, automotive, industrial and consumer aluminum items for over 20 years. However, caution and common sense must be used: Aluminum is a soft metal that easily corrodes with unprotected exposure to water. The aqueous-base and alkalinity of Simple Green or Crystal Simple Green can accelerate the corrosion process. Therefore, contact times of All-Purpose Simple Green and Crystal Simple Green with unprotected or unpainted aluminum surfaces should be kept as brief as the job will allow - never for more than 10 minutes. Large cleaning jobs should be conducted in smaller-area stages to achieve lower contact time. Rinsing after cleaning should always be extremely thorough - paying special attention to flush out cracks and crevices to remove all Simple Green/Crystal Simple Green residues. Unfinished, uncoated or unpainted aluminum cleaned with Simple Green products should receive some sort of protectant after cleaning to prevent oxidation.
disclaimer: i am not a simple green customer, nor a metallurgist or chemist, but i do ride an (occasionally dirty) aluminum frame in the rain...
 

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noskates said:
actually, the simplegreen website (http://consumer.simplegreen.com/cons_faqs.php), has this to say about SimpleGreen and aluminum:



disclaimer: i am not a simple green customer, nor a metallurgist or chemist, but i do ride an (occasionally dirty) aluminum frame in the rain...
I'm still wary about it and will be sticking to using the aerospace cleaner for Al parts, the fact that they developed a specifically Al-safe cleaner makes the original formula suspect IMO. Becides, I've got so many different cleaners (auto detailing for a sideline in HS) that I'll use a specific cleaner before I bust out the all-purpose stuff.
 

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rogger said:
Pro mechanics use washing up liquid, you know, the stuff losers without dishwashers use to get their plates etc. clean. It works.
Would that be "Dawn" dishwashing liquid? This was used to clean up the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez. A "Dawn" mixture soaped off the oil from many marine animals including birds & seals. I like the wicked “Gunk” engine cleaner for tough spots 1st, then followed w/ “Dawn”. Also, hot water works well.
 

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still use d limonene based products

they cut grease well. Dawn is just sodium lauryl sulfate; it will sritp off waxes etc,and is great when used in conjunction with a mild solvent or cleaner Again I mix stuff like dawn or shampoos( both are lauryl sulfates); to help cur grease in conjunction with d limonene base products. (goo gone, Orange Blast)

Orange Blast is i such excellent product. It will not damage your frame.

Trust an chemist, that either a combination like I refer to, or just go out and by buy the Pedros products (bike Lust), like I use as well;really do a good job. However I start it all with a d-limonene - co- lauryl sulfate washl and complete reinse. Then -->> Pedro's.
 

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venus said:
Would that be "Dawn" dishwashing liquid? This was used to clean up the oil spill from the Exxon Valdez. A "Dawn" mixture soaped off the oil from many marine animals including birds & seals. I like the wicked “Gunk” engine cleaner for tough spots 1st, then followed w/ “Dawn”. Also, hot water works well.
I guess so, here in Europe it isn't called "Dawn" but they use P&G's leading brand called "Dreft" so I expect it to be very similar.
 
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