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I'm moving from the UK to Australia later this year, and shipping most of my stuff, including two bicycles (simply hybrid bikes, nothing fancy).

Australia has strict biosecurity rules about what you can bring into the country, including cleaning requirements for things like bikes. They want to avoid you bringing in any foreign seeds or bugs that could cause problems.

I have a cheap power washer that would certainly do a good job of cleaning the bikes, but I'm concerned that it could blast water into bearings and whatnot, potentially causing issues.

What do you recommend?

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    Ideally, you'd wipe the bike down with a damp cloth and possibly some cleanser/soapy water. If this isn't possible, you'd probably end up having to repack and re-grease all the bearings. – Batman Jun 30 '16 at 18:30
  • see also: Bike washed with pressure washer. How to recover? – Móż Jun 30 '16 at 22:09
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    Consider not shipping the bikes. Sell them locally and take the cash. – Criggie Jun 30 '16 at 22:39
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    Unless the bikes have significant value or would be hard to replace, it's almost certainly cheaper as well as easier to sell them and buy new ones when you arrive here. A cheap bike is $100 on local buy-sell websites, or $100-$500 from a shop (it's always tempting to spend more). Bikes are also ugly to pack, but getting bikes boxes and fitting bikes into them is a bit of an art, but if you pay a bike shop to do that you're really wasting money compared to buying bikes in Oz – Móż Jun 30 '16 at 22:42
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Power washing will clean your bike, followed by closely after forcing you to replace all your bearing compartments. This means your headset, bottom bracket, pedals, and wheels (hubs, freewheel or freehub).

Do not powerwash your bike. At all. With all the effort it would take to properly "cover" all the bearing compartments, then had washing all those areas after, you could have just cleaned the entire bike by hand properly.

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To tell you the truth, (I've gone through the experience) it's quite easy! Just be sure to cover or somehow protect the grease nodes or bike wheel hubs to not get water in the shifting mechanism. After washing, be on the safe side and squirt some oil into gears, brakes, etc. Hope it helps,

Pyotr

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