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What soap/degreaser, lube, brushes, etc. do you guys use for cleaning your bikes?
I just use a dry rag to wipe the bike and components. If there's sticky stuff I'll put a little water on the rag. I tried the "pro mechanic" method with soap, water, and a brush and found that things started to rust after 2-3 years. Not an issue if you're swapping the bike out every year but I think it's a bad idea to expose the bike to water any more than necessary. I'll wet a rag with odorless mineral spirits to floss between the cassette cogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just use a dry rag to wipe the bike and components. If there's sticky stuff I'll put a little water on the rag. I tried the "pro mechanic" method with soap, water, and a brush and found that things started to rust after 2-3 years. Not an issue if you're swapping the bike out every year but I think it's a bad idea to expose the bike to water any more than necessary. I'll wet a rag with odorless mineral spirits to floss between the cassette cogs.
Did you dry and relube after cleaning?
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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unlike Kerry, i wash my bikes all the time. never had an issue w/ rust and i'm within miles of SF bay and the Pacific ocean.
this is my cleaning stuff:
brushes...2 that ONLY ever touch drivetrain stuff. chain, cogs, chainrings, derailleurs. the most-used one is a little toilet brush i bought at walgreen's. a big soft one for the frame, and a couple of round bristle ones like park or pedro's has in their kits for getting into brakes and fork crowns.
i use simple green or preferably WD40 degreaser on the drivetrain(or like Kerry you can use OMS, or even diesel fuel), and dawn dish soap for the rest. i take the wheels out and use a chain rest so the chain doesn't drag on the frame. get everything wet, spray degreaser on the drivetrain bits and give 'em a quick scrub. suds up the rest, then rinse. dry. lube. 5mins. done.
i do this maybe twice a month, w/ very quick wipe-downs in between. if you stay on top of it, the bike is never dirty enough to make it a pain. my bike is always very clean, but i never have to put much work into it.
i have probably done well over a thousand bike washes in the years i worked for teams and i pretty much have it down to a science. that said, it's easy and doesn't need to take much time.
 

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I regularly wash my bicycle with soap and water, brushes and so forth. I take my bicycle stand out to the patio and wash the bike with it mounted in the stand. I use simple green to degrease the chain and cogs. My soapy water in a bucket... is hot water and dawn (for dishes).

I use low water pressure and a "shower head" setting on the hose. I scrub down the chain and cogs generally without removing the tire. I use a soapy flat scrubby pad to get some abrasion on the brake pads. I get the scrubbies and brushes anywhere... like the dollar store.

I use the time I spend washing the bike to inspect pretty much every inch of the bicycle. I look for the very beginning of a fracture or crack on a weld and on the handlebars at the stem. I look for cuts on the tires... and feel for anything embedded in the tire.

I completely let the bicycle dry in the air. I help things along by wiping the bike down with a microfiber cloth. Sometimes I use compressed air to blow-dry the chain.

I keep a couple little half inch squares of duct tape stuck on my prolink oil bottle. I stick one square on the chain and oil every link from the duct tape till I get back around to it again. It really doesn't take long... really.

I also put a drop of oil here and there on the derailleurs, and brake and shifter pivot points. I wipe off excess oil with a paper towel.

When I put the bicycle away... I inspect it again looking for any missed dirt or smudges. Sometimes I apply a little automotive wax (one that is safe for top coats) and wipe it clean.

At the beginning of the season I do more... pretty much a tune-up including new tires, bar tape, break pads and such. Then I replace anything as needed during the season. But I like starting the season with the bicycle fresh and like-new.

I do NOT think any of this makes the bicycle faster, or will cause it to last any longer. But the cleaning.. IMHO.. makes the bicycle look nicer. And the inspections help me keep the bike safer.
 

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I'm trying the WD-40 products after cxwrench turn me on to their dry lube.
The degreaser seems to work like a charm on the chain and drive train.
I was using some dish soap on the frames, no real difference between it and spraying the WD40 product on (less suds maybe).

As I hate dragging a stand outside to do this work, I broke down and bought a wall mount clamp, put a 4x4 in the ground with 240lbs of sackcrete, couple of carriage bolts and wing nuts (the carriage bolts stay in the 4x4 - clamp is easy to attach and remove - to keep it out of the weather). I'm in a year round riding area.
 

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I'm trying the WD-40 products after cxwrench turn me on to their dry lube.
The degreaser seems to work like a charm on the chain and drive train.
I was using some dish soap on the frames, no real difference between it and spraying the WD40 product on (less suds maybe).

As I hate dragging a stand outside to do this work, I broke down and bought a wall mount clamp, put a 4x4 in the ground with 240lbs of sackcrete, couple of carriage bolts and wing nuts (the carriage bolts stay in the 4x4 - clamp is easy to attach and remove - to keep it out of the weather). I'm in a year round riding area.
nice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
nope. do you worry about your car wash soap being biodegradable?
I don't wash my own car - I got to one of those self-service things where they have a drain.

No one cares about the crap they put into the ground, at least not in the area of the U.S. in which I live (Southeastern Virginia).
I don't think that's an excuse.

At any rate, won't the soap kill any plants it comes in contact with?
 

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I pour diesel on the drivetrain and hit with a brush. Then I just hose the crud off of the bike. If I'm in a hurry I just leave my bike on the hitch rack and run my vehicle through the car wash.
 

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Are you guys worried about the dish soap being bio-degradable?
With the exception of industrial cleaners I would have to make a serious effort just to purchase.... aren't most soaps are bio-degradable? The I don't have to worry about ground-water run off on my property. And... the suds actually break the surface tension on my grass... making water and fertilizer absorption better. So no... I am pretty green... and no worries about using soap... or oil on my bicycle chain.

.... I broke down and bought a wall mount clamp, put a 4x4 in the ground ....... clamp is easy to attach and remove - to keep it out of the weather).
Nice!
 

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I use Honda Spray Polish and a microfiber towel for the frame and bits. WD40 to degrease the chain, and the dupont teflon spray lube they sell at HD/Lowe's to lube. I did just pick up some teflon chain wax that i also saw at lowe's and am using that for chain lube.

I've also used mineral spirits or kerosene on chains before.
 

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I don't have access to an outdoor hose of any kind during the winter since I live in an apartment building, so I just stand my bike vertically in the washroom shower. For detergent I soak a sponge in some biodegradable degreaser/chain-cleaner-fluid and wipe down the frame and wheels and clean the rear cogset and chainrings with a cassette brush using the same degreaser. All this is very quickly done. Pat dry the bike after with a shop towel (or three) and clean the chain with a clamp-on chain cleaner. Pat dry the chain then apply (Extreme Purple) chain lube.
 
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