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Maintaining a road bike indoors

aaronspeightaaronspeight Posts: 31
edited June 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all,

Started road cycling around a month ago and have been on 4 or 5 rides averaging 20 - 30 miles per ride but i haven't done anything maintainance/cleaning wise to the bike since i got it as i live in a flat with no access to an outside area or hose etc - how do other riders that live in flats clean and maintain there bikes? My flat mate is also a clean freak so i need to find a roughly less mucky solution...

I especially think i need to do some form of cleaning as on my last ride from Derby to Swadlincote there was a strange noise coming from what i thought was my front wheel/brake and then a few minutes later my chain came off...

Thanks all

Aaron

Posts

  • rhextrhext Posts: 1,639
    If I were you, I'd probably invest in a watering can or garden sprayer, a bucket and some brushes....and then go and clean it on the street. I know some people clean them in the bath, but the cr*p that comes off a well-used bike when you clean it properly defies belief! Use the bucket/brushes to clean it, the watering can/sprayer to rinse it, then wipe it down with some old rags. I'd recommend using a degreaser to get the muck off chain/cassette otherwise your brushes will get gummed up with old oil which then gets smeared over the rest of the frame if you're not very careful.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    +1 for cleaning on the street
    You can put some degreaser/ cleaner in a garden spray bottle too (muc off or similar) spray the bike, maybe work the degreaser into the chain, and wash off with a spray bottle outdoors / by the side of the road. You can probably carry everything you need outside in a bucket. Make sure you mark the bottle as degreaser, just in case...
    You can use a scrubbing brush to clean the rims and tyres, as these get coated even in a dry summer.

    It's not that different to cleaning your car on the street.

    Baby Wipes are apparently awesome for cleaning everything on a bike, including the chain, but you probably need to keep on top of the cleaning. Those e-cloth things (cleaning flannels from lidl or wilco) seem quite good too, and can be put through the wash when mucky.
    You can use these indoors when the bike is not too bad.

    You can probably spend £10 in wilco for some spray bottles, a bucket, baby wipes & scrubbing brush and the same on a few liters of de-greaser that should last a long time.

    I doubt the noise and chain incident were due to cleanliness though, bikes often need adjustment after a few months from new. Just set up a workshop in the kitchen. Or get a good bike shop (Mercian in Derby?) to fettle it.
  • owenlarsowenlars Posts: 719
    I use baby wipes if I am cleaning a bike inside. They really do work, particularly if you do it often rather than letting everything build up. They are also pretty good on the drive chain although if things are really crudded up you might want to brush the drive train down outside before having a go with wipes.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    do you have a garage with a jet wash handy ? Dont spray your bearings though.

    Baby wipes are good inside - but you still need to put newspaper down to catch any mud/dirt.
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    I have an off-cut of carpet about 2m by 80cm and the bike lives indoors on that to catch drips. As mentioned baby wipes (or kitchen surface cleaning wipes) are fantastic for shifting the general buildup of crud - you can use them on the braking track of the rim too, amazing amounts of black muck sit in the grooves.

    For the chain I use Muc-Off spray-on chain cleaner, then scrub with a nail brush, polish off with a thick cleaning cloth and relube. Don't bother taking the chain off the bike for regular maintenance, even with a quicklink they're a PITA to re-fit.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    cougie wrote:
    do you have a garage with a jet wash handy ? Dont spray your bearings though.


    Very bad idea. As easy it is to say stay away from bearings, there are other problems like removing decals or damage to lacquer caused by high pressure. Also, the areas around the bearing, be it wheels or crank are ironically the hardest areas to clean around. A better idea is to just put a hose on a low pressure no more than that of a shower head and rinse dirt off from a distance of no closer than a few feet. It is also better to wash buy hand as you can use the time to give your bike a visual inspection as you go in case something is wrong and not overseen while you clean it. There are dozens of things can go wrong with a bike in areas you are very unlikely to look on a day to day basis. i.e rear mech and chain set. You need to get up and close to these areas and see things are in good working order, and cleaned properly and relubed. A blast with a jet wash is not going to help you see them as and when they occur.
  • t4tomot4tomo Posts: 2,643
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    For the chain I use Muc-Off spray-on chain cleaner, then scrub with a nail brush, polish off with a thick cleaning cloth and relube. If I wasn't so lazy I'd take the chain off the bike as with a quicklink its a 30 second job to re-fit.
    Fixed it for you.
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  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    t4tomo wrote:
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    For the chain I use Muc-Off spray-on chain cleaner, then scrub with a nail brush, polish off with a thick cleaning cloth and relube. If I was unemployed I'd take the chain off the bike but as I have a job I don't have the three hours it takes to re-fit.
    Fixed it for you.
    Fixed your fix. ;)
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    t4tomo wrote:
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    For the chain I use Muc-Off spray-on chain cleaner, then scrub with a nail brush, polish off with a thick cleaning cloth and relube. If I was unemployed I'd take the chain off the bike but as I have a job I don't have the three hours it takes to re-fit.
    Fixed it for you.
    Fixed your fix. ;)

    Rule 5 me thinks. Its only a chain FFS. If you can't refit that then you may as well give up and take up fishing instead.
  • I've been where the OP is. But I was riding trails and dirt tracks.

    All I did was bought a bucket and brush, filled the bucket with hot water, took bucket, brush and some spray soap to down the stairs and out onto the pavement.

    Cleaned the bike, spun up the wheels, used a dry cloth to dry the chain, sprayed chain with wd40, (avoid the brakes).

    Took everything back up stairs.

    I was covering about 26 miles a day, and the bike was in grand form and tip top.

    Whenever I needed to grease everything else, I would do that in the morning with a small can of oil, and an old photo film tube filled with grease.

    It really is not that hard :-)
    When God gave out brains I thought he said trains, and I said "it's OK I already have one".
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    Rule 5 me thinks. Its only a chain FFS. If you can't refit that then you may as well give up and take up fishing instead.
    There's Rule 5, and there's mechanical ineptitude combined with laziness. Anyway: frequent wiping and lubing means that it's completely unnecessary to remove the thing.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    Rule 5 me thinks. Its only a chain FFS. If you can't refit that then you may as well give up and take up fishing instead.
    There's Rule 5, and there's mechanical ineptitude combined with laziness. Anyway: frequent wiping and lubing means that it's completely unnecessary to remove the thing.

    Mechanical ineptitude is no excuse. I refuse to believe that someone can fail to grasp the notion of breaking a quick link and feeding it through the rear mech and the crank. This is not rocket science. I would go so far as to say its even less technical than a tyre change. I am sure we can all get our brains around that, if not then give up cycling
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,306
    Even I did it ...
  • Gizmo_Gizmo_ Posts: 558
    Gizmo_ wrote:
    Rule 5 me thinks. Its only a chain FFS. If you can't refit that then you may as well give up and take up fishing instead.
    There's Rule 5, and there's mechanical ineptitude combined with laziness. Anyway: frequent wiping and lubing means that it's completely unnecessary to remove the thing.

    Mechanical ineptitude is no excuse. I refuse to believe that someone can fail to grasp the notion of breaking a quick link and feeding it through the rear mech and the crank. This is not rocket science. I would go so far as to say its even less technical than a tyre change. I am sure we can all get our brains around that, if not then give up cycling
    What is it, troll day? I have a quick link. I understand entirely how it works, but still find it quite difficult to actually do. Lubing the chain without removing it is perfectly adequate.

    As for your suggestion that I should give up cycling: grow up.
    Scott Sportster P45 2008 | Cannondale CAAD8 Tiagra 2012
  • smoggystevesmoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    How is that trolling, hearing something you don't want to hear does not make it trolling. It is a basic part of maintenance. BTW, this isn't your thread. I offer that advice that anyone who cycles should know how to maintain it and do quick repairs that may be needed while out on the road.

    I never suggested you give up cycling, I said if you find it hard to maintain it you should. Only you can answer that dude. TBH, I would prefer to offer advice to the OP not someone who decides to hijack the thread to showcase his own inadequacies . And Laziness, which you have already admitted. To suggest you need 3 hours to remove and replace a chain speak volumes.
  • jezzpalmerjezzpalmer Posts: 389
    I use flash wipes and they are great (much like baby wipes I expect but perhaps a bit more cutting?), no worry of getting water where it shouldn't be.
    For some of the more stubborn tarry/oil stuff I'll use orange/limonene based cleaner sprayed onto some kitchen roll.
    I do all of my maintenance indoors, but can be a bit messy.

    Quicklinks are a must have thing IMO.
  • denniskwokdenniskwok Posts: 339
    I clean my bike in the bath. I then give the bath a going over with some Cif and it ends up cleaner than before the bike went in. I don't let my bike get very dirty beforehand though.
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