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Good commute today; bike cleaning

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

I haven’t ridden much since Sunday. I worked from home on Monday and drove yesterday due to thunderstorms. It’s weird, I have fun riding in snow, but rain gives me pause, even if it’s 60 degrees. Usually I’d ride anyway, but I wasn’t feeling it yesterday.


This morning’s commute was a little more normal but still warmer than you’d expect for this time of year, in the mid-30s or so.  It felt great to be back on my bike, even though I rode my old mountain bike with the knobby tires. My bike also looks great, since I hosed it down while it was so warm outside. I don’t like taking a hose to my bikes, as it seems like things are always a little funky afterwards, but I figured it was better than leaving all that road grime, salt and sand residue all over everything. And, the biggest problem I have seems to be with the disc brakes on my mountain bike, which didn’t get the hose — the rotors and pads tend to rust when cleaned with the hose. That strikes me as a bit ironic, since one of the advantages of disc brakes is supposed to be better all-weather braking. That’s true, so long as the rotors and pads don’t get too wet and rust, which leads to some horrible squealing. In all fairness, my disc brakes are pretty low-end …


I did hose down the road bike, but I haven’t ridden it since; we’ll see how it fares. How do you clean your bikes?

4 Responses to “Good commute today; bike cleaning”

  1. Noah Says:

    I clean my drivetrain by hand, but you’ll cringe when I tell you this:

    I clean my mountain bike’s frame, rims, and brakes with a power washer.

  2. Ian Says:

    I clean my bikes by hand. For my winter beater I use soapy water followed by a dry towel and sometimes a hair dryer. I know this sounds a little weird but my view is that I’ve invested money in my bikes and it’s my mode of transprtation outside of walking. The idea of one of my bikes getting rusty or being dirty makes me cringe. Once a week I strip the wheels off, do a full degrease and then grease. I find the once a week overhaul relaxing and has become something I look forward to.
    One ounce of maitenance can save pounds of repairs.

  3. Pete Says:

    I don’t. It’s a rusty, sloppy mess right now.

  4. Biking in Bloomington Says:

    I’ve cleaned my mountain bike with a power washer. Sometimes, the mud gets so thick and dries so hard that a power washer makes it easy to clean. But, I’m careful where I aim ithe water.

    Others have cringed when I mentioned the power washer but heavy mud takes forever to clean with a garden hose.

    In the winter, I’ve somtimes taken bikes to a car wash. It’s fast but doesn’t do a good job. I dry them and then do the standard lubrications.

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