The Chainlink

After this week, my bike's really a mess.  I just found the brake mechanism sticking and the whole bike looks and feels kinda grungy.  I know I should do better, but it's very hard to find the time to decently wipe down and lube the bike these days. 

 

I'm curious, what does everyone do to keep their bikes clean during winter?  Do you just hose down the bike periodically (I don't have direct access to a hose, but I suppose I could find one)?    Does anyone just stop into their LBS for a bike wash periodically in the same way people stop at a car wash?  If so, how much does a bike wash cost? I know Rapid Transit has unlimited bike washing as part of their winter subscription, but I'm not sure what it would cost a la carte.

 

I haven't got a fancy bike, but it's a good solid commuter and I want it to last.  I wish all those hand car wash places would branch out into bike washing.  I'd love to just stop in, pay 5-10 bucks and leave 5 minutes later with a pristine bike.

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I pulled my brakes apart this weekend down to the portion that is brazed-on to the the fork and frame.  All four had a significant amount of rust and one was close to being seized.  I'm assuming its a reaction to the road salt.  I scrubbed them down with a brass brush and loaded them up with grease.  I'm probably going to start doing that at least once a month through the rest of the  winter.

Buy an orchard sprayer  doesn't have to be a big one 1 or 2 gals   take out side    use warm water and pump up  then spray...works in the summer for mud

 

here is my method :

 

1.put the bike upside down in the tub (with the drive side towards you).

(having a rack and milk crate on the bike helps immensely for stability)

2. turn the shower on and aim it at the drive train (chain, chain ring and cog(s)).

3.pedal and squirt de-greaser (I buy a gallon at home depot) on the chain, chain ring and cog(s))

4.use a toilet cleaning brush or ALL plastic brush to scrub off the dirt

5.repeat the above steps for the brakes

6. wash / scrub the frame (use a sponge) with dishwashing soap

7. scrub the rims (the braking surface mostly) with a scotch brite pad

8. also scrub the inside of the brake pads

throughout this entire process, rinse oftem to avoid the loose dirt and grease from drying

9. scrub the tires (rotate them and hold a brush or sponge on them) then rinse

 

10. remove the bike and let it dry thoroughly

11. apply lube (just a tiny bit) to chain (only the pins, NOT the links) ,cables, and derauiller (if applicable)

 

12. if you are really ambitious - (and it is a fancy bike) you may apply furniture polish (pledge, etc.)

to the frame tubes (NOTHING ELSE). it will help the dirt come off easier in the future

 

13. take a picture and post to the chainlink !

 

 

 

What about cleaners? I use a diluted vinegar solution...is that ok or am I setting myself up for trouble.

*** I wanted to 'resurrect' this thread and see if anyone has an (useful) advice to add!!

My bike is a mess. And I plan on a better cleaning this weekend, opposed to my typical nightly wipe down from the snow/slush. 

Funny--I told my husband the other day that I needed to bring my bike upstairs to the shower.  He did not offer to help me. ;-)

lol @Lisa.

 

Here is another vote for a bucket of warm water, some brushes, and a citrus-based spray cleaner.  A spray bottle with clean, warm water helps get into tight spots.

I have not ridden since last week when we had the major rain storm.  I got home late in the evening and put the bike on the rack so it could drip dry.  Life got busy and I did not look at it for a couple days.  The bike was pretty clean due to the natural shower. However, the chain had spots of rust. I have been working on those spots since then with a brush.  I should have wiped it dry before I left it. 

I go to the self wash car wash, for about $2.00 I can wash at least two of our bikes.

Is the pressure on the water adjustable?  I always thought those things were too high pressure for bikes.

Andrew Bertocchini said:

I go to the self wash car wash, for about $2.00 I can wash at least two of our bikes.

I keep a good distance from the bike, and I get it wet then use the soapy brush. Hmm maybe I should bring a date (kidding). We have two big bikes a longtail cargo bike and a Dutch bike it works well, but yes be careful and don't blast the bike.

 

Andrew

Lisa Curcio 4.0 mi said:

Is the pressure on the water adjustable?  I always thought those things were too high pressure for bikes.

Andrew Bertocchini said:

I go to the self wash car wash, for about $2.00 I can wash at least two of our bikes.

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