Keeping things clean

It’s crazy how much effort has been poured into some of the bikes I see around Sydney every day. If you ever see someone on a stock-standard Mongoose Maurice gawking at your custom bike, it’s probably me! Especially if it’s around Union St. / Wilson St. in Newtown.

But one thing I’ve started wondering is how all these people keep their bikes clean. I’ve tried keeping my ride tidy with degreaser whenever I lube my chain, but within one or two rides my bike is filthy again. In particular, I find that my chain is picking up a crapload of junk but whenever I see a schmick bike on the road it’s never got crud hanging off the chain and chain wheel.

Should I be taking the wheels and chain off my bike more regularly, to give everything a scrub with degreaser and suds? What about soaking the chain in between lubes?

Any tips or tricks for how your maintain your bike? Anything I should be avoiding when cleaning?

No!! lube up your chain and ride it until its dry. degreasing things over and over again is a bad idea. black grease all over you chain and chainring and sprocket is a good thing, its all lubricating. I had a geared bike that I didnt clean for over 4 years, didnt take the chain off to clean it, didnt CHANGE the chain, chainwheels or cassette in that whole time. The same group of stuff is still logging a lot of miles on my brothers bike. and my bike was always filthy… so much so that a mechanic in a shop told me i could use the workstand and his tools to clean it right then if i wanted to… some people hate to see a nice bike dirty, but its just being used, and protected.
plus, if youre using track nuts (instead of the far superior quick release) everytime you take em off and put em on and take em off and blah blah blah is wear on the threads and your dropouts/ends. set and forget, its what riding with one gear is about.
there are too many fat/skinny bastards who spend too much time cleaning their bike and bringing their saddles back to brilliant white after their long 40km sunday rides… just ride your bike more, its built for it.

They don’t ride them? Or they don’t ride anywhere near dirt or rain?

I stripped my roadie and cleaned everything (switching cranksets in the process) on Saturday and went out on Sunday morning straight into the rain. I hate that.

having a clean bike doesn’t mean it doesn’t get ridden. :stuck_out_tongue: i ride mine every day and i’d say it’s pretty clean. actually i just finished cleaning it cause it’d been a few weeks since the last clean…

sometimes i just wipe over it with a dry cloth but today it got the full treatment: warm soapy water and i wiped over it with a dry cloth as i went (inc: rims, spokes, hubs, chainring, chain lubed - with a different cloth). tomorrow it’ll get dusty in this crazy weather but whatevs.

each to their own of course.

Get a dry/wax lube.

See here:

Raceday from White Lightning is good too… I think it’s now called Clean ride:

I started used kry-tech in 2001 (yes, I like it so much I remember the date) and since then I hardly ever wash my chain (i.e. maybe once a year when I’m bored). The dry lube just flakes off when it gets dirty.

The finish line site has all the details on how to apply, when to reapply etc.

I reapply once a week or after rain. Before reapplying I just run the chain through a cloth (backpedalling) or through a chain cleaner with no degreaser/water in it.

I use it on the MTB too, and only wash my chain if it’s been a muddy ride.

See you on Wilson Street.

You’ve only got one bike, right? Once you start collecting the maintenance gets less attractive :slight_smile:

negative. i have two. one just gets ridden more than the other :slight_smile:

Looks like there’s a bit of contention about whether to keep your bike clean or dirty. I’ve got a 10 year old mountain bike that never got the maintenance (or cleaning) it deserved, so I guess I’m trying to make things right with my new bike. I guess it’s like buying a new car and trying to hold onto that new car smell - at some stage you’ve just got to let go ;).

I’ll will check out the dry lube though, since that might make things a little better on the chain front. At the moment I’m using a bottle of Pedro’s Go! lubricant, recommended by the friendly folks at Cheeky Transport…but I’ll keep my eye out when it starts to run out.

dirty bike?
buy a new clean one

OK, I guess I’m lazier than you then :slight_smile:

But…I do keep the drive trains clean. But I tend to not clean the frames and aesthetic stuff all that often.

And I do have one bike that never sees dirt or rain :slight_smile:

I adopt the lazy cleaning mentality. Of course, the fantastic thing about fixed gear bikes are their ease of maintenance and you don’t have to do very much to keep it in good nick.

I ride my fixie in the wet and dry (like today). The only thing you really have to worry about with a street fixie is the chain- all you have to do is wipe if down with a dry cloth every week, get the gunk out of it, and then squirt on a little bit of TriFlow.

This is assuming too that you have a sealed BB, hubs and headset.

Yeah, I’ve been enjoying that aspect of it. Trying to fix things on my old mountain bike was a nightmare, but with this bike it feels like I should be able to wrap my head around fixing most of it. I don’t think I’m capable of doing fiddly things like adjusting the spokes, though.

Sounds like a good routine to get into the habit of doing. I’ll give it a go.

And the flat tyres.

Bahh!! Blakey, don’t mention the flats… I’ve been going really well up to now!

Heh heh, Snowflake, I did exactly the same thing on Saturday - cleaned my roadie to within an inch of its life, could have eaten cornflakes off the drivetrain and then got caught in the rain this morning on the pre-work ride. Why does that always happen every time I clean it!

I normally clean drivetrain only once every 2-3 months, normally when it starts to get too noisy. Clean is nice and silent and great to ride.

Don’t ride straight after reapplying dry (not wet) lube - its meant to dry first, so leave it overnight would be my advice (as once passed on to me by a wise old sage).

I take off the chain, put it in a coke bottle with some kero, shake it around, let it soak for an hour or so, then take it out, wipe it down, add some tri-flow. It runs pretty quiet for at least a month after that.

I sometimes wipe my bike down with some warm soapy water, but not often.

I thought kero soaks were really bad for chains? Or is that just motorbike chains?

mc chains have orings. or xrings that perish when exposed to some cleaners. hence not using kerosene i imagine

kero works a treat for drivetrains.
ultrasonic cleaners are pretty sweet if you’re keen.

for the most part, lube the chain, wipe it with a rag to get most of the oil off. Lube it up again and use a less dirty rag to remove the excess. The first pass gets ride of a lot of dirt.