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cleaning bikes in the winter



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 15th 03, 06:17 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.


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  #2  
Old December 15th 03, 06:42 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, 01:54 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.


  #4  
Old December 15th 03, 03:44 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
  #5  
Old December 15th 03, 04:27 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


  #6  
Old December 15th 03, 04:51 PM
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
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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  #7  
Old December 15th 03, 08:13 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.


  #8  
Old December 15th 03, 08:58 PM
MikeYankee
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Posts: n/a
Default cleaning bikes in the winter

Wipe bike frame with Pledge or Bike Lust before getting it dirty; it'll be
easier to clean later.

Like Dave says, wipe it with a wet towel -- or squirt the clods off with a
water bottle. A garden hose has enough water pressure that it can cause
problems by moving grit into areas that were clean, getting water into hubs
and bottom bracket, etc. A plant sprayer works really well, however. (I don't
use soap on the bike until spring. When I do, use Dawn detergent diluted in
warm water; I apply with sponge or brush, then gently rinse with the plant
sprayer, taking care not to shoot water directly on bearings, seals, derailleur
pivots, etc.)

If roads are salted in your area, it's important to clean/wash your rims as
well as the bike frame. Salt corrodes aluminum, nipple eyelets, alloy nipples,
etc.



Mike Yankee

(Address is munged to thwart spammers.
To reply, delete everything after "com".)
  #9  
Old December 15th 03, 09:52 PM
Matt O'Toole
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Posts: n/a
Default cleaning bikes in the winter


"MikeYankee" wrote in message
...

If roads are salted in your area, it's important to clean/wash your rims as
well as the bike frame. Salt corrodes aluminum, nipple eyelets, alloy

nipples,
etc.


I agree. If salt is present, I'd be washing frequently.

Matt O.


  #10  
Old December 15th 03, 11:09 PM
Alex Rodriguez
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Posts: n/a
Default cleaning bikes in the winter

In article . rogers.com,
says...


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


Not a good idea.

2) take the bikes to the self car wash on the bike rack


Not a bad idea. Just don't blast water into any of the bearings.

3) run a hose from the hot water beyond the patio and bed (my
summer cleaning site)


Not a bad idea either. I would just get a bucket with warm water and
wash the bike down outside.

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


I would not do this in my house because it can get messy and you might
spray dirty water around the house.

5) make the bike room watertight and buy a shop vac.


Interesting idea. I wonder how this would work?

Chain cleaning options:
1) forget cleaning and learn how to do the spring
maintenance-replacement myself


Bad idea. If your chain gets dirty and wears quickly, you will have to
change your cassette and chainrings at the same time as your chain. That
can add up to quite a bit of cash.

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


You don't need to change the chain, just get the easy disconnect links
and put them on your current chain. This assumes your current chain is
not worn out.

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


Not as good an idea as removing and soaking. This type of cleaning on gets
the outside clean and leave the inside dirty. All your chain wear occurs
on the inside, so you have a clean looking chain that will wear quickly.

--------------
Alex


 




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