Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Cleaning/lubing things other than your chain

magicroundaboutmagicroundabout Posts: 50
edited February 2008 in Road beginners
Hi folks,

So I'm keen to keep my nice new road bike nice and clean and running smoothly. There seem to be many discussions here about cleaning and lubricating chains, but what other routines do you have?

I'm thinking particularly of things like cables, gear and brake mechanisms, headsets, hubs/freewheels/cassettes.

What should I clean these things with? Should I be applying wet/dry lube? Top tips would be appreciated!



  • DoobzDoobz Posts: 2,800
    hey dude, I dunno what anyone else does to their bike but I have ridden bmx, mbk and road bikes most my life and I have always used the same method. I find as enjoying as riding itself and you get to think about your ride/race a bit longer and reflect on things to improve

    1) After a ride in the wet or dry the bike gets washed down with a sponge and some soapy Johnson baby lotion in warm water. Rinse off with cold water and dry the frame and wheels with old rag

    2) Sit down with the wheels and clean each hub/spoke with a baby wipe and do the same for the rims especially the bit where the brake pads rub.. you would be surprised how much censored is there..

    3) The Cassette, Front, Rear Mech and Crankset gets every tooth cleaned and every gap gets blitzed with a folded baby wipe and then a folded strip of an old t shirt to get it nice and shiny

    4) The chain gets cleaned and washed and then re-lubed and then cleaned off after a few hours and then put back on the bike

    5) I then make my way around with an old toothbrush making sure I get all the bits like the cables under the crank and backs of calipers and anything where muck gets in..

    6) once that is done I give the bike a final clean in all the nooks and cranny's with some more baby wipes and then give a good polish with another bit of t-shirt - I check bike locations for wear on any of the protective stickers and replace if they are worn out or damaged

    7) I then apply a small amt of plain old marine grease to the cables under the crank as I have found the most salt and stuff likes to go in the little cable holes and I find the grease keeps a lot of it out of the holes in the bottom of your frame.

    8) Last thing is to check all the hex bolts for play and re-tighten if any are loose and check gear shifting and brake tension and re-adjust as needed

    One thing I am going to do also from now on since getting a full carbon road bike is remove the seat post and dry and clean as far down as the post goes just to avoid the possibility of the seat post getting stuck

    Also I never really use anything abrasive or corrosive like turps/thinners/petrol/ censored like that..

    hope this helps and gives you some ideas..
  • A good question, something I've been meaning to ask about.

    Doobz, about all the baby care stuff you use, thought it was a wind up at first but I guess you are serious. :lol:
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Doobz needs sorting out...... that's too mad. I thought I was bad..

    OK - wet ride, bike get's washed - water and car wash and wax..... left to dry or put in garage. Chain - dry lube and wipe the censored off with rag/old t-shirt - use to wipe off chain rings then use to clean in between sprockets on the wheel - give the chain a quick spin and put rag on jockey wheels to remove crud. Re-lube chain and leave.

    Maybe squirt some light lube on rear/front mech pivots..... and on cable runs.... oh my bikes are clean all the time, and I'm too fussy - I think I need locking up...but Doobz beats me...hands down...... my old nick name in the cycling club was marigold......... says it all..... :shock:
  • DoobzDoobz Posts: 2,800
    :oops: :oops: :oops:
  • Doobz, I thought I was farly rigorous in bike cleaning. If I followed your routine , I'd have a 3 hr ride followed by a 13 hr cleaning session. I think the kids would forget who their father was :wink: My wife already thinks the hour it takes to clean the MTB excessive.

    When I first got it, in winter, once I'd washed and rinsed it, I'd bring it in the hall and use my wife's hairdryer to dry all the chain, cassette, mech etc before i reapplied lube.
  • I read somewhere that drying a wet bike off is a breeze with one of those garden leaf hoovers turned on to "blow".

    Works a treat if you don't mind the neighbours looking at you all peculiar
  • I'm with Doobz -

    Remove front wheel and fit to workstand
    Clean chain with degreaser/chain cleaner and throughly hose down with water
    Clear mechs, chain links and cranks/pedals with baby wipes, then rinse with more water
    Remove rear wheel
    Wash bike with car shampoo, rinse, then wash again, then rinse and dry
    Clean brakes with baby wipes/brush and give blocks a good clean/de-grit
    Clean wheels/tyres with soapy water and rims/hubs/spokes with baby wipes
    Clean cassette with folded baby wipe so it gleams!
    Finish Line wet lube on mech pivots, BB cable guide and cable guide hole in chainstay
    Cover brake blocks and polish frame with GT85 or similar
    Dry chain
    Refit rear wheel and lube chain
    Take off stand, refit front wheel and admire my nice clean, shiny bike wearing shades 8)

    Total time approx 1.5 - 2 hours

    I may also fit in a quick wash/rinse on the commuter mid-week if it's been pretty nasty
  • Some excellent advice on here! But I, like "Not Another Hill" also get moaned at by the missus when I spend an hour or so cleaning the bike! I wouldn't mind but I did it during the evening on Sunday on purpose so the kids where in bed so she couldn't accuse me of neglecting them :-D

    My commute last week took me on some cycle paths through parks so my frame is now a bit muddy and covered in grit and salt, looks a lot worse then the usual road scum after it's rained! The worse thing was I was going back out on the same route on Monday so there wasn't much point giving it a "proper" clean. Guess I'll just have to do that this weekend as I'll be commuting into central London so no muddy paths!

    My usual cleaning routine is hosing down the bike, applying Muc-off and then cleaning that off. Chain usually gets cleaned and re-lubed along with the rear cassette and chainrings.
    I use a sponge on the rims but I might give the baby wipes a try, although probably not when the wife's looking as I'll just get accused of wasting them!!
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