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2013-07-27 5:38 PM

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Subject: Bike cleaning
Perhaps I'm overly paranoid but well I kind of like my bike and she's new.

Anyhow, you guys have suggestions of the best soap/cleaner to use to get grease and or other road gunk off the frame? I'm guessing that the paint job is somewhat durable but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Thanks


2013-07-28 11:37 AM
in reply to: Ponzinelli

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Regular
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Costa Mesa
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
I hope you don't mind I add on to your question with a related one. Specifically for triathlon training, where one is hopping on the bike and will drip some salt water onto the bike, is there some specific additional maintenance one should watch out for? My front derailleur just seized from rusting (the articulating joint seized) and apparently all external cabling (including the ones inside the housing) had extensive rusting after just one year of use. Most advice I've gotten so far are from cyclists who do not have this problem so I've been cleaning it on a schedule they recommended, which is not working. I also live a couple miles from the pacific ocean. I DO store my bike inside (my living room). Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!.
2013-07-28 5:11 PM
in reply to: #4814769

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Expert
1187
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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
I use Simple Green bike cleaner on my frame and chain.
It works great and it's biodegradable.
2013-07-29 7:44 AM
in reply to: Hugh in TX

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Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
Thanks, I'll give it a try.
2013-07-31 10:32 AM
in reply to: Ponzinelli

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over a barrier
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
I just use these if you're taking about light cleaning

http://www.catstonguetowels.com/

I use them on me and the bike. In reality a wet rag is sufficient for cleaning the frame.

Another story after a CX race but if you just ride on the road you don't need much.
2013-08-02 4:58 PM
in reply to: Ponzinelli

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Subject: RE: Bike cleaning

I'll normally clean my chain by removing it and soaking it in degreaser (coiled up in an empty tuna can).  Clean the cassette by removing the rear wheel and using a big brush and some simple green.  Every once in a while I'll remove the cassette completely and wipe down each cog.  The crank chanrings I just wipe down with a rag.  I'm constantly swapping cranks between bikes so it's easy for me to get to all the areas of the small chain ring when I remove them.  Also just wipe down the rear derailleur cogs.  Wipe off all the excess gunk off the chain, then give it a rinse and let it dry before putting it back on the bike and reapplying lube.

Once the drivetrain is done I use a separate rag and simple green for the rest of the bike.  WD40 on all the bolts or screws and I'm done.



2013-08-03 10:29 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
Originally posted by Jason N

I'll normally clean my chain by removing it and soaking it in degreaser (coiled up in an empty tuna can).  Clean the cassette by removing the rear wheel and using a big brush and some simple green.  Every once in a while I'll remove the cassette completely and wipe down each cog.  The crank chanrings I just wipe down with a rag.  I'm constantly swapping cranks between bikes so it's easy for me to get to all the areas of the small chain ring when I remove them.  Also just wipe down the rear derailleur cogs.  Wipe off all the excess gunk off the chain, then give it a rinse and let it dry before putting it back on the bike and reapplying lube.

Once the drivetrain is done I use a separate rag and simple green for the rest of the bike.  WD40 on all the bolts or screws and I'm done.



Pretty much same protocol for me too, except I like Zep citrus degreaser. I clean the chain around one every week or two depending on how much I'm riding. Sometimes just to get sweat off I'll use glass cleaner (generic windex).

Doing the cassette is like a ritual. Every cog get soaked first, then cleaned with a toothbrush. Usually on a rainy day, with a beer and music. I find bike maintenance very cathartic. Or is that OCD?
2013-08-04 10:24 PM
in reply to: Ponzinelli

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Expert
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Greenville, SC
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
i just use the pink bike wash that they sell at REI. gets pretty much everything off. you can also use car wax on your bike frame to prevent things from sticking quite as much and aid in washing things off.

i do not EVER use degreaser on my chain. i use it on my rear cassette, and thats it. the grease that is in the chain when purchased is the best that it will ever have. wipe your chain regularly with a paper towel or cloth and apply chain lube as needed. i made the mistake of degreasing the chain on my first bike and it was bad. every bike since i just wipe clean every so often and apply chain grease/lube as needed.
2013-08-05 3:32 PM
in reply to: Clempson

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Subject: RE: Bike cleaning

Originally posted by Clempson i just use the pink bike wash that they sell at REI. gets pretty much everything off. you can also use car wax on your bike frame to prevent things from sticking quite as much and aid in washing things off. i do not EVER use degreaser on my chain. i use it on my rear cassette, and thats it. the grease that is in the chain when purchased is the best that it will ever have. wipe your chain regularly with a paper towel or cloth and apply chain lube as needed. i made the mistake of degreasing the chain on my first bike and it was bad. every bike since i just wipe clean every so often and apply chain grease/lube as needed.

I suppose it depends where you ride and what type of lube you use, but I tried not degreasing my chain, just wiping it down, and applying more lube.  That didn't work for me.  It just caused me to build up more road gunk and sand within my chain and it made a horrible squeaking noise no matter how much more lube I added.  I use wet lube FTR, as dry/wax lube would leave my chain oxidized within 2 weeks (I ride near the ocean).

After soaking my chain in degreaser, I can see all of the stuff that came out of my chain that is left over in the tuna can and that is definitely stuff I didn't want sitting in there.  I agree that the stuff that's on the chain and within the pins brand new is good stuff.  But until they come up with a tool that's good enough to actually clean the inside of the chain without soaking it...I'm stuck with my process.

 

2013-08-14 1:31 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Concord, MA
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning

Dang, I have to get with the cleaning program.  I swim in the salt, sweat like a hot pig and ride near the ocean not infrequently - not to mention on salty roads all winter!  No wonder there is rust on all my bolts...

I usually rinse the bike with fresh water (de-salting), let it dry, hit it with a wipe to get any stubborn grime, then lube the chain whilst spinning it through all the gears (and wipe it while doing it, then more lube, a wipe, etc. - repeat until the gunk on the towel is closer to the color of chain lube than french roast coffee).

Not enough?

I think I need a rainy day, a beer... and to be done with training and racing for a few weeks to get with that program!  Sounds good, right about now (sorry - just cranky from my current tapering).

2013-08-15 1:11 PM
in reply to: Ponzinelli

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Champion
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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
If you don't feel like taking the cassette off, you can do a decent job of getting the gunk out between the cogs by spraying in some degreaser and "flossing" between the cogs with a piece of corrugated cardboard. There are also brushes/scrapers made for the purpose, but the cardboard does just as good a job and you don't have to clean it when you're finished.

Some clear furniture polish on a rag works to keep your bike shiny and gunk-resistant too if you don't want to go the Turtle Wax route.

I also have one of those touch-up pens that they sell at Auto Zone to clean up the scratches on my aluminum frame.

I've used a little rubbing alcohol on a cloth to clean the brake marks on the aluminum wheel rims. You DEFINITELY don't want to use any kind of wax for that.


2013-08-20 11:55 AM
in reply to: Jason N

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Saint John
Subject: RE: Bike cleaning
Originally posted by Jason N

I'll normally clean my chain by removing it and soaking it in degreaser (coiled up in an empty tuna can).  Clean the cassette by removing the rear wheel and using a big brush and some simple green.  Every once in a while I'll remove the cassette completely and wipe down each cog.  The crank chanrings I just wipe down with a rag.  I'm constantly swapping cranks between bikes so it's easy for me to get to all the areas of the small chain ring when I remove them.  Also just wipe down the rear derailleur cogs.  Wipe off all the excess gunk off the chain, then give it a rinse and let it dry before putting it back on the bike and reapplying lube.

Once the drivetrain is done I use a separate rag and simple green for the rest of the bike.  WD40 on all the bolts or screws and I'm done.




Jason, this is exactly what I want to be able to do. I've been reading about how to remove the cassette, and I think the best way to keep everything in the right order is to zip tie the whole package together. I've read that some people soak the cassette rings too. My first question is would it be ok to soak the spacers along with the cassette rings? Just leave it all zip tied together and dunk it?

My chain really needs a good soak, but as of now I have never taken it off, nor do I have a quick link. What do you use? I'd love to take the chain off and let it soak every once in a while to get all the grime and grit out of there, so I'm thinking a quick disconnect might be the best bet. What is the degreaser that you use for soaking the chain? Would that also be acceptable for the cassette rings?

Originally posted by BrianRunsPhilly

Pretty much same protocol for me too, except I like Zep citrus degreaser. I clean the chain around one every week or two depending on how much I'm riding. Sometimes just to get sweat off I'll use glass cleaner (generic windex).

Doing the cassette is like a ritual. Every cog get soaked first, then cleaned with a toothbrush. Usually on a rainy day, with a beer and music. I find bike maintenance very cathartic. Or is that OCD?




And I agree with Brian. Its soothing. And nothing beats the sound of a silent bike rolling along an empty road.
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