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Maintaining the dirty bits...

Dec 13, 2009
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Currently trying to figure out the best way to clean the chain and other particulars of my Giant OCR.

How does everyone else clean their bike?
Do you ever de-grease the chain et cetera?
What type of product do you use to re-grease?

Went to a local store and the bloke told me to de-grease and then re-apply using a white "lithium grease". I;m finding that it is not sticking very well, and wipes off easily.

Any hints or suggestions???
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Noxious Chemicals

Clean all of my bikes with Muc-off. XC bike whenever I can get time, Road bike when I think it needs it (and it only goes out on dry roads) and transport bike about twice a year cos it is always going to get dirty again next week (Atlantic weather)

Clean all the chains with White Lightening De-greaser and their proprietary cleaning device then lube with Finish Line XC and cover (carefully) with WD-40. XC every ride, Road when necessary, transport every week whether it needs it or not but it usually does.
 
Jul 16, 2009
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hea Fingers

careful with De-greaser as it does clean but if it gets in the bearings it will strip the 'grease' and shorten the life of the component.

a power hose is a no no. will push water pass the seals and it stay there.!

soap and water and a dustpan brush, light oil and wipe it off in the summer heavy oil and wipe a bit a bit less in winter
 
Mar 11, 2009
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philcrisp said:
Clean all of my bikes with Muc-off. XC bike whenever I can get time, Road bike when I think it needs it (and it only goes out on dry roads) and transport bike about twice a year cos it is always going to get dirty again next week (Atlantic weather)

Clean all the chains with White Lightening De-greaser and their proprietary cleaning device then lube with Finish Line XC and cover (carefully) with WD-40. XC every ride, Road when necessary, transport every week whether it needs it or not but it usually does.

WD-40 is a degreaser, why are you removing your fresh lube:confused:
I hope you don't spray it anywhere near your hubs or bottom bracket:eek:

To the OP, when I clean my chain and cassette I remove them both from the bike and clean with degreaser and a stiff brush then when they are dry I put them back on the bike and re-lube. Then I shift through the entire cassette a few times then I wipe off the excess oil with rags. For the rest of the bike a bucket of soapy water and rags.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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www.oxygencycles.com
fffingers said:
Currently trying to figure out the best way to clean the chain and other particulars of my Giant OCR.

How does everyone else clean their bike?
Do you ever de-grease the chain et cetera?
What type of product do you use to re-grease?

Went to a local store and the bloke told me to de-grease and then re-apply using a white "lithium grease". I;m finding that it is not sticking very well, and wipes off easily.

Any hints or suggestions???

White lithium grease on the chain? WTF??? Lithium grease is best for BB threads, it isn't really made for external applications. Are you sure you were told to use a lithium grease or are you talking about a wax based product like White Lightning or Squirt (they're white but their not lithium grease).

Either a wax based dry lube or synthetic wet lube should be applied to the chain. One drip every couple of links then run in by spinning the cranks backwards for a bit and then wipe the excess off with a rag. Shouldn't need to use degreaser if you don't leave an excess of lube on the outside of the chain and you wipe the chain down with a rag before applying fresh lube.

Wax based dry lubes will fall off quickly if you don't let them sit and dry on the chin for 5-10 minutes. Often for a first application put a coat on the chain, let it sit for ten minutes and then apply a second coat.

Strongest degreasers I use on a maintained bike is Pedros Green Fizz or MotorEx Bike Clean, but honestly they're only a little stronger than detergent and water. Real degreaser I save for filthy bikes with caked on grime, or for winter XC if silicon grease has been used instead of lube.
 
Mar 4, 2009
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Here's how virtually every pro mechanic I've come across washes bikes:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/***-and-span-how-the-mechanics-keep-tour-team-bikes-clean

Personally, I use Dawn dish detergent for most of the washing and a strong, undiluted citrus degreaser for the drivetrain.

Keep in mind that regularly washing bikes is never a good idea unless you're going to be equally diligent about tearing things down and relubing the necessary bits.
 
James Huang said:
Here's how virtually every pro mechanic I've come across washes bikes:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features/***-and-span-how-the-mechanics-keep-tour-team-bikes-clean

Personally, I use Dawn dish detergent for most of the washing and a strong, undiluted citrus degreaser for the drivetrain.

Keep in mind that regularly washing bikes is never a good idea unless you're going to be equally diligent about tearing things down and relubing the necessary bits.

Pressure washer around the hubs, BB, headset is not a good idea. It's no big deal for the 'teams' with a van load of spares but for the everyday rider, pressure=dead bearings.

These guys are all about time, not ensuring parts don't get gooned up. I have heard the peloton go by and the amount of crunching, creaking, crank noise is amazing....

I take the chain off, take the chainrings off, take the cogs off, take the pulleys out of the rear derailleur. I clean all using a solvent(NOT a waterbased one like Pedros or simple green, this can rust the chain), a petroleum based solvent. Clean all, take the pulleys apart, clean and re GREASE(not oil). Then clean the frame/fork/wheels by wiping them down. use Pledge on the frame and fork.

I open the hubs, headset and BB once a year, in the late winter(February-ish). Clean, replace bearing balls and grasso(yes they are loose ball, but samo for cart bearings..if smoth, pry seal off, grease in there, if gritty, replace).
 
Mar 4, 2009
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Bustedknuckle:

Sorry, yes, should have clarified the bit about using pressure washers for general consumers - not a good idea and the teams tear the bikes down far more frequently than would be considered reasonable for average folks.

With that being said, though, the general procedure is still the same. Swap in a regular garden hose (on very low pressure) and you'll still end up with a very clean bike with minimal water contamination on critical bits and virtually no disassembly required aside from checking the bearings, cables, etc from time to time.
 
James Huang said:
Bustedknuckle:

Sorry, yes, should have clarified the bit about using pressure washers for general consumers - not a good idea and the teams tear the bikes down far more frequently than would be considered reasonable for average folks.

With that being said, though, the general procedure is still the same. Swap in a regular garden hose (on very low pressure) and you'll still end up with a very clean bike with minimal water contamination on critical bits and virtually no disassembly required aside from checking the bearings, cables, etc from time to time.

I agree. I use dish soap also, hose w/o a nozzle.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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titan_90 said:
WD-40 is a degreaser, why are you removing your fresh lube:confused:
I hope you don't spray it anywhere near your hubs or bottom bracket:eek:

It might be a degreaser but it if you're leaving a bike outdoors for any length of time, and I often need to, it keeps enough water etc off the chain to make a difference between weekly and daily lubes.
 
Dec 13, 2009
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badboyberty said:
White lithium grease on the chain? WTF??? Lithium grease is best for BB threads, it isn't really made for external applications. Are you sure you were told to use a lithium grease or are you talking about a wax based product like White Lightning or Squirt (they're white but their not lithium grease).

Either a wax based dry lube or synthetic wet lube should be applied to the chain. One drip every couple of links then run in by spinning the cranks backwards for a bit and then wipe the excess off with a rag. Shouldn't need to use degreaser if you don't leave an excess of lube on the outside of the chain and you wipe the chain down with a rag before applying fresh lube.

Wax based dry lubes will fall off quickly if you don't let them sit and dry on the chin for 5-10 minutes. Often for a first application put a coat on the chain, let it sit for ten minutes and then apply a second coat.

Strongest degreasers I use on a maintained bike is Pedros Green Fizz or MotorEx Bike Clean, but honestly they're only a little stronger than detergent and water. Real degreaser I save for filthy bikes with caked on grime, or for winter XC if silicon grease has been used instead of lube.

Thanks. The guy literally threw it in my hands and told me to buy it. I think i might go with a synthetic wet lube for the chain. And I'm definetely keeping the degreaser away from those bearings, when i need to use it.

THANKS ALL FOR YOUR HELP!!!!!