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  1. #1
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    Bike washing in he winter.

    What do you guys with out a garage do for washing your bike in the winter time?

    Went for a night ride last night at the Brant tract in Paisley, it started out with a nice crunchy base and right around 0deg. As the night went on we found mud, then it droped about 6deg and said mud completly froze my bike. No shifting and pedals were iced right over.

    Needless to say my bike stays in our side entry way to the house as I have no garage and basment is only a crawl space really. I laid down some garbage bags to catch the mud when it thawed out. But its soo caked with mud it needs a bath. My hose is put away and its been below frezzing in my area.

    Any tips short of driving to a car wash that will promptly destroy bearings?

  2. #2
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    I like to use one of these right around all the seals to make sure they are clean. Or if I don't have access to a power source my neighbour usually comes over to help (thanks Billy Joe)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike washing in he winter.-lickbike.jpg  

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  3. #3
    I build my own.
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    I go to the car wash and stand far away. Just close enough to knock the dirt off. Works fine and doesn't hurt anything.

    I saw someone suggest a garden pump sprayer in another thread. I've never tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
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  4. #4
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    Maybe lay down a tarp in the house and clean it before the wife gets home?

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  5. #5
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    Pretty small house. I will have to try the car wash and be careful I guess. I dont plan on riding much on it after last night, going to keep my eyes open for a cheap used bike. I cant see frozen mud and grime being good for the drivetrain. It was so bad my chain started to freeze up after waiting for a rider to catch up.

    The waterpic is a neat idea. Just not sure if you were being serious or not

    Thanks

  6. #6
    No. Just No. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    The waterpic is a neat idea. Just not sure if you were being serious or not
    No.

    High pressure water streams (even tiny ones) aren't such a hot idea anywhere near any type of seals. A medium jet is fine for cleaning off larger deposits in some areas if you pay some attention to where you are directing it.

    However, back to trying to be helpful in the context of your current situation I usually just went old school with a bucket of warm water and a brush. Perhaps 5 minutes to get all the major junk off. Start high and work your way down. Then shake some water off by bouncing up and down on ground a bunch of times. Bring it inside then and if you're so inclined you can do a bit of detail work either at that time or later. Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.

    Alternatively, I have heard of some people carrying their bike in to the house, then cleaning sort of propped up in their tub during winter.

  7. #7
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by machine4321 View Post
    I dont plan on riding much on it after last night, going to keep my eyes open for a cheap used bike. I cant see frozen mud and grime being good for the drivetrain. It was so bad my chain started to freeze up after waiting for a rider to catch up.
    This is just one of the reasons singlespeeds make great winter bikes, especially rigid ones. Very little mech to freeze up and no seals to fuss over. I may be biased, but I think everyone would benefit from having one as a second bike.
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  8. #8
    GAME ON!
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    RIP Adam Yauch

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by saturnine View Post
    I totally agree. I'm about to build one up for that very reason.

  10. #10
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    I installed a hot water hose in the garage that can be used to make bikes sparkle and shine at sub-zero temperatures. Warm wash water also has the advantage of evaporating to a greater extend and encasing the bike in ice to a lesser extent, although you're still have some icing here and there if you leave the bike somewhere cold.

    Yeah, I just hose down the whole bike at moderate pressure. I've never had bearings fail particularly early, and replacing them every few years is not a big deal. And I guess if there was too much water in them, I would notice because it would freeze when I rode and mess things up..

  11. #11
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    I have 3- 5 gallon pails I got from work. I don't really bother with soap as then it needs rinsing.
    I wear rubber gloves and pour all the water over the bike and wipe it were needed. Most of the time I am only having to get rid of road salt and sand. The bike then goes on my bike stand in the basement over a tarp. I usually end up lubing the bike every other ride. I try to do a better cleaning job whenever we have a nice day. I know someone that did the bathtub thing and it took 3 weeks and two bottles of degreaser to get it clean. His girlfriend freaked.

  12. #12
    GAME ON!
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    I know someone that did the bathtub thing and it took 3 weeks and two bottles of degreaser to get it clean. His girlfriend freaked.
    apartment ftw.

    the bathtub should really only be used to get mud/dirt/salt off. thorough cleaning doesn't really require more than some plastic underneath.
    RIP Adam Yauch

    "M.C. for what I AM and do, the A is for Adam and the lyrics; true"

  13. #13
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    I did the shower stall thing in a rented apartment when I was in university. It looked like someone had taken a dump in the shower after I finished washing my bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I did the shower stall thing in a rented apartment when I was in university. It looked like someone had taken a dump in the shower after I finished washing my bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    I know someone that did the bathtub thing and it took 3 weeks and two bottles of degreaser to get it clean. His girlfriend freaked.
    Note that I was very careful to explain below that I've heard of other people who have tried it. Not me. Nuh uh. Never happened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
    Alternatively, I have heard of some people carrying their bike in to the house, then cleaning sort of propped up in their tub during winter.

  15. #15
    sheep in FOX clothing
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    Grease in the tub can be scrubbed out eventually... but if there is sand build-up in the drain, you could be pretty screwed.

    But yeah, when I rented in university....

  16. #16
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    Tub is out if the question lol. Its due for a tear down anyway so I will hit it with the car wash lightly. My fork needs to go in for warranty for the 2nd time this year. It will be a good time to get all the nooks and crannies that im to lazy to clean any other time.

  17. #17
    humber river advocate
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    depends where/what you ride...

    if in the snow... the snow will actually clean the bike pretty well.

    otherwise a bucket of piping hot water with a big brush and very little soap will do the job. just do it in some area people don't walk.

    if you ride in salt, get a winter beater. i would repack all bearings with cold temp salt proof/water proof grease. also use an anti seize compound with wide temp/marine rating on all metal to metal interfaces (not all anti seizes are the same) like Molyslip Copaslip Molyslip Canada Inc. :: Molybdenum Lubricants, Performance Lubricants, Copaslip Anti-Seize, EP2 Grease, Wear Reducing Lubricants, Oil Additive
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  18. #18
    Evil Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    But yeah, when I rented in university....
    Did it in a hotel room in Michigan one time...
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

  19. #19
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    I usually find if my bike is dirty, if I just ride it more it eventually gets "clean" again, particularly when the snow comes. Sadly, the same logic doesn't appear to work around the house.

    Quote Originally Posted by garage monster View Post
    This is just one of the reasons singlespeeds make great winter bikes, especially rigid ones. Very little mech to freeze up and no seals to fuss over. I may be biased, but I think everyone would benefit from having one as a second bike.
    Second bike? The day for considering what a second bike should be has long faded into distant memory... Though I suspect it involved more gears and more suspension!
    Perhaps "additional" would be more appropriate than "second"? N+1!

  20. #20
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    If its just mud I can clean it in the basement by spraying cleaner and wiping with some towels. Just knock off the big chunks of mud before you go inside.

    With snow and ice build up in the winter, I take a big bucket of hot water outside and dump it on the bike. That gets rid of all the snow and ice, and then you just wipe it down once you bring it inside. If you keep your bike in a cold place it would probably freeze though.

  21. #21
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    Thought I should post a pic. When I say mud, I dont mean the sprinkle you get from hitting a puddle.





    Normal dirt and mud, I couldnt care less about. I rarely wash my bike. I am super ocd on drive train stuff. I hate a dirty cassett and chain. Alot of the mid came off on the drive home as it was a bit wet out.

    Im not saying this is the muddiest bike ever but you can see that withbthe bike in the house and below 0 temps pose a problem for a quick clean up. Funny enough the wife hasnt said a thing about it.

    I think I am wearing her down!

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