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Bike cleaning

TheaudiobullyTheaudiobully Posts: 32
edited October 2009 in Commuting chat
Afternoon people,

I’m relatively new to cycling and I’m trying to get some info on cleaning and general maintenance to keep my bike (carrera subway 2 hybrid commuter) in top condition.

I’m also after a pair of reasonably priced gloves and tights to see me through the winter if anyone has any recommendations.

Much appreciated. :D


  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    I clean my bikes with warm water with a little washing up liquid or washing powder in it. Both these have salt in them, so you have to make sure you rinse the bike thoroughly afterwards. As for the drivetrain, I use Decathlon degreaser occasionally, wipe it, let it dry for a while and then regrease with Decathlon spray chain oil. You can by a pack of both for about £6. Make sure you don't get grease on your tyres though as grease weakens rubber, I tend to cover the bottom of the rear tyre with a cloth when I'm degreasing as the degreaser tends to cause oily drips which can land on the tyre.

    As for gloves and tights, I have tights from Wiggle, LIDL and Decathlon and gloves from Decathlon. All decent enough and cheap.
    Do not write below this line. Office use only.
  • davmaggsdavmaggs Posts: 1,008
    I've started wiping the bike down with baby wipes fairly often. Spotted the tip on this forum, and whilst I do the full wash now and again the wipes allow me to keep on top of the winter grime. I tended to put off the full wash.

    On the chain front I recommend being careful with the degreaser. I went a big overboard with it and found some surface rust appearing. I suspect I took off absolutely all the oil and didn't dry it as well as I thought. To avoid too much deep cleaning I now wipe the chain with a rag to get the bulk of the goo off, and then use the tip of the rag to quickly go between the links (also over gear wheels).
  • R_T_AR_T_A Posts: 488
    Hi and welcome :)

    Park tools blue book is brilliant, plus the following sites: (video tutorials) (Don't be put off by the format - he was a genius!)

    Gloves - just got these myself:
    I can't comment on freezing conditions yet, but they're similar to skiing gloves.
    Giant Escape R1
    FCN 8
    "Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
    - Terry Pratchett.
  • MikelyonsMikelyons Posts: 154
    edited October 2009
    +1 for the wet wipes/ baby wipes for regular cleaning, after lubricating.

    I use 1 wipe for the bike and 1 for my hands after finishing cleaning & other tweaks.

    In winter, I will also clean the chain weekly with a rag soaked in white spirit before
    relubricating. I cut up the rags into smaller pieces so I can discard after use.

  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    This is my routine for a "full" bike wash

    1) spray with a hose pipe the whole bike to loosen dirt
    2) scrub chain, chainring and cassette with a toothbrush and degreaser
    3) spray the hose pipe directly down through the chain while rotating the pedals backwards
    4) spray cassette / chainring to remove degreaser
    5) flush the water out of the chain with wd40
    6) using a soft large brush and ordinary car wash soap off the whole bike. Scrub the rims to remove all grease and debris from brake blocks
    7) spray with hose pipe to remove soap
    8) wipe chain with a dry cloth to get off excessive wd40
    9) relubricate the chain with finish line green or prolink gold or 3:1 or whatever

    be careful to not fire the hosepipe into hub bearings or the bottom bracket
  • I use turtle wax zip wash n wax, yeah its for cars but you get a pant load of it for next to no $$$, hose the bike, fill a bucket with the stuff and scrub away with a large soft car brush.
    For the cassette I normally use muck off or similar then once in a while treat it to a gunk session, its engine degreaser and nothing cuts through sh*t like this stuff, literally strips a cassette clean in two mins. however be careful near bearing so if your seals arent great dont bother.
    There's no substitute in my book for a toothbrush and a vigilant eye for censored , under the fork crown, chainstay bridge, front mech, places where stuff can buld and buld until it dont work anymore.
    If you have a chainbreaker i did read somewhere that putting the chain in an old comfort fabric softener or similar bottle with white spirit and shake the life out of it for a short while gets it cleaner than anything.
    Depressed? Buy a Yeti, now you're broke AND depressed.

    2007 Beone Team Replica w/ 08 Corsa SL WC's
    2000 DMR Trailstar custom build
    More wheels & Marzocchi forks than I care to count
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    Wish I had access to a hose & garden :(

    A quick google seems to show me that my imagination has produced something that doesn't exist - a foot-pump pressure washer. Dang - could have used one on the road outisde the house...
  • pressure washer and bike = bad idea.

    I use wet wipes for a few day de-crud. At the end of the day I think its best to set aside the time and do the full cleaning job low tec, bucket sponge and brushes with lots of TLC.

    +1 on covering the tyres when degreasing and lubing too - not only for the tyres but accidentally oiled brake blocks and rims don't tend to stop too well.
  • fenboy369fenboy369 Posts: 425
    robminimal wrote:
    If you have a chainbreaker i did read somewhere that putting the chain in an old comfort fabric softener or similar bottle with white spirit and shake the life out of it for a short while gets it cleaner than anything.

    Put a Power Link in your chain, then you take it off and pop it through the dishwasher. Cleaner than a Nuns mind and next to no effort. A dash of WD-40 and wipe down with a rag, the lube it. Simples!
    '11 Cannondale Synapse 105CD - FCN 4
    '11 Schwinn Corvette - FCN 15?
    '09 Pitch Comp - FCN (why bother?) 11
    '07 DewDeluxe (Bent up after being run over) - FCN 8
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