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How to look after a Bike

a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
edited November 2008 in MTB beginners
I purchased my GT Avalanche 3.0 disc about two weeks ago I have been out on it a couple of times but I am really clueless as what to do to a bike to maintain it.

What should I do to the ride after a ride?

Are there any products I need to buy to do this?

Any tip/help would be great as I really do not have a clue what I should do and I want my bike to last as long as possible.

Tom

Posts

  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    After every ride, I give my bike a good wash. I use a large bucket, plenty of warm soapy water and a car sponge cut in half, plus a smaller washing-up brush which is ideal for getting into nooks and crannies. DON'T use a jet was or power-washer because you'll destroy the bearings in no time.

    To start I have the bike on a firm level surface and I spray the drivetrain (i.e. crankset, chain, gears) with an aerosol degreaser. My personal favourite is Gunk, about £4.99 for a big can from Halfrauds which will last a good eight or ten washes.

    Then I work the degreaser into the chain and gears with the brush. Now, starting at the top of the bike, I wash it down with the soapy water, making a mental note of any odds and sods that need attending to after.

    After the bike is thoroughly clean, I rinse it off with clean water and give it a good "bounce" to remove the excess. Now I give the whole drivetrain area a good spray with (horrors) WD40 to displace any water left in the drivetrain, taking especial care NOT to get any on the brake discs or pads.

    Once I've done that, I wipe the whole bike down with a rag and let it stand for an hour or so before applying a wax-based lube to the chain and attending to the items that I spotted whilst I was washing it, such as lubing the gear cables, tightening/adjusting loose bearings and fasteners, adjusting the gears and suspension, tightening any loose spokes, and repairing or replacing any broken or worn out parts.

    If you get into a routine like this after every ride it will soon become second nature and your bike should last you a good long time!
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
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    JayPic
  • jaysonjayson Posts: 4,606
    Personally i dont mind abit of muck on the frame, it makes the bike look used and it is what its designed to do after all :)

    The main thing i did was to make sure the chain, mechs, cassette and cables are all lubed up and kept free of any gunk to avoid any shifting probs or undue wear and tear on the components.
  • dunkerdunker Posts: 1,503
    fork stanctions, damp cloth wipe clean then bog roll dry em, then a few drops of fork oil around the seals and pump them a few times and wipe clean.

    drivetrain, my trusty rag collection, i just wipe it clean till it's shiney then apply lube.

    if it gets really muddy then out comes the hose just plain water.

    about once a month i take a can of sparkle polish to the frame.
  • maximus69maximus69 Posts: 347
    dont use wd-40 use gt-85, smells much nicer!! like above, just sponge wash mine then give it a good shake, then treat her to some lube and the next day give her another good ragging!!
    "My life is like a porno-movie, without the sex".
  • robertpbrobertpb Posts: 1,866
    And when you've done all that turn the bike upside down and find out how much you've missed.
    Now where's that "Get Out of Crash Free Card"
  • cheeheecheehee Posts: 427
    maximus69 wrote:
    dont use wd-40 use gt-85, smells much nicer!! like above, just sponge wash mine then give it a good shake, then treat her to some lube and the next day give her another good ragging!!

    I use a similar method.............................but not on me bike...... :oops: :wink:
  • dave_hilldave_hill Posts: 3,877
    cheehee wrote:
    I use a similar method.............................but not on me bike...... :oops: :wink:

    Nice! :D
    Give a home to a retired Greyhound. Tia Greyhound Rescue
    Help for Heroes
    JayPic
  • VividVivid Posts: 267
    The muc off kit has everything you need to wash the bike, muc off spray which i would highly recommend, bike maintenance spray, a variety of brushes and a sponge.

    Once you have all that you will just need some lubricants for your chain, moving pivots, cables and stanchions.

    Wash bike
    Lubricate all moving points
    Degrease chain
    Lube chain

    Fairly simple, once you have done it a few times you will get into a rhythm, all you are doing is making sure you remove all the dirt and other contaminants and lubricating all the places that need it.
  • Various bits of your bike can stand not being washed between rides, especially if it is dry, but I always and I mean always clean and spray the fork stanctions with Teflon spray between rides, taking care not to get any on the brakes. Then bounce the suspension a few times and wipe away the excess with clean rag.

    Of course as the weather deteriorates and things get caked in mud then regular cleaning between rides becomes more and more inportant, you must prevent a build up of grit in the wear surfaces. A badly lubed chain for example will soon make its presence felt by jumping gears and will of course wear out more quickly.

    Marv
    What tree ? ...........

    Trek 8000 ZR XC hardtail.
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    Cheers for the help every one.

    I need to get a good degreaser & lube for the bike as I don't own any yet. are there any to steer clear of as I like items which are easy to use.
  • avid89avid89 Posts: 37
    a17vts wrote:
    Cheers for the help every one.

    I need to get a good degreaser & lube for the bike as I don't own any yet. are there any to steer clear of as I like items which are easy to use.


    Muc-Off do a degreaser which is pretty good, does what it says on the can, Finishline and weldtite do a similar line of products aswell. As for Lube i use either Weldite dry- lube or Finishlines dry - lube. However if you have the money Muc-off do a very good dry lube but it'll set you back about £8.
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    Also I was reading an article about lube the other day but what is the difference between dry and wet lube?

    From my very small amount of knowledge i read that dry lube should be used for dry weather and wet lube for wet weather.
  • dunkerdunker Posts: 1,503
    yep, if the chains gonna get wet use wet lube, dry and dusty days you might prefer a dry lube. try both as some like a wet lube 12 months of the year, i use dry when i can.

    i don't use any degreasers, just rags here. (GT85 kinda de-gunks though)

    finish line products are alright,
    dry and wet chain lubes.
    teflon lube and anti-sieze.

    fork suspension fluid. (what the manufacterer recommends).

    muc-off disc brake cleaner.
    GT85.
    pedros syn grease.
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    I think I need to purchase a few items to get going. I realll want to keep this bike in good condistion as I use to trash my old bikes when I was about 15!
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    Well after looking on the internet this morning & a Friend of mine telling me about it he told me a good starting point would be the "Muc Off Bike Cleaning Kit" he said it will give you most of what you need and then I just need to get some lube.

    Although having looked on the web £30 for a kits seems a little dear of maybe I'm a little out-of-date with pricing on bike equitpment.
  • mhukmhuk Posts: 327
    I always clean my chain, which has pair of powerlinks in it so easy to remove.

    Put it in a plastic bottle with citrus degreaser and a few ball bearings.
    Give it a good shake. Then give it a light brush with a steel brillo pad thing.
    Rinse with hot water and dry it off in the oven.
    GT85 it and oil it when it's back on the bike.

    A modified version of Sheldon Brown's "How to clean a chain" :)
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    I have also seen bike chain cleaners are these any good or a waste of time/money?
  • avid89avid89 Posts: 37
    I have a muc-off chain cleaner, costs around 20 notes but i think it's brilliant, gets all the grit out from in between the links then i just run the chain through an old rag and hey presto a nice shiny chain!
  • hairy_boyhairy_boy Posts: 345
    Hi,

    I use Fenwicks concentrate and would highly recommend it - £9.99 for a 1 litre bottle whcih lasts ages. I get mine from local bike shop but here it is so you can see it.

    http://www.merlincycles.co.uk/?fn=product&productId=116&categoryId=21

    You mix it with water - I use 50/50 with water for a decent degrease for the chain etc and then just a decent squirt into half a bucket of warm water for cleaning the rest of the bike.

    Fenwicks is great stuff and saves buying seperate degreaser and cleaner - works very well for me.

    You can use an old brush on the chain etc to work in your cleaner but I use one of these on the chain which works really well (using the 50/50 fenwicks/water mix).

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Barbieri-Bike-Chain-Cleaner-With-Lube-Degreaser-NEW_W0QQitemZ350112542292QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item350112542292&_trkparms=72%3A1301%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

    Agree with everyone else - after rinsing off give the bike a good bounce, spray the chain and cogs with plenty of GT85 to chase the water off and then re-lube with a decent chainlube. Job Done !

    Oh, and an old chamois leather to wipe the frame dry works well.

    I probably clean my bike well every 3 or so rides but if very muddy when arriving back I always lightly hose off the worst of the mud and then spray the drivetrain with GT85 as a minimum.
  • avid89avid89 Posts: 37
    Is GT85 exactly the same stuff as Muc-Off's BIKE SPRAY? Both do come with P.T.F.E and ones abouth half the price aswell.
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    I know I'm stupid but where do you apply this GT85? I know it's not a lube, but how do you use it?
  • mhukmhuk Posts: 327
    GT85 is like WD40 with teflon. It's a water dispersant; just spray it on your chain after cleaning, allow to dry and then apply lube (that's how I use it).
  • a17vtsa17vts Posts: 90
    Cheers, makes sense now. I was getting a littl lost this all the product names being thrown around!!!
  • Here's a tip - get yourself a 5 litre garden pump spray bottle from a garden centre. Fill it with diluted Fenwick F1 or Muc-Off and keep it handy, with a suitable brush, to give your bike the once over after rides. It can then be gently hosed off to remove the bits.

    I also use a standard alloy wheel cleaning brush (for cars) which is the ideal shape for getting into all the nooks and crannies. This kind of thing http://www.choiceful.com/choiceful-id-1 ... Brush.html

    Marv
    What tree ? ...........

    Trek 8000 ZR XC hardtail.
  • Hi all,
    I just bought a brush like that in "Instore" for 49p. Great for all the wee bits.
  • cheeheecheehee Posts: 427
    Hi all,
    I just bought a brush like that in "Instore" for 49p. Great for all the wee bits.

    You brush your "wee bits"??............sounds painful :wink::D
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