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cleaning bikes in the winter



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 15th 03, 05:17 AM
Doug Purdy
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

Looking for your ideas, experience for cleaning bikes in the
winter.

I'm trying to get better organized to clean bikes in the winter.
So far my procedure is to intend to clean but never actually do it
and have major maintenance-replacement in the spring. Bike shops
are kind of busy then though so service is sporadically effective.

I don't have a garage for washing. I have a finished basement room
(walkout) for bikes. My backyard is patio and flower beds. The
laundry room has a drain but indoor-outdoor carpeting.

Washing options I've thought of:
1) do nothing
2) take the bikes to the self car wash on the bike rack
3) run a hose from the hot water beyond the patio and bed (my
summer cleaning site)
4) take the indor-outdor out of the laundry room and try washing
there
5) make the bike room watertight and buy a shop vac.

Chain cleaning options:
1) forget cleaning and learn how to do the spring
maintenance-replacement myself
2) change all chains to the easy disconnect type and remove &
clean them in a pop bottle.
3) clean on the bike & use a mat or plastic sheet to avoid
degreaser damage to floor walls & furniture

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Doug
For email, a sense of wonder.


  #2  
Old December 15th 03, 05:42 AM
David L. Johnson
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 05:17:04 +0000, Doug Purdy wrote:

Washing options I've thought of:
1) do nothing
2) take the bikes to the self car wash on the bike rack 3) run a hose from
the hot water beyond the patio and bed (my summer cleaning site)
4) take the indor-outdor out of the laundry room and try washing there
5) make the bike room watertight and buy a shop vac.


Washing is, IMO, not the best way to clean a bike. In particular, a
high-pressure spray of water, especially from a car-wash hose, is not
beneficial to bearings.

Unless the bike is very muddy, wipe it down with a (old) towel. Maybe you
can put a bit of light oil on the rag, if you avoid the rims and tires.
If your bike has paint, you could wax the frame. The rest is really
lubrication and maintenance, not washing like a car.

If it is muddy, let it dry and the mud will come off pretty easily.

1) forget cleaning and learn how to do the spring maintenance-replacement
myself
2) change all chains to the easy disconnect type and remove & clean them
in a pop bottle.


This gets my vote.

3) clean on the bike & use a mat or plastic sheet to avoid degreaser
damage to floor walls & furniture


Iick

--

David L. Johnson

__o | As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
_`\(,_ | certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to
(_)/ (_) | reality. -- Albert Einstein


  #3  
Old December 15th 03, 02:44 PM
Arthur Clune
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

David L. Johnson wrote:

: If it is muddy, let it dry and the mud will come off pretty easily.

Hm. You can tell you don't live in the UK!

Round here, I can leave the mud on. Next ride, I'll add a new, thicker
and deeper layer of mud and cow-**** over the old mud.

My solution is a good wash (with a rag and a bucket of warm water and
washing up liquid) once a week. Clean chain with de-greaser, re-lube
and move on.

Just leaving the mud to dry out isn't an option round here.

Arthur

--
Arthur Clune http://www.clune.org
"Technolibertarians make a philosophy out of a personality defect"
- Paulina Borsook
  #4  
Old December 15th 03, 03:51 PM
external usenet poster
 
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

In article ,
David L. Johnson wrote:
On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 05:17:04 +0000, Doug Purdy wrote:

Washing options I've thought of:
1) do nothing
2) take the bikes to the self car wash on the bike rack 3) run a hose from
the hot water beyond the patio and bed (my summer cleaning site)
4) take the indor-outdor out of the laundry room and try washing there
5) make the bike room watertight and buy a shop vac.


Washing is, IMO, not the best way to clean a bike. In particular, a
high-pressure spray of water, especially from a car-wash hose, is not
beneficial to bearings.

Unless the bike is very muddy, wipe it down with a (old) towel. Maybe you
can put a bit of light oil on the rag, if you avoid the rims and tires.
If your bike has paint, you could wax the frame. The rest is really
lubrication and maintenance, not washing like a car.

If it is muddy, let it dry and the mud will come off pretty easily.


_ Depends where you ride. Around here the mud turns to a concrete
like substance when it dries and is very hard to get off. If you
really ride in mud you want make sure and clean the brakes before
it dries. Dry mud leave behind a thin layer of grit that makes a
fine abrasive on your rims.

2) change all chains to the easy disconnect type and remove & clean them
in a pop bottle.


This gets my vote.


_ Me too. I think you can just get away with buying power links
for your current chains, but you can get a decent chain for $18.
Buy two and switch them every couple of weeks.

_ Booker C. Bense


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  #5  
Old December 16th 03, 01:52 AM
Pete Hickey
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

In article ,
David L. Johnson wrote:
On Mon, 15 Dec 2003 05:17:04 +0000, Doug Purdy wrote:


Unless the bike is very muddy, wipe it down with a (old) towel. Maybe you
can put a bit of light oil on the rag, if you avoid the rims and tires.
If your bike has paint, you could wax the frame. The rest is really
lubrication and maintenance, not washing like a car.



Mud? What about sand, grit and salt... lots of salt... That's
what my bike sees in the winter. Wiping with a towel doesn't
get it off.

I have a brush on a handle... oh, maybe 3 feet long. I fill
a bucket with warm water, and with the brush, get the junk off.
Wait for a warm day.... at least 20F.. so that most of the water
won't freeze.



--
--
"It's a sad day for american capitalism when a man
can't fly a midget on a kite over Central Park."
J. Moran
  #6  
Old December 15th 03, 12:54 PM
Peter Cole
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter


"Doug Purdy" wrote in message
ble.rogers.com...
Looking for your ideas, experience for cleaning bikes in the
winter.


I agree with David Johnson. If you can let the bike dry, then a lot of the
dirt can be simply brushed off, then the bike can be wiped down with a
(deliberately) greasy rag. Shaking the chain in a bottle of solvent is pretty
effective.


  #7  
Old December 19th 03, 04:07 AM
Mike Kruger
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

"Peter Cole" wrote in message
newsaiDb.398741$ao4.1312603@attbi_s51...

I agree with David Johnson. If you can let the bike dry, then a lot of the
dirt can be simply brushed off, then the bike can be wiped down with a
(deliberately) greasy rag.

I think this is going to depend on the local soil composition. I'm on old
lake bottom, and once this dries on the bike it's pretty much on for the
duration.


  #8  
Old December 15th 03, 03:27 PM
Claire Petersky
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter


"Doug Purdy" wrote in message
ble.rogers.com...

4) take the indor-outdor out of the laundry room and try washing
there


I dk what "indor-outdor" is. However, since we replaced cheap crappy vinyl
in the kitchen with bamboo, I now clean (not wash) my bike in the laundry
room. I also tried it in the bathroom, but it was just too cramped in there.

3) clean on the bike & use a mat or plastic sheet to avoid
degreaser damage to floor walls & furniture


I do this, only with newspapers.

The bike doesn't need to be "washed". Wait for all the crap on it to dry,
then rub it off. Mud, fir needles (fir needles! Millions of them! I think
they're all gone, and there's still more!) all just come off with your rag.

Stripping and lubing the drive train can be done with a bucket, a bunch of
rags, degreaser, and a toothbrush. This newsgroup converted me to weekly
bike cleaning. In fact, I was supposed to do it this weekend, and plan not
to ride this morning because I didn't get around to it (my punishment for
procrastination). My drivetrain on Friday sounded like it is running through
sandpaper. Yeah, I could dab some lube on it right now and go, but then I'd
just be working the grit more effectively and deeper into the parts of the
bike. If you don't clean it regularly when it sounds like that, you'll have
to replace your cassette, cogs, and chain much more frequently.


--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
Please replace earthlink for mouse-potato and .net for .com

Home of the meditative cyclist:
http://home.earthlink.net/~cpetersky/Welcome.htm

Books just wanna be FREE! See what I mean at:
http://bookcrossing.com/friend/Cpetersky


  #9  
Old December 17th 03, 03:23 AM
Chris Neary
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Default cleaning bikes in the winter

The bike doesn't need to be "washed". Wait for all the crap on it to dry,
then rub it off. Mud, fir needles (fir needles! Millions of them! I think
they're all gone, and there's still more!) all just come off with your rag.


Sounds like a good way to scratch or dull the paint, if one cares about such
things.

I vote for low-pressure washing (really more like water dribbling on the
bike), followed by a wipe with a damp cloth.


Chris Neary


"Science, freedom, beauty, adventu what more could
you ask of life? Bicycling combined all the elements I
loved" - Adapted from a quotation by Charles Lindbergh
  #10  
Old December 15th 03, 07:13 PM
Matt O'Toole
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Posts: n/a
Default cleaning bikes in the winter


"Doug Purdy" wrote in message
ble.rogers.com...

Looking for your ideas, experience for cleaning bikes in the
winter.

I'm trying to get better organized to clean bikes in the winter.
So far my procedure is to intend to clean but never actually do it
and have major maintenance-replacement in the spring. Bike shops
are kind of busy then though so service is sporadically effective.

I don't have a garage for washing. I have a finished basement room
(walkout) for bikes. My backyard is patio and flower beds. The
laundry room has a drain but indoor-outdoor carpeting.

Washing options I've thought of:
1) do nothing
2) take the bikes to the self car wash on the bike rack
3) run a hose from the hot water beyond the patio and bed (my
summer cleaning site)
4) take the indor-outdor out of the laundry room and try washing
there
5) make the bike room watertight and buy a shop vac.


I usually just wipe down with a rag, unless I've just come back from a muddy MTB
ride, and the bike is wet and muddy anyway. In that case washing is the best
solution. You can wipe down when the bike is wet, or after everything dries.
How well either one works depends on the kind of dirt you have. Clay-type dirt
sticks like concrete, but most road-type dirt practically falls off. Be careful
about scratching the paint with heavy grit though.

Some people use furniture polish (like Pledge) to clean their bike. It works,
and the layer of wax it leaves behind helps keep more dirt from sticking.
However, this is probably more suitable for light road dirt than heavy winter
mud and grit.

Chain cleaning options:
1) forget cleaning and learn how to do the spring
maintenance-replacement myself
2) change all chains to the easy disconnect type and remove &
clean them in a pop bottle.
3) clean on the bike & use a mat or plastic sheet to avoid
degreaser damage to floor walls & furniture


My latest solution is my favorite so far. I bought one of those big cans (like
a paint can) of parts cleaner from an auto parts store. It has a little
platform of wire mesh inside, for the parts to sit on, just like a full sized
parts cleaner at an auto repair shop. Just remove the chain and let it soak in
there while cleaning the rest of the bike. You'll want to agitate the chain a
few times while it's soaking. When done, pull it out, rinse it out in the sink,
let it dry, and relube. The cleaning solution remains in the can with the dirt
settling to the bottom, as a self-contained system, to be reused for years. So
there's nothing to dispose of until you move cross-country or something.
Someone else mentioned having two chains and rotating them. That could be a
good solution too.

For cleaning the rest of the drivetrain, I use a rag dampened with solvent or
WD40. If it's really bad, those parts will fit in the parts cleaner can too.

Matt O.


 




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