A happy bike is a clean bike. How to keep your bike squeaky clean effectively and safely.

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35
votes
7answers
46k views

Is it really going to damage a bike to wash it with a hose?

I was chatting to the guys at my LBS the other day about how they get my bike so clean when I take it in for a service. They said they use compressed air to clean it. They warned I shouldn't use any ...
23
votes
5answers
6k views

How bad is road salt for my bike?

I took my mountain bike out yesterday in the snow. Did some hills around town, riding through slush and puddles, and all sort of dirt/mush/ice/snow. I gave the bike a pretty good wipe-down after the ...
23
votes
2answers
904 views

How to wash a bike properly? [duplicate]

I use my bicycle in a typical urban commute setting. No extreme MTB, but it still accumulates some dust and grime. How should I wash my bicycle?
20
votes
10answers
42k views

What to use to clean your chain (and cogs)?

I've just tried cleaning my chain and cogs with some really hot water and washing-up liquid. I also used a toothbrush, j-cloth and a non-scratch scourer. After over an hour of some serious elbow ...
20
votes
10answers
55k views

Homemade bicycle degreaser liquids

Does anyone have a recipe for a homemade bicycle degreaser solution? I'd like to make my own degreaser solution instead of buying one. I have read about using lemon juice and various types of alcohols ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Practical cleaning routine for a commuter bike

I regularly (almost daily) ride my bike, often in bad weather. I mostly ride on roads, but sometimes through parks, forest etc. on unpaved surfaces. My bike is usually rather dirty, at least the lower ...
18
votes
13answers
32k views

Simplest and best way to keep water bottles clean and hygienic?

Obviously a daily wash with washing up liquid and water is a good start... But with all the use a water bottle gets and the mouthpiece being exposed to the elements whilst cycling through who knows ...
18
votes
8answers
14k views

How can I clean sand off my bike chain?

Recently went for a ride in the forest, there were sections of sand and I can clearly see sand on my bike chain now. How can I clean this off effectively? There are chain cleaning "machines", but ...
17
votes
8answers
8k views

How to clean white handlebar tape?

I have bought not so long ago (about two month) brand new and the shiny white from my handle tap have become pretty dirty: I am tempted to just change the tape to another color - that would be ...
16
votes
9answers
3k views

How to keep the pants from getting dirty

If it is wet, not necessarily pouring rain, it is easy to get the bottom of the pants and the shoes dirty. My tires have protective platesfenders, yet it is not enough. If there a way to avoid that?
16
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I make my pannier bag less smelly?

Because I ride my bike everywhere, my pannier bags (Ortlieb Back Roller Classic) carry all kinds of cargo, from wrapped-up fish-and-chips to damp swimming and gym kit. I store them open whenever I can,...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Minimal effort chain cleaning

One of the main reasons I eventually give up my bicycle commute in winter is that keeping my bike -mainly the drivetrain- clean despite all the rain/dirt/salt/hail/snow becomes too much of a time suck....
14
votes
1answer
646 views

What is a sensible user service schedule for a professional work bike in non loaded applications such as food delivery?

I am now a food delivery boy. I currently check brake and tyre pressure daily by riding. I wipe my chain and brake surfaces weekly. My weekly run is 400 km and 66 hours on road. As a non mechanic ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I clean the grease off the gears?

I usually keep my chain well lubricated. However, my gears are usually greasy. Should I be cleaning the gears or are they supposed to be greasy?
13
votes
5answers
5k views

Do silent freewheels exist?

I have only just noticed that my bike dosen't seem to make a lot of noise when free wheeling, in fact it's pretty much silent. Is this down to the fact that I have been putting off a major clean?, is ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is my chain so noisy after cleaning and lubricating?

I have recently gotten into commuting to work with a road bike. Once a month or so I will degrease, clean, and lubricate the chain. I change through all the gears to distribute the lubricant and ...
12
votes
8answers
25k views

How do I clean chain grease off my clothes?

I commute to work, and often wear my khakis on the ride in. As such, my clothes often get chain grease on them. What products or cleaning strategies do you know that work to remove chain grease from ...
11
votes
6answers
6k views

Preventing rust in bolt heads

I have several bikes and use them more and more in bad weather. I have no problem with rust on the chain, but I am seeing little bits of rust in the various hex bolt heads on the bike. What can I use ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How often should I strip my bike down?

How often should I give my bike a full service? Strip the bottom bracket, clean and grease it. Strip the groupset and freewheel. And what products (or type of) should be used for each process? It's ...
10
votes
4answers
8k views

How often should I clean my bike?

How often should I clean my bike? I've used it several times over the summer, but only once in muddy conditions, should I clean it after every ride or once per quarter?
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Whats the easiest way to clean my bike?

Simple question, however, I am used to cleaning my bike at my parents house, I use some eco bike spray stuff leave it for a little then rub and hose down (I normally get it quite dirty riding down ...
10
votes
9answers
5k views

Where can I get some rags?

As I'm getting into the habit of cleaning and maintaining my bike more often, I am burning through my stockpile of rags. Up until now I have been using worn-out clothes as rags. I am going to run out ...
9
votes
9answers
4k views

How do I get rid of odor from cycling shoes?

So I have a pair of: Diadora X-Country 2 MTB Shoes (pic below) How would I go about cleaning them, primarily to remove odor? I am tempted to put this in the washing machine- but the cleet is totally ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

Is my bike getting ruined?

I have a 2015 Giant Trance that is about 3 weeks old. Used pretty much every weekend. It's kept in a shed (fully covered, no insulation just a regular shed), after every ride I give it a nice clean ...
8
votes
6answers
968 views

Oiling bike frame to keep it cleaner?

A friend recommended that I take an oily cloth (with regular motor oil or such) and wipe down the entire surface of my mountain bike frame. He claims that it's easier to hose off after, and it ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How to wash a bike helmet properly?

What is the best way to wash a bike helmet? The straps are getting a bit rank from sweat and I'd like a better alternative to just hosing it down.
8
votes
2answers
512 views

Eco friendly Bike cleaning

What is the most eco friendly way to clean your bike? I want to use a degreaser and other cleaning solutions that are biodegradable.
8
votes
1answer
354 views

Bike washed with pressure washer. How to recover?

I lent my bike to a friend of mine who washed it with a pressure washer. I already replaced the bowden case, which prevented me from using the brakes due to the washed out lubrication. I lubricated ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I clean the inside of a freehub?

I didn't know any better and I let degreaser drip into the freewheel body of my Shimano FH-RM65. Now it makes a terrible retching noise when it rotates. How do I clean the inside of this thing? ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Cleaning Cable Housing?

I commute about 3600 miles a year and I am able to keep my gears adjusted pretty well. I do find that I get a lot of grime from rainy, muddy conditions, and I think I might be replacing my shift ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a self cleaning lube enough for chain maintenance?

I've been trying to figure out what I should use when cleaning my bicycle chain. When I first purchased my bike, I knew I needed to lube my chain when i did regular maintenance. I purchased some ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

How to clean a rear derailleur?

This has always bugged me. At the end of the season I'm breaking down my bikes and cleaning every inch of them and I get to the derailleur and can't seem to ever get all the junk out of the middle of ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it possible to put a chain on without removing the rear wheel?

I have a bike with a single chainring up front and an internal hub and a coaster brake in the rear. (For those unfamiliar with this setup, it's essentially like having a single-speed bike in that the ...
6
votes
3answers
236 views

How to clean sweat-soaked handlebars/handlebar tape?

I just moved to a new apartment in a more humid climate, and while fiddling with my bike trainer setup, I've noticed that my gloves and handlebars are soaked with sweat at the end of a ride on the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Reusable gloves for bike repairs?

I'm looking to degrease/lube the chain, adjust disc brakes, clean, etc. at home, but don't want to get my hands dirty. (Zinger alert.) Are there any special re-usable gloves for this kind of bike ...
6
votes
5answers
215 views

Why are rear wheels dirtier?

I have noticed that my rear wheel is always considerably muckier than my front one, after a wet commute. Why should that be? They both travel the same distance and terrain. I assume this is a common ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What do I clean disk brakes with?

I know I need to keep the disks clean on my bike, but if I've got them covered in grease, what should I clean them with?
6
votes
2answers
14k views

How to remove rust from gears?

I have a 2 year old Diamondback bike with gears that have already rusted while living in the desert southwest. I'm not sure how or if they can be cleaned. Also, was something I should have done to ...
5
votes
4answers
346 views

Can Park Tool CG-2.2 kit work with the bike upside down?

I've recently acquired a new bicycle with coaster brake and internally geared hub. Naturally, I'd like the bike to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, the local weather seems to be stuck in "...
5
votes
1answer
377 views

High pressure water cleaning and chain lube

After mountain biking in muddy conditions I clean my mountain bike with a high pressure water blaster. I'm assuming that after this I should re-lube my chain?
5
votes
2answers
198 views

Bike Washing Steps to know

I would like to wash my bike. Which cautionary steps should I take? Which parts of a Bike are water sensitive? Which steps should I take after bike wash?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Alternative Chain/DriveTrain DeGreasers

My question is whether there is anything "special" about the Bicycle-Specific Branded Chain degreasers or whether the much cheaper alternatives are just as good. I've used the ParkTool CB-2 (http://...
5
votes
1answer
74 views

How to safely remove dried tire sealant from a carbon frame?

I have a carbon mountain bike frame with some good sections of tire sealant stuck on it (Stan's specifically). If there an easy and/or safe method for cleaning unicorn juice off without hurting the ...
5
votes
2answers
119 views

Cleaning and maintenance

I have a gearless bicycle. I ride it about thrice a week. Its spokes are rusted. Any suggestions to clean the rust? Also I need some good technique to clean the bicycle with rags and household ...
5
votes
1answer
4k views

Using WD40 for cleaning (not lubricating..)

I plan on cleaning/re-greasing my rear derailleur this weekend, something I've never done before. I watched a video on youtube.. the guy wiped it clean first, then used a spray lube (dry I assume?!) ...
4
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I clean my bike in winter?

How or where do I clean my bike in winter? I live in Michigan, USA and winter can be very harsh, along with the added salt used for ice removal. I am not commuting or anything, just occasionally ...
4
votes
5answers
792 views

Cycling clothing care products

Given a "standard" cyclist's wardrobe (e.g. paddded shorts, jerseys, moisture-wicking t-shirts and socks--made of blends of lycra, spandex, wool, and other "specialty" fabrics) what special-care ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Front derailleur sticking, not shifting. Will soaking in solvent damage parts?

I've got an older deore lx front derailleur for a mountain triple crankset. It wasn't shifting properly, and it seems that it's sticking and not returning back to a neutral position when I shift it. ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the loss of effective output, with a worn chain?

I was just bought a new fine ultegra chain for 10 speed road race bike. This is actually the first new chain for this not so old bike. I am a fan of statistics, measuring power with a power unit on my ...
4
votes
1answer
346 views

How dirty should the chain and the cogs be before I should consider cleaning them?

I'm new to bicycling and have been riding for a month or so. I just saw a few questions here regarding cleaning of the chain and thought "whoa, I should clean the chain". How dirty (visually) should ...