Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the best way to wash a bike after a wet ride or race? My bike is filthy! I have a stand and a hose: what is the proceedure, and do I use soap? If so, what kind? And, how do I get the grit out of the drivetrain?
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
11,979 Posts
1.Hose it down gently, avoiding the hubs, BB, headset, and pedals as much as you can.
2.Use a little car washing soap, (not dishwashing detergent), and wash the dirtiest parts, then rinse again.
3. Dry it a little if you want, but no need to be thorough just yet.
4. Either remove the chain, or use a chain cleaning gadget e.g. Finishline, Park, etc. and degreaser. Take a rag & dry the chain as thoroughly as possible after cleaning / degreasing it. If it's been awhile, or if your bike got completely soaked / submerged, it might be prudent to check the bearings in the hubs, pedals, BB and headset.
5. Make any adjustments needed.
6. Spray the bike liberally with Pledge, (the furniture wax), and wipe it off. It's lots, lots easier if you remove the wheels and do them separately. Do the rims & hubs with Pledge also. No, it won't make your rims slippery, so you can't stop.
7. By this time, the chain should be dry. Use your choice of chain lube, dry with a rag again.
8. Stand back and admire.
9. Have a beer. (optional)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
1.) Dismount from bike.
2.) Submerge bike completely in swimming pool.
3.) Agitate vigorously.
4.) Remove from swimming pool.
5.) Remove seatpost and hang bike upside down to dry.

Shrinkage may occur. Repeat if necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,525 Posts
Fear of water

chiho said:
What is the best way to wash a bike after a wet ride or race? My bike is filthy! I have a stand and a hose: what is the proceedure, and do I use soap? If so, what kind? And, how do I get the grit out of the drivetrain?
I have always been a fan of dry cleaning - wiping with a rag and using only a damp cloth to remove the toughest spots. IME, using water to clean your bike results in rust after a few years - not an issue if you replace your bike every 2 years, but a pain if you want things to last. Regarding the drive train, here's the standard procedure:

Assuming we're talking road riding, use the following technique for successful ProLink or homebrew lube (1 part motor oil to 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits) application and use:
1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - drip on lube while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain just starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

If you do this every 300 miles or so (or when you get caught in the rain), you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
Kerry Irons said:
I have always been a fan of dry cleaning - wiping with a rag and using only a damp cloth to remove the toughest spots. IME, using water to clean your bike results in rust after a few years - not an issue if you replace your bike every 2 years, but a pain if you want things to last. Regarding the drive train, here's the standard procedure:

Assuming we're talking road riding, use the following technique for successful ProLink or homebrew lube (1 part motor oil to 3-4 parts odorless mineral spirits) application and use:
1 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
2 - drip on lube while pedaling (forward is better) so that the chain just starts to drip lube. Aim the lube between the side plates and between the bushings and the side plates.
3 - run through all the gears several times, front and back.
4 - wipe the chain, cogs, pulleys, and chainrings clean with a rag.
5 - repeat steps 2-4 if the chain was really dirty

If you do this every 300 miles or so (or when you get caught in the rain), you will not get any significant gunky buildup, and you won't have to clean the chain.

I tend to do similar. I keep an old fantastic bottle with about 1-part vinegar to 10 parts water (this is not exact) in the workshop/ garage. When the bike needs cleaning I lightly spray it on the frame, avoiding the bearing areas, and wipe it off a few seconds later. Leaves a nice shine and no harsh cleansers. Blue shop towels from Lowes or Home Depot are a wonderful help too!! Use them and toss them, and they hold up better for stuff like flossing your cassette.
 

·
Every little counts...
Joined
·
3,924 Posts
Bucket of hot water and dish soap and Finish Line brush set:

Remove chain, soak in spirits. Take wheels off. Scrub entire bike with brushes. After, take a rag and wipe it dry. Wash wheels also.

I really like the big finish line brush, works well. I'll also use some degreaser on the chainrings, but I prefer to dip a drivetrain brush in the spirits (where the chain is soaking) and clean the greasy stuff that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I never hose my bikes.

I use zep orange degreaser to clean my bikes. I have about a 1-1 mix of zep orange to water in a spray bottle. For the frame, brakes, ders, rims, spokes I use a rag damp with the solvent on it to wipe dirt off and a dry rag to wipe it dry.

I remove most of the drivetrain and clean it in the garage sink. Crank, chain and cassette. For the Crank/rings I use a small stiff bristle brush (park tool cleaining brush) and the zep organe solvent to clean. The chain I soak in solvent in a small tupper wear container and shake it up and rinse and repeat until it's pretty clean then I hit it with the stiff bristle park tool cleaining brush to really get the grime off. Cassette is the same way, spray with solvent then hit it with the brush.
 

·
Self-Banned
Joined
·
16,905 Posts
It's easy to keep a very clean bike in SoCal. I wipe off any visible dirt with a damp cotton cloth after every ride. I do a lube/wipe/cleaning of my chain and rings with a cotton rag every few days more or less depending on conditions.

I do a full on cleaning every 4 to 6 weeks. I clamp my bike to work stand at the seatpost and I take the wheels off. I spray the stubbornly dirty drive train areas with just a touch of diesel fuel (Keep diesel away from tires - especially tubulars) and I scrub with brushes. I spray down the entire bike including the wheels with Zep citrus degreaser. I run the chain through the Park cleaner with Zep citrus degreaser. I spray rinse everything off with a hose and nozel set on a low pressure setting. I spin the water off the cassette. I put the wheels back on and I dry everything with a cotton rag (especially the chain). About an hour later I relube the chain (on the rollers only) generously and I wipe off any excess. I lube any other areas as needed, check bolts and tuning.

I do this same process basically with a full drive train tear down only when I need to replace my chain and or cassette. IME doing full tear downs more often than is absolutely necessary is more harmfull than good and a waste of time overall.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top