Cleaning one's bike

by wjputt   February 17, 2013  

Fellow cyclists,

I am very keen to hear general tips about cleaning one's bike. Use warm soapy water but I assume there is a better/different way. Please advise.

Cheers

John

17 user comments

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posted by BerlinG [6 posts]
17th February 2013 - 21:40

1 Like

I'll no doubt get told I'm wasting my money but I use Muck Off products, they do a great job for me!

posted by Oliver Duffy [15 posts]
17th February 2013 - 22:04

2 Likes

Cut down water bottle with degreaser in it placed in bottle cage. Paint brush to apply degreaser into all the awkward, oily, greasy dirty bits including chain. Wash down with soapy water made with car wash soap which was dirt cheap on clearance shelf (don't use wash up liquid as it contains salt). Air dry, relube. Jobs a good 'un and reasonably quick.

posted by yourpaceormine [48 posts]
17th February 2013 - 22:16

2 Likes

Cut the handle off a Plastic bag with scissors.

Thred it through each individual link of the chain.

Takes a long time, but v. effective.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1730 posts]
17th February 2013 - 23:09

2 Likes

When I can't be bothered to remove the components for a full strip and rebuild, I find that something like an old t shirt or a car polishing cloth works great for areas like your b/b, hub seals, mechs and even cassette sprockets if you use it in a flossing motion.

SpeshRider7287's picture

posted by SpeshRider7287 [75 posts]
17th February 2013 - 23:09

2 Likes

Baby wipes are awesome, a chain cleaner, and toothbrush. for basic cleaning maintenance, always work well for me.

posted by Jasonnz1 [23 posts]
18th February 2013 - 0:46

2 Likes

Rag clean between services, bit of muck off on rag and wipe having brushed worst off when dry.

Spray rag with degreaser to wipe worst off chain weekly, then relube. Don't waste degreaser spraying on endlessly as it will never be totally clean with out removal. Wipe chain rings etc while at it. You don't have to eat of it though. Clean more regularly with bad weather.

Muc off on wheels in the shower, wipe clean. Avoid spraying water jet directly on hubs. Clean and check brakes pads at the same time to prevent excess wear on rims.

Buy a chain with a power link to easily remove chain to clean it properly every couple of months.

posted by Nzlucas [96 posts]
18th February 2013 - 1:11

2 Likes

Fairy liquid, old flannel (easier to get in the nooks and crannies than a sponge), and an old toothbrush. plus a Park Tool chain scrubber, which seems to do a great job. (and their chain cleaning fluid smells lovely) Smile

I tend to whip the wheels off and give them / the frame a good wash down after most rides, but then I'm very much a weekend rider...

posted by chris75018 [97 posts]
18th February 2013 - 9:39

1 Like

Take bike into bath with you. Hold it tenderly from behind, gently soaping all bike's crevices. Whisper sweet nothings into the headset. Use a soapy sponge to work at the downtube. Tenderly thread a flannel around bike's chainset. Let bike know you'll protect bike. Bike must trust you. Bike must love you.

Remember to thoroughly lube up afterwards. Flavoured lube optional.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
18th February 2013 - 16:55

2 Likes

bashthebox wrote:
Take bike into bath with you. Hold it tenderly from behind, gently soaping all bike's crevices. Whisper sweet nothings into the headset. Use a soapy sponge to work at the downtube. Tenderly thread a flannel around bike's chainset. Let bike know you'll protect bike. Bike must trust you. Bike must love you.

Remember to thoroughly lube up afterwards. Flavoured lube optional.

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Rolling On The Floor Rolling On The Floor

After a little re-read I wondered what sort of mind. Surprise

Regards,

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

trikeman's picture

posted by trikeman [382 posts]
18th February 2013 - 18:34

2 Likes

Can only echo what trikeman says. Brought a smile to my face after a crap day.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1059 posts]
18th February 2013 - 19:39

2 Likes

Get your wife to do it. Actually, on second thoughts....

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
18th February 2013 - 22:20

2 Likes

What sort of mind? God, I'd hate to answer that one...

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
19th February 2013 - 11:44

2 Likes

'ware Muc-Off it can cause damage. The instructions on the bottle are clear on this, and I used it once before buying new mudguards, chain and cassette having read the instructions and then afterwards the liability waiver... And take care with pressure washers, as they can force water into bearings.
Couple of tips from my LBS: Jif kitchen cleaner cream for braking surfaces and wax furniture polish on the frame to repel mud and water.

Aside from that Sheldon Brown has an excellent article on chain cleaning

http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

Cool

(it's a spoof in case you read it and reached for the chain tool)

posted by robdaykin [160 posts]
20th February 2013 - 8:41

2 Likes

bashthebox wrote:
Take bike into bath with you. Hold it tenderly from behind, gently soaping all bike's crevices. Whisper sweet nothings into the headset. Use a soapy sponge to work at the downtube. Tenderly thread a flannel around bike's chainset. Let bike know you'll protect bike. Bike must trust you. Bike must love you.

Remember to thoroughly lube up afterwards. Flavoured lube optional.

Genius. Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3328 posts]
20th February 2013 - 12:23

2 Likes

+1 for baby wipes/ass wipes buy em cheap from pound shops jobs a good un cut down time and when its cold can be done indoors just brush the worst of outside first and i lput my chain in a jar of degreaser and give it a good shake and when i can be arsed i use cue tips for inbetween links but as a ride ss now i don't really need to bother to go to that length anymore.

posted by cycleofaddiction [4 posts]
21st February 2013 - 13:35

2 Likes

Also plus one on the baby wipes. I think degreaser does more harm then good penetrating bearings and the like and even if you wash it out (in my case the shower in the bath) I not sure even if you do spray oil on it again whether there is still some residue. I wore out a perfectly good chain doing this after a couple of months. The LBS shop gave me some good advice and now before I head out for my morning runs, take the can of spray out of the postbox outside and spray and rotate the chain twice. Do it once or twice and it becomes habit. Not exactly if bike parts are cheap these days. As for cleaning my carbon baby, out comes the wipes and takes all of five minutes watching TV and no mess. When I finished put on the sunglasses and admire the bling..loooool

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
21st February 2013 - 16:09

2 Likes