Cleaing your carbon bikes

Gazspurs
Gazspurs Posts: 122
edited January 2013 in Road general
Hey Guys,

As you may know I take delivery of my Felt AR5 on Thursday, of which I can not wait!

This is my 1st carbon bike & after the money spent recently the bike I will keep for a good 3/4 years.

Without wanting to sound to simple I wanted to know how you guys clean your carbon bikes & any hints/tips to keep them looking good, working well.

My current bike is shiny black/aluminium but the Felt is matte/carbon.

At present as soon as I get in from a ride I hose my bike down & apply Muc-off, leave that to settle & clean my shoes. I then comeback to it, wash down with warm water & fairy liquid, give it a good clean & then spray again with hose.

Bounce bike to get the water off & go over with a couple of T-towels, lube the chain with either summer/winter lube (pending on season) & put in garage to dry.

The next day I will spray the frame, saddle, bars with Muc-off bikespray to give it some extra protection.

Am I ok to keep doing this process with my new carbon/matte frame?

Any tips or no, no's I should avoid would be much appreciated.

Cheers
«1

Comments

  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    Do what you do, after a quick RTFM in case your own carbon is susceptible to some cleaning agents. It's a hard surface; it won't dissolve. Probably.
  • You seem to be doing the right thing, though not sure about needing to fairy liquid after you have applied Muc-off to clean the bike but each to their own I guess.

    Last year I got bought these 2 for keeping my bikes clean & I use on my summer, winter & MTB's and it keeps them clean. Plus once applied it seems to make the cleaning of the bikes a lot easier, not different from waxing a car would.

    http://muc-off.com/en/stage-2-protect/2 ... ry=bicycle
    http://muc-off.com/en/bicycle/24-premiu ... ry=bicycle

    Finish line also do something similar too and have used that in the past too.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Use proper car shampoo, Fairy Liquid (and all other washing up liquids) has salt in it.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Just asking .......... but could you do my bike as well?

    Hose, wipe, maybe oil, away ....... every couple of weeks. Expensive carbon bike.
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    smidsy wrote:
    Use proper car shampoo, Fairy Liquid (and all other washing up liquids) has salt in it.

    Quite a lot of salt I understand.

    Car shampoo is better however after muc off I wouldn't bother with more detergent.
  • Gazspurs
    Gazspurs Posts: 122
    Cool cheers guys, I'll keep doing what I'm doing minus the fairy liquid.

    Bring your bike over for a clean no worries, the OCD in me actually enjoys doing it & there's no way I could leave my bike dirty, its gotta be cleaned as soon as I get in & fresh for the next ride! :)
  • Most car shampoo has wax in it to leave a shine on your car. Is this OK on braking surfaces? I normally use Fairy on wheels and car shampoo on everything else.
  • smidsy wrote:
    Use proper car shampoo, Fairy Liquid (and all other washing up liquids) has salt in it.
    Sure, but if you rinse it off, can it do any more harm than the salt it would get on it from a wet road in the winter?
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    smidsy wrote:
    Use proper car shampoo, Fairy Liquid (and all other washing up liquids) has salt in it.
    Sure, but if you rinse it off, can it do any more harm than the salt it would get on it from a wet road in the winter?

    I do not have a definitive answer to that but why risk adding more salt if you do not need to?
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • The salt will scratch the finish if you use a sponge or similar to wash the bike whilst using fairy liquid. Small scratches but will dull the finish over time and make the bike look worse.
  • Monster wipes from B&Q - get the 120 packs and use them like a cleaning cloth. The soap on them is really good and effective.
  • The salt will scratch the finish if you use a sponge or similar to wash the bike whilst using fairy liquid. Small scratches but will dull the finish over time and make the bike look worse.
    If you used neat FL, that might conceivably be true. However, salt is very soluble in water, and given that you'd basically use a little FL diluted with quite a bit of water, any solid salt in the neat FL (if there was any - and I doubt even that, tbh) would be completely dissolved and therefore not at all abrasive.

    Much more likely that any scratches you observed were caused by fine particles of grit that happened to be in the sponge.

    Personally, I use a little ZipWax for the frame and forks, and a bit of Fairy Liquid (in hot water, in the chain cleaner) for the chain. Then I hose down and allow to dry before relubing the chain.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    The salt will scratch the finish if you use a sponge or similar to wash the bike whilst using fairy liquid. Small scratches but will dull the finish over time and make the bike look worse.
    If you used neat FL, that might conceivably be true. However, salt is very soluble in water, and given that you'd basically use a little FL diluted with quite a bit of water, any solid salt in the neat FL (if there was any - and I doubt even that, tbh) would be completely dissolved and therefore not at all abrasive.

    Much more likely that any scratches you observed were caused by fine particles of grit that happened to be in the sponge.

    Personally, I use a little ZipWax for the frame and forks, and a bit of Fairy Liquid (in hot water, in the chain cleaner) for the chain. Then I hose down and allow to dry before relubing the chain.

    I bet you wash your hair in body wash too. :lol:

    Use products for their intended purpose. Shampoo for hair, body wash for body. Fairy Liquid for washing up, car shampoo for washing vehicles. Simples!!!!
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • smidsy wrote:
    I bet you wash your hair in body wash too. :lol:

    Use products for their intended purpose. Shampoo for hair, body wash for body. Fairy Liquid for washing up, car shampoo for washing vehicles. Simples!!!!
    That's an original thought, but far too simple :)

    Actually I did try the degreaser stuff that came with the chain cleaner (not on my hair, I might add). It was shite. No wonder the instructions said 'rinse and repeat' (or something like it).

    One quick application of FL and hot water in the chain cleaner and the chain was cleaner than at any time since about a week after I got the bike.

    The ZipWax I use just because I have some in the cupboard, and the frame does come up nice and shiny.
    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • For that finishing touch use furniture polish.(Pledge,Mr. Sheen etc. multi-surface)

    A trusted LBS owner refused to sell me "something to polish my frame with",he told me he uses furniture polish to keep the display bikes looking sharp.
    Spray it onto the cloth then apply to the painted/lacquered surfaces in small dose for a smear-free finish.
  • Chrissz
    Chrissz Posts: 727
    In addition to washing with car shampoo - my carbon pride and joy gets an annual strip-down, thorough clean and then several layers of decent car polish (after a light going over with T-Cut) for a wet-look finish :D
  • johnny25
    johnny25 Posts: 344
    I use this - http://www.evanscycles.com/products/wel ... t-ec038145

    No problems so far after a year or so.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,490
    Turtle Wax car shampoo for me. It does the job and I've always got loads as people keep buying me it at Christmas (probably a comment on the state I keep my car in!).
  • rob21
    rob21 Posts: 284
    i clean the whole bike with Muc Off then wipe the frame and components with GT 85 job done :D
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    spray with muc off or similar and then jet wash on a fine spray, dry well and lube everything.
  • Neale1978
    Neale1978 Posts: 484
    You are seriously asking on here how to wash your bike? JESUS CHRIST
  • baby wipes, very rarely need anything else, ridden all year round.
  • p1tse
    p1tse Posts: 694
    Chrissz wrote:
    In addition to washing with car shampoo - my carbon pride and joy gets an annual strip-down, thorough clean and then several layers of decent car polish (after a light going over with T-Cut) for a wet-look finish :D

    Polish is abrasive!
    You need wax for locking in the shine
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  • I use Proshine for my carbon bike and my car, if used with micro fibre clothes it does not scratch the paint work.
    I have used this for years, on my cars before I got into cycling.

    http://www.netparts.co.uk/store/index.p ... ucts_id=56
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  • bikeit65
    bikeit65 Posts: 982
    After a mate destroyed his bike with Muc Off i dont use it any more,
    so after a ride in the winter i spray the whole bike with some Valet Pro Citrus Prewash diluted 10/1 let it work for about five minutes and spray lightly with a hose, job done, dry off with a good quality microfiber cloth, spray all moving parts with some Muc Off bike spray. any stubborn grease left behind remove with some baby wipes, then twice a year i remove all bits and pieces remove all the old wax with some IPA diluted 8/1 apply a few coats of Autoglym HD wax, job done.
    I would not use T-Cut or the like on a bike as it is too abrasive, if you are looking to remove some light scratches use a light cutting compound.
    https://www.instagram.com/seanmcgrathphotography/
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  • Scozz76
    Scozz76 Posts: 27
    +1 for baby wipes. Tesco Value packs are cheap as chips and work a treat.
  • +2 for baby wipes.

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  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,052
    yep to the baby wipes those things are voodoo magic esp after a quick low pressure plain old warm water from a hand pumped garden sprayer.

    I do take the chain off these days and shake it about in white spirits, dry and relube this method has doubled my annual mileage between changes.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
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  • bazzer2
    bazzer2 Posts: 189
    Bikeit65 wrote:
    After a mate destroyed his bike with Muc Off i dont use it any more,
    Ah, so a product designed to work on a bike to clean it has destroyed it how? Good that you decided not to use it any more though...
    Bikeit65 wrote:
    so after a ride in the winter i spray the whole bike with some Valet Pro Citrus Prewash diluted 10/1 let it work for about five minutes and spray lightly with a hose, job done, dry off with a good quality microfiber cloth, spray all moving parts with some Muc Off bike spray.
    Uh - oh! Someone forgot already! :)
    Bikeit65 wrote:
    I would not use T-Cut or the like on a bike as it is too abrasive, if you are looking to remove some light scratches use a light cutting compound.
    I strongly suspect that T-Cut is waaaaay less abrasive than even the lightest of cutting compounds. What you're missing is that you're using T-Cut on paint, not a bike, or a car, or a fridge. So the quality, chemistry and depth of the finish is what you should be thinking about.
  • il_principe
    il_principe Posts: 9,155
    Muc-Off took some paint off one of my bikes - I was rubbing pretty hard to get rid off some very sticky Welsh sheep sh!t. Have not used it since.

    Fenwicks or Motorex both do excellent cleaning solutions.

    http://motorexbicycle.com/mb/prod_detail.asp

    Then a polish helps keep things clean for longer - Pedros Bike Lust is good.