Cleaning Your Bike With Water

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Cleaning Your Bike With Water
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Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 12:35 Quote
Got a question here that I'm wondering about - Is it better to clean your bike with water or not with water. My LBS has been advising its customers that to prolong the life of bike parts (bearings, bottom brackets, etc.) that its better not to use water to wash your bike. The rationale is that the water gets in there and causes corrosion. They recommend letting the mud and dirt dry and then brushing it off the bike and then a rub down with a clean cloth. This time of year on Vancouver Island the trails are very wet and muddy and the bike is filthy after a ride. It seems strange to let all that crap dry and then brush it off rather than good rinse with a hose. I was wondering if anyone had some thoughts on this approach as good/bad idea..

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 12:51 Quote
What a load of crap! Get the hose out!

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 12:56 Quote
Just don't wash it,ride it,chuck it the garage,then repeat.simple.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 13:30 Quote
I used to wash my bike after every ride in winter... I'm lazy now. But my bearings are still great 2yrs in

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 13:44 Quote
Unless you need to carry your bike inside a car, or it needs to be in the living space of your house, you don't really need to clean them.

If you just like your stuff to look all shiny, then go ahead, but I don't really think there's any benefit.

Posted: Jan 23, 2020 at 17:35 Quote
I usually do the no wash method unless it's totally caked. I will spray off the tires pedles seat and bars chain and cassette. I'll flick off any nasty build up. Frame wise I'll usually let it dry and brush off.

Sometimes it's just not an option but I think a wash after every ride is excessive unless you don't mind popping off the bearing seals and cleaning/ waterproof greasing them at the end of the rainy season. Not a bad idea to do anyway, most bearings come poorly lubricated with non waterproof grease, and even though they have "seals" they don't seal perfectly.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 7:26 Quote
If you let the mud dry then brush it off you can say goodbye to the paint. Using water is perfectly fine, using a pressure washer is fine too, just don't point it directly at bearings and don't wash the bike upside down, it will ruin the headset in no time.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 7:36 Quote
Davec85 wrote:
If you let the mud dry then brush it off you can say goodbye to the paint. Using water is perfectly fine, using a pressure washer is fine too, just don't point it directly at bearings and don't wash the bike upside down, it will ruin the headset in no time.

All I've ever done is let it dry and knock it off and my paint is fine. I'm sure it depends on your local mud and how you get it off. If there are big lumps, I just break off the big lumps and don't worry about trying to buff off all the rest. It mostly falls off after a ride when dry anyway.

It's a mountain bike. It's made to go off-road. It's not really meant to be shiny clean.

Posted: Jan 24, 2020 at 10:53 Quote
In dry dusty parts of the world perhaps not much of a need to wash on a regular basis,
but at some point you should wash it, some folk dont wash there underpants, fine but
they stink after a while.

In wet muddy regions Its not just the thick mud, what about the slugs, dog shit,
amongst other crap, salt from the road gritters is another thing to remove
to avoid corrosion taking effect.

Throw a bucket of water over the bike to soften any dry mud dog shit etc,
then either hose it or power/pressure wash it, then lube as needed.

Dust is like fine ground down rocks, this layer sits on the bike frame and components
surface, when parts contact each other this thin layer of rock particles gets to work
in sanding away at the surfaces, a bit like rubbing 450 grit sand paper on your frame,
coupled with a bit of oil or grease and you got a nice polishing paste.

Mud is a combination of fine ground down rocks, rotted vegation, dead beasties and water,
stick this down your pants and watch and feel the chafing red raw skin after a bit,
water does wonders in washing this away : )

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