Best way to clean bike?

LeftyBairn
LeftyBairn Posts: 10
edited May 2012 in Road beginners
Hello folks.

I've been out a bit recently and it's come to my attention when looking at others bikes that mines is both noisy and a bit manky thanks to riding through a winters worth of Scottish weather. So my question is a simple one, what's your preferred method of cleaning/removing the dirt and light oxidisation that develops on your chain/chainrings following winter and what is your preferred method of getting everything sounding sweet again?

I realise I've neglected my poor steed and I want to get her looking spotless again, needless to say I am ashamed that she's got to the state she's in and I won't be letting it get to this state again before I actually bother to take care!! Any comments are appreciated, cheers!

Comments

  • charliew87
    charliew87 Posts: 371
    Best way:
    http://www.teamsky.com/gallery/0,27401, ... ml#photo=0

    What I do. Hot soapy water gets rid of most stuff. Quick rinse. Focus on important bits/bits which accumulate the most crap.
    Canyon AL Ultimate 9.0
  • LeftyBairn
    LeftyBairn Posts: 10
    Cheers Charlie, seems simplebut I wasn't overly sure about soapy water with regards lubricants and so on.
  • Mike39496
    Mike39496 Posts: 414
    Firstly I spray it down with one of these (turned to a spray setting).

    FloMaster1GalPumpSprayer.jpg

    Then I spray muc off on it (depending how dirty it is) and scrub any stubborn bits of dirt away,
    Wash the chain whilst the muc-off is on there (loads of hot soapy water!),
    Rinse the bike off after that and lube the chain,
    Polish the bike with some Mr Sheen and buff it up.

    By polishing it, it means that unless the weather is horrible I can just wipe down the bike with a cloth a couple of hours after the ride and the dirt will just wipe away. I probably only wash it once every 2-3 weeks.

    You don't really need muc off, i'm just too lazy to put loads of elbow grease in it.

    Mike
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    A friend of mine use to run a bike shop, dropped mine off on a monday, picked it up on wednesday in pristine condition.
  • LeftyBairn
    LeftyBairn Posts: 10
    Thanks for that Mike, I guess I hadn't thought that 'household' products would be suitable for a bike, I'm a product of the generation where there must be some sort of fancy product for it haha!

    Shut up legs, get someone to do the cleaning for you, genius haha!!
  • bails1310
    bails1310 Posts: 361
    charliew87 wrote:
    Best way:
    http://www.teamsky.com/gallery/0,27401, ... ml#photo=0

    What I do. Hot soapy water gets rid of most stuff. Quick rinse. Focus on important bits/bits which accumulate the most crap.

    Very useful for a cealning newby.

    Not wanting to hyjack the OP, on the back of my rear wheel / casette, there is a plastic disc which

    1) look rubbish
    2) makes it hard to clean round that area

    I've tried to push it off and not sure how much effort I should give it, incase it shoud be there!?

    The Sky chain is cleaner than the wifes necklace!
    Kuota Kharma Race [Dry/Sunny]
    Raleigh Airlite 100 [Wet/Horrible]
  • sancho1983
    sancho1983 Posts: 76
    Useful thread, thanks.

    What's the best/cheapest lube to use? I used to use.wd40 but I'm guessing that's not the best thing. I picked my new bike Friday and want to keep it shiny and lovely for as long as possible
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Gah. He said WD40. Run for cover.

    Seriously, WD isn't a lube, it's a water dispersant. Use light cycling oil, Teflon lube spray or any of the myriad lube sprays that exist. Everyone has an opinion but WD40 won't be in there.

    Best & cheapest is Cycle Oil at £1.50 a tin from any old hardware shop. I get 3000+ miles per chain with that stuff.
  • sancho1983
    sancho1983 Posts: 76
    CiB wrote:
    Gah. He said WD40. Run for cover.

    Seriously, WD isn't a lube, it's a water dispersant. Use light cycling oil, Teflon lube spray or any of the myriad lube sprays that exist. Everyone has an opinion but WD40 won't be in there.

    Best & cheapest is Cycle Oil at £1.50 a tin from any old hardware shop. I get 3000+ miles per chain with that stuff.

    Thanks, when I say used to I mean when I was 14!
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    sancho1983 wrote:
    CiB wrote:
    Gah. He said WD40. Run for cover.

    Seriously, WD isn't a lube, it's a water dispersant. Use light cycling oil, Teflon lube spray or any of the myriad lube sprays that exist. Everyone has an opinion but WD40 won't be in there.

    Best & cheapest is Cycle Oil at £1.50 a tin from any old hardware shop. I get 3000+ miles per chain with that stuff.

    Thanks, when I say used to I mean when I was 14!
    They might be all gone now but Lidl do a chain cleaner at £3.99 that works. What you need to do is keep the transmission clean and free from grunge road dirt and vegetation, and well lubricated.

    I use soapy water to get the worst off the the frame & wheels a dry soft cloth to wipe it down & polish it dry followed by a coat of car polish once in a while, then a thorough clean of the chain & gears. Every few weeks I'll undo the cassette to slip all the rings off and give them a good wash too.
  • rpd_steve
    rpd_steve Posts: 361
    Not wanting to hijack the OP, on the back of my rear wheel / cassette, there is a plastic disc which

    1) look rubbish
    2) makes it hard to clean round that area

    I've tried to push it off and not sure how much effort I should give it, in case it should be there!?

    Its just there to stop the derailleur from swinging into the spokes if either
    a) Your limit screws are set badly
    b) You somehow brake it in a crash/knock but keep going and it gets into the spokes

    As obviously the above situation will lead to a buggered rear wheel. That said if your mech is adjusted correctly (test by moving to big cog on back, then apply more tension the the cable where it is exposed under the down tube) and it should not move any further towards the spokes.
    If it gets damaged that badly in a crash you are normally on the floor or have a broken wheel anyway - hence most people remove them. Better wheels don't even have them.

    You need to remove your cassette to get it off though - this requires you to:
    -remove the wheel QR
    -Hold the cassette from spinning with a chain whip
    -Undo the lock-ring with a cassette tool
    -Slide cassette off splines of hub
    -Remove newbie disk and re-assemble

    They are dam annoying when they rattle!
  • Gizmo_
    Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    RPD Steve wrote:
    You need to remove your cassette to get it off though - this requires you to:
    -remove the wheel QR
    -Hold the cassette from spinning with a chain whip
    -Undo the lock-ring with a cassette tool
    -Slide cassette off splines of hub
    -Remove newbie disk and re-assemble

    Sod that. I'll remove mine the day before I do la Marmotte.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • nickl360
    nickl360 Posts: 59
    I use cheap Tesco household citrus degreaser sprayed on over the bike, aggitate and leave to work in to the dirt. Use either same cheap Tesco household citrus degreaser or metholated spirits in a chain cleaner to clean the chain. Rinse off with a hose pipe (not a pressure washer!!) wipe down with a rag, including spokes and then start to lube the chain with Teflon oil / dry lube and wipe over with a cloth.

    They spray over with 'bike spray' to help protect any exposed metals.
  • fish156
    fish156 Posts: 496
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    RPD Steve wrote:
    You need to remove your cassette to get it off though - this requires you to:
    -remove the wheel QR
    -Hold the cassette from spinning with a chain whip
    -Undo the lock-ring with a cassette tool
    -Slide cassette off splines of hub
    -Remove newbie disk and re-assemble

    Sod that. I'll remove mine the day before I do la Marmotte.

    Your reaction to a little simple maintenance would suggest you may want to leave the disc on since you're also unlikely to know whether the rear mech end stops are correctly set.
  • Gizmo_
    Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    fish156 wrote:
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    RPD Steve wrote:
    You need to remove your cassette to get it off though - this requires you to:
    -remove the wheel QR
    -Hold the cassette from spinning with a chain whip
    -Undo the lock-ring with a cassette tool
    -Slide cassette off splines of hub
    -Remove newbie disk and re-assemble

    Sod that. I'll remove mine the day before I do la Marmotte.

    Your reaction to a little simple maintenance would suggest you may want to leave the disc on since you're also unlikely to know whether the rear mech end stops are correctly set.
    Oh, do grow up. ;)

    Simple maintenance, fine. Partial disassembly involving two tools that I don't own, just to remove something that's almost invisible, only weighs about 5 grams, and is only a "problem" to the sort of people who would sneer at me for not shaving my legs? Nah, I'll pass thanks.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,873
    those disks are often made from snappable plastic, i've taken them off new bikes with pliers, bend/twist, snap, remove bits
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • fish156
    fish156 Posts: 496
    For those averse to a little simple maintenance ;-) , one way to keep your cassette nice & clean without having to remove it is to "floss".

    Cut a 1-2cm strip of J-Cloth or similar. This can then be used as cassette floss, running it between each cog. A few minutes work and the cassette is clean.

    Yes, I'm well aware that I may take a little too much pride in having a clean, well maintained bike.
  • p9uma
    p9uma Posts: 565
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    fish156 wrote:
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    RPD Steve wrote:
    You need to remove your cassette to get it off though - this requires you to:
    -remove the wheel QR
    -Hold the cassette from spinning with a chain whip
    -Undo the lock-ring with a cassette tool
    -Slide cassette off splines of hub
    -Remove newbie disk and re-assemble

    Sod that. I'll remove mine the day before I do la Marmotte.

    Your reaction to a little simple maintenance would suggest you may want to leave the disc on since you're also unlikely to know whether the rear mech end stops are correctly set.
    Oh, do grow up. ;)

    Simple maintenance, fine. Partial disassembly involving two tools that I don't own, just to remove something that's almost invisible, only weighs about 5 grams, and is only a "problem" to the sort of people who would sneer at me for not shaving my legs? Nah, I'll pass thanks.

    5 Grams! Does it weigh as much as that? I just snapped mine off with a pair of pliers, as somone else has mentioned, not because of weight, just because its a horrible looking piece of cheap plastic, on a handsome expensive bicycle. I replace the weight I saved by eating a malteser before each ride.
    Trek Madone 3.5
    Whyte Coniston
    1970 Dawes Kingpin
  • rpd_steve
    rpd_steve Posts: 361
    At the end of the day being a cyclist is only half about riding bikes... A lot of people take great pride in making their bike as good/clean/mechanically perfect as can be. I've spend a lot of time doing things to my bith that ultimately dont make me any faster or better, but I feel good knowing my bike is the best it can be.

    Thats not so say anyone who only wants to ride is any less good or worthy of owning a bike, but different people take different things from it, to some 'pride of ownership' matters, to some they just enjoy the ride so long as it works. Each to their own.
  • rake
    rake Posts: 3,204
    thats a good point there and they dont have to be mutually exclusive. i also have a bike im happy to ride through a canal and also one that gets fettled quite a lot.
  • bails1310
    bails1310 Posts: 361
    sungod wrote:
    those disks are often made from snappable plastic, i've taken them off new bikes with pliers, bend/twist, snap, remove bits

    I had a go and the plastic did't snap, felt more benable with bits coming off, ended up taking off the casette, to be fair IMO, it now makes cleaning easier & better.
    Kuota Kharma Race [Dry/Sunny]
    Raleigh Airlite 100 [Wet/Horrible]
  • butcher_boy
    butcher_boy Posts: 117
    bails1310 wrote:
    sungod wrote:
    those disks are often made from snappable plastic, i've taken them off new bikes with pliers, bend/twist, snap, remove bits

    I had a go and the plastic did't snap, felt more benable with bits coming off, ended up taking off the casette, to be fair IMO, it now makes cleaning easier & better.

    A sharp stanley knife cuts through them. Nice and easy :D
  • bails1310
    bails1310 Posts: 361
    bails1310 wrote:
    sungod wrote:
    those disks are often made from snappable plastic, i've taken them off new bikes with pliers, bend/twist, snap, remove bits

    I had a go and the plastic did't snap, felt more benable with bits coming off, ended up taking off the casette, to be fair IMO, it now makes cleaning easier & better.

    A sharp stanley knife cuts through them. Nice and easy :D

    School boy error by me - went for the pliers option. :roll:
    Kuota Kharma Race [Dry/Sunny]
    Raleigh Airlite 100 [Wet/Horrible]
  • Smalls
    Smalls Posts: 7
    I use this

    http://www.albancleaning.com/cleaning-s ... easer.html

    I dilute it with water in a 750ml trigger spray bottle, spay on and leave for a few minutes then wipe off with a damp cloth, easy and will lasts for absolutely ages.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    I neglect mine for a few months at a time, especially if it’s raining every freaking day anyway then strip it down to the frame and rebuild. i.e.Wheels/Chain/Crank/BB off, keep the levers on, remove the jockey wheels but not the whole derailleur. Brakes unscrewed but only if very messy.

    From this [a wet week!! on Londons roads]:
    IMG_1485-PS_s.jpg
    To this
    IMG_1651-PS.jpg
  • Peanutt
    Peanutt Posts: 229
    I clean mine primarily with wet wipes, well it is my baby.

    Get the bulk of the grime off with plain old soapy water, rinse well, I find a garden spray bottle with plain water works well, then start cleaning with wipes, for the hard to get to areas wrap the wipe around something like a pencil. Once completely dry add wax and leave for ten minutes then buff the wax, do this as many times as is necessary to blind other cyclists with the glare from your showroom finish.

    Seriously I can spend a good sunday afternoon doing this, beats doing jobs around the house.
    No matter where you are, that's where you've been
  • sancho1983
    sancho1983 Posts: 76
    Another 'stupid' question here, does everyone have one of those stands to hold it while you clean it?

    I want to be able to adjust the gears/brakes etc. so was thinking of getting one anyway, any suggestions?
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    sancho1983 wrote:
    Another 'stupid' question here, does everyone have one of those stands to hold it while you clean it?

    I want to be able to adjust the gears/brakes etc. so was thinking of getting one anyway, any suggestions?

    See above, its a Revolution workstand but I think its sold under several brands. Had it for £50 during a sale. http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... -workstand
  • sadlybiggins
    sadlybiggins Posts: 158
    I got the same stand as in the picture above a few months ago and it makes a massive difference when cleaning the bike or tinkering with it. I always found trying to clean the bike without a stand very difficult.

    Two things I find very useful are an old toothbrush or small bottle brush for getting in those difficult to reach bits and, as others have said above, baby wipes. A bit like the post above relating to flossing with a J-cloth, baby wipes floss between the sprockets very effectively if you fold the wipe over a couple of times lengthwise. They're also very cheap if you use own-brand unscented ones.