1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Ride'n Dirty
    Reputation: Probie1Kenobi's Avatar
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    Taking the bike to a car wash

    Question:

    After riding today on very muddy trails I made the decision to take the bike to a do it yourself car was to hose off the mud.

    I know it isnt a good idea to use high pressure especially on the top/bottom tubes and in the hubs and breaks so I didnt. Actually the only place I used high pressure was on the tires to clean out all the mud. The regular pressure was used on the frame itself, thinking I would clean by hand the sensative areas of the bike once at home.

    Good idea or is it still bad to use the regular pressure nozzles at a DIY carwash?

    I HATE WORK, WORK IS BAD, WORK = NO BIKE, NO BIKE = NO GOOD.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
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    You don't have a hose at home? I wouldn't use the high pressures at a car wash to wash my bike.
    :wq

  3. #3
    Ride'n Dirty
    Reputation: Probie1Kenobi's Avatar
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    I live in an apartment & dont have access to a hose & water.
    I HATE WORK, WORK IS BAD, WORK = NO BIKE, NO BIKE = NO GOOD.

  4. #4
    ~Disc~Golf~
    Reputation: highdelll's Avatar
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    Honestly... ahh I give up

  5. #5
    Ride'n Dirty
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    Haha, thats funny.
    I HATE WORK, WORK IS BAD, WORK = NO BIKE, NO BIKE = NO GOOD.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Along the same lines, when I had a motorcycle I took it to a friends house for an organized Tech Day. While I went to mount a new front tire (a bit more complicated than a bicycle), one guy came just to wash his bike (like you, he also lived in an apartment).

  7. #7
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    Even the hose sprayer common to your home can push water past seals in the bearings and especially in the suspension components. Take your wheels off to clean them at the car wash and leave the rest of it alone. Once the mud is dry you can brush it off with an old, dry dish brush. The only parts of the bike that have to be clean are the suspension surfaces, disk brake rotors and the chain.

    Better yet don't ride in the mud so the trails don't form ruts causing accellerated erosion and your bike will also be cleaner. When it's muddy ride on the street...
    BBI certified, 12+ years as mechanic

  8. #8
    mighty sailin' man
    Reputation: MiniTrail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Probie1Kenobi
    I live in an apartment & dont have access to a hose & water.
    get a bucket and/or a watering can an carry it out

  9. #9
    local trails rider
    Reputation: perttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniTrail
    get a bucket and/or a watering can an carry it out
    I have access to a hose but a watering can and a dish washing brush is what I normally use.

    ... and yeah: drive train, brakes and suspension components are the places where the crud can actually accelerate wear.

    Some of us live in places where riding on wet trails does not cause trail damage. Meaning anything that would be noticable after a few days.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by highdelll
    Yes, try this
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mtbGreg's Avatar
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    Seriously though,

    I'd actually like to add that many LBS's have hoses that they are totally cool with you using.
    GregRidesTrails.com--An informational and instructional mountain bike blog.

  12. #12
    addicted to chunk
    Reputation: Shark's Avatar
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    When I got my first bike I did that.....never had any issues.....
    but I don't do that anymore.

    Try not to ride when it's that muddy out. If it does get bad, I wash it off before it dries...much easier.
    Riding.....

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    One of the shops in my area sometimes takes the really nasty bikes to a local coin-op carwash before tuning them up.

  14. #14
    mighty sailin' man
    Reputation: MiniTrail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmph8ter
    One of the shops in my area sometimes takes the really nasty bikes to a local coin-op carwash before tuning them up.
    nice

  15. #15
    mtbr member
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    Most tune ups include checking and adjusting or repacking the bearings most at risk and a good mechanic is slightly safer with a power wand than a noob rider would be. Plus if you have a bike covered in spiders or with an ant colony inside then it really doesn't matter. Power washed a few of the really bad ones myself, but if it were high end I would use a cleaning product (when Schwin wan't Pacific) called simply 'bike polish' (I said Polish cause it was so good, like the sausages) that cleaned and shined the frame. I think Trek (Wrench Force) bought the rights to it but can't remember if they call it something else. Works really good and can be buffed to a shine that actually repells water and mud.

    Still, stay out of the mud for your bike and your community. Sometimes you get caught in the rain. Once you've done some trail maintenance (even just one hour) you'll understand.
    BBI certified, 12+ years as mechanic

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Something I learned when racing desert races on a quad, when you know you'll be in some mud, spray a rag with WD40 and wipe your frame and parts down generously before you ride. The mud won't stick and will just slide off. Yes dust will stick to the frame where you wipe it down but the mud won't.

  17. #17
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    Hopefully that was a brushless car wash. I'd be pissed if I was next in line and my car's paint got scratched or swirly because the brushes had mud and debris embedded in them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by djriddle
    Most tune ups include checking and adjusting or repacking the bearings most at risk and a good mechanic is slightly safer with a power wand than a noob rider would be. Plus if you have a bike covered in spiders or with an ant colony inside then it really doesn't matter.
    Exactly. I think lots of folks make bikes out to be WAY more delicate than they really are. I mean we all know that spraying the hubs or BB directly with the full pressure would be a bad thing. But, if you can regrease/lube afterwards, it won't like make your bike blow up or anything.

  19. #19
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Probie1Kenobi
    Question:

    After riding today on very muddy trails I made the decision to take the bike to a do it yourself car was to hose off the mud.

    I know it isnt a good idea to use high pressure especially on the top/bottom tubes and in the hubs and breaks so I didnt. Actually the only place I used high pressure was on the tires to clean out all the mud. The regular pressure was used on the frame itself, thinking I would clean by hand the sensative areas of the bike once at home.

    Good idea or is it still bad to use the regular pressure nozzles at a DIY carwash?

    I have used the DIY car washes, but you need to be really careful where you point that thing. I've done it when I lived in Tahoe and would ride down in Auburn in the winter because I was in an apartment, and the 30 feet of snow outside made using the hose out of the question. I am not aware of any problems, never noticed the bearing any worse during that time. Like you said, be very careful about hitting the bearings with much pressure. In fact, I just avoided the pivots and other bearings completely with the power washer. I used the low pressure soap on the whole bike, and then used a water bottle or something similar to dump water on the parts I did not want to hit with real water pressure.

    It is not ideal, but it can work out.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  20. #20
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    The "high pressure hoses" at car washes aren't. You can put your hand in the path and it feels kinda good, that is not high pressure. Just don't put the nozzle super close to the bike and keep it away from the shocks and you will be fine.
    __________________________________________________ _
    I don't like carbon bikes becasue you can't put them in the camp fire.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Probie1Kenobi
    I live in an apartment & dont have access to a hose & water.
    Go into Home Depot and buy one of their 2 galon pesticide sprayer. It costs me $17 for mine. With 2 galons you have enough pressure and water to wash 3 or 4 bikes. I leave it in my car all the time. It's the perfect portable solution for a dirty bike right after a ride or before you take it inside the house.

    Something like this:

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

  22. #22
    .
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    Why does this have to be so freakin' complicated? Use a bucket full of slightly soapy water and one full of rinse water. Some rags, an old toothbrush, and maybe a cassette cleaning tool and you're good to go.

  23. #23
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    If you don't have a expensive bike it's fine. Just stand back a ways or use the low pressure setting. Make sure you lube it up.

  24. #24
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    I clean my bike after every ride. I don't use water, just brushes. I clean my chain with a rag and then put finish line dry lube on the chain. If it ain't in a stream, water is your bike's enemy.

    Talk to a good mechanic at your LBS and ask them whether it is a good idea to clean your bike with water or not.
    fesch
    Riding in snow is for the desperate.

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