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Basic cleaning advice.....

Sammyw23Sammyw23 Posts: 627
edited November 2010 in Road beginners
Hi - my first proper winter of riding and did 35 miles in the rain today. I dired off and wiped down the frame but have no idea about proper cleaning of the bike and wondering what is the bare minimum i should be doing once I get back in terms of the drivetrain?

Grateful for some advice/direction!
Cervelo P3
Bianchi Infinito
Cannondale CAAD10

Posts

  • dmch2dmch2 Posts: 731
    See the 'how often' topic for what i do. Basically wipe and re lube the chain every other ride or so. Chain should last a good 1000 miles.
    2010 Trek 1.5 Road - swissstop green, conti GP4000S
    2004 Marin Muirwoods Hybrid
  • Is pretty easy yet totally personal to you - as some people will clean the whole bike after every ride inc chain whilst others just when needed/bothered.

    Personally I give my bike a clean after every ride and the chain normally gets cleaned after each ride. For me a simple spray with water, muc-off and a soft brush to the whole bike inc wheels and wheel rims (as ofter over looked) and the chain gets a good degrease clean an relube. Keeps the bike looking good, helps drive train run more smooth and also gets you looking at the bike to check for any damage or need to tighten up bolts/items that are getting lose.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • Just 1 thing to add, do not use a pressure washer, as you may end up washing out places where grease lives and you do not want to do that.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    edited November 2010
    I just fill a spray bottle with hot water and squirt the dirty areas.

    Takes about 2 or 3 minutes.

    Chain care is up to you - maybe clean once a week.

    This is for a winter bike - I do take my best bike out sometimes provided no rain is forecast and the roads are dry. If it rains I clean it throughly.
  • Sammyw23Sammyw23 Posts: 627
    Thanks guys - bought some cross country wet lube a couple of weeks ago - f'k me what a difference in smoothness!
    Cervelo P3
    Bianchi Infinito
    Cannondale CAAD10
  • i'd re-lube chain once a week if riding every/most days in the wet. I totally clean it(degrease/lube) it once a month. To do this after every ride is a bit ott (and alot of hassle)in my view but each to their own.
  • just to resurrect this

    I've sort-of been doing what has been recommended here but found myself spreading grease and dirt around the bike - guess I just need to be a bit more careful about where I stick the brush first ...

    but also: if you wash the drivetrain, how do you dry it off? As in the chainwheels and the rear cassette and derailleurs etc? Do you just let it dry of its own accord and then relube or do you relube while it's still wet?

    I've noticed I've got some signs of rust on one of the chainwheels and the bike's only been in use for two months - albeit constant use.

    Also I only have a tin of 3-in-1 at the moment - are there parts that require grease instead? or a spray lube?

    I did try browsing through the Workshop articles but am at work need to be careful ....

    Ta.
    Specialized Allez 24
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    I've sort-of been doing what has been recommended here but found myself spreading grease and dirt around the bike - guess I just need to be a bit more careful about where I stick the brush first ...

    I don't use a brush at all - just a hand spray ( filled with hot water ).
    For the cassette I use an old credit card wrapped in a piece of thin rag.
    if you wash the drivetrain, how do you dry it off?

    I suggest drying with some towel material, then apply some GT-85, which will help displace any residual water.

    Then just before you ride apply some chain oil ( a wet lube would be best, assuming significant chance of rain ). 3-in-1 is not ideal ( but I dunno, maybe it's ok ... ).
  • thanks squire
    geebee2 wrote:
    I suggest drying with some towel material, then apply some GT-85, which will help displace any residual water.

    OK. I was worried about leaving water in all the bits a towel can't get to - inner chainwheels, rear cogs, various crannies and innards ...
    Specialized Allez 24
  • surreyxcsurreyxc Posts: 293
    ideally clean the drive every ride, wipe it down, then use a rag with spirit, then re lube. Personally I do not rate oils as they attract dirt, go for a wax instead. Wipe down stanchions on forks and rear suspension. And if you have some where stick the bike with a low heat to dry out all the ingressed water.

    That's it, no need to bother with mud on the frame.

    Periodically give it a full clean and regrease where necessary.
  • geebee2geebee2 Posts: 248
    OK. I was worried about leaving water in all the bits a towel can't get to - inner chainwheels, rear cogs, various crannies and innards ...

    The credit card wrapped in thin rag is pretty good.

    "cassette" == "rear cogs".

    But it's the chain that tends to rust easily.

    GT85 is not a good chain lubricant, so it's best to use chain oil for lubrication
    just before you ride, but GT85 does displace water, so helps.

    For my best bike ( which shouldn't ever get a wet chain! ) I would use a hair dryer to make sure the chain is really dry, but for a winter bike that's too time consuming.
  • For a deep clean - Citrus degreaser and a paintbrush. (I prefer a 1inch long nylon bristle one). Lean bike against wall and dip the brush into the degreaser. Paint it over the chain by back spinning the chain through the bristles. Load the brush again and feed the bristles between the cogs front and rear while back spinning.

    Hot soapy water in an old washing up liquid bottle. Squirt between the links to remove residual gritty bits. Dry as best you can with a clean rag. GT85 the chain.

    Be careful when sploshing and spraying stuff around but don’t be too paranoid, the wheels are coming off for a wash anyway. Take a nail brush and some hot soapy water to your rims. Scrub ‘em good. (Might as wheel clean your tyres too so they look nice).

    Cassette should be pretty clean anyway after the citrus treatment so fold a rag and pull the folded edge tight. Feed it between each cog and use a sawing action to dry off as much as possible, engaging and releasing the freehub to work all the way around. Wipe the back of the largest cog through the spokes and wipe the hub. Don’t oil/spray anything - the cog wheels don’t move relative to each other so don’t need oil/grease. The teeth will pick up any lube they need from the chain. Then same for the chainrings. Clean wheels back on to the now clean and dry but unlubed chain.

    Cover the lower half of the rear wheel to keep the rims protected. Now drop ONE DROP of your preferred lube (the dry stuff for me - summer and winter), into the each roller, favouring an edge where it joins a faceplate. Br really miserly with it. Don’t use a constant drizzle whilst back spinning, a single drop in each pin. Let it all settle in for an hour (optional) then spin pedals back fast for a few times. Wipe the complete chain by holding a rag top and bottom of the links and back spinning. Then the same but holding the rag on the front and rear faceplates. You should now have a well lubed chain with just enough on the faceplates for rust protection without attracting lunge.

    In the summer this will do you for quite a few rides with just a wipe and a check after each one, perhaps some more lube if you’ve come through a shower. Winter’s another matter, especially if you like the dry lube.

    On no account take out your bike with a black drive chain. Roadies won’t wave to you.
    I may be a minority of one but that doesn't prevent me from being right.
    http://www.dalynchi.com
  • BikehawkBikehawk Posts: 102
    When cleaning the chain, a bike stand makes the job a lot less stressful on the back, knees etc, there a loads out there to suit various budgets. Also found that it makes it easier to inspect the various drivetrain parts as they are at a more comfortable height. A plastic ground sheet underneath keeps all the rubbish/gunk off the floor whether in a shed or room in the house (either way saves getting an ear full)
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