Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Keep It Clean: Bike Washing


Spring is fully here and, rain or shine, many of us are taking to the streets and trails on our bikes in order to train for a bike race, to cross train for running or another sport, or, just enjoy being outside. Don't put off maintaining your steed, however -- take care of it and it will take care of you. Here are 5 tips to keeping your bike clean and ready to ride:

"Cut off the top of a plastic water bottle. Fill it with a water-based degreaser, like Simple Green, and place it in your seat-tube bottle cage (for easy access). Use a paintbrush to apply the degreaser to the chain. Finish by holding a soapy sponge around the chain and turning the cranks. Hose off the excess and let it dry." —Adrian Hedderman, head mechanic, Colavita/Forno D'Asolo pro cycling team

"Every third or fourth wash, give your frame and fork a layer of car wax. I like Meguiar's Cleaner Wax. It restores the paint's luster and keeps road tar and bugs from sticking." —Steven Sperling, head mechanic, United-Healthcare pro cycling team

"Clean a grimy cassette or freewheel: Remove the wheel, and lay it flat with cogs up. Dampen the edge of a rag with solvent and pull it back and forth between each cog. No need to rotate the wheel; the freewheel keeps the cogs moving." —Jim Langley, author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop

"Braking causes aluminum rims to oxidize, leaving a layer of grit that can contaminate brake pads. Every 100 miles, more often if you ride in wet conditions, wipe your rims with a dry cloth." —Tori Bortman, owner of Gracie's Wrench in Portland, Oregon

"I prefer natural Tampico bristle brushes. Unlike nylon ones, they don't hold dirt, grease, or oil. Rinse the grime out of the bristles before moving on to the next part, and you can attack a filthy drivetrain and a mud-spattered frame with the same brush." —Bernard Kocis, team mechanic, United-Healthcare pro cycling team

Originally posted at http://www.bicycling.com/

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7 comments:

  1. There is nothing better than a clean chain.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice post and I'm a believer in a clean bike although I currently only run.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah,....I gotta get that done soon. Went for a rainy ride last week and picked up a ton of road crap.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Clean a grimy cassette or freewheel: Remove the wheel, and lay it flat with cogs up. Dampen the edge of a rag with solvent and pull it back and forth between each cog. No need to rotate the wheel; the freewheel keeps the cogs moving." —Jim Langley, author of Your Home Bicycle Workshop

    Or just get the tools and pull that bad boy off and give it a proper bath!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I suck at cleaning my bike, so I take it to my local bike shop and tell them to do whatever my bike needs.

    ReplyDelete
  6. All good advice. I cannot tell you how much I LOATHE cleaning my bike. If I could, I would hire a mechanic to live in my garage and keep it clean and in good shape.
    ; )

    ReplyDelete
  7. Good tips! My bike mechanic basically scolded me last week when I brought my bike in. My cables are corroded from sweat dripping on them and never washing my bike :-).

    ReplyDelete

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