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  1. #1
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    Stupid question, but want to make sure

    Just got back from another messy ride and I have been battling with a newbie question about this for about a month.

    Whats the story on washing the bike down after a mud soaked ride? I have the Muc Off for the components, but should I stay away from hosing the whole thing down and then drying and relubing the parts? Or should I just stay away from water all together and just bit by bit clean the bike off?

    Whats the official direction on getting a days worth of mud and muck off the rig?

    Thanks...know its a really dumb question, but I don't want to mess up the new bike.

  2. #2
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
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    Wash your bike. Use hose water if you want, I have always done that. Don't direct high pressure spray directly on things with bearings like hubs, bottom bracket, headset area. Just use common sense and all will be well.

    Note: make an effort NOT to get water down your seatpost area, this runs down to the bottom bracket and most do not have a drain hole.

  3. #3
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    What about the trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by underdogoc
    Just got back from another messy ride and I have been battling with a newbie question about this for about a month.

    Whats the story on washing the bike down after a mud soaked ride? I have the Muc Off for the components, but should I stay away from hosing the whole thing down and then drying and relubing the parts? Or should I just stay away from water all together and just bit by bit clean the bike off?

    Whats the official direction on getting a days worth of mud and muck off the rig?

    Thanks...know its a really dumb question, but I don't want to mess up the new bike.
    If you're leaving ruts and packing muck on your bike, chances are you shouldn't be on the trails at all.

  4. #4
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    If you're leaving ruts and packing muck on your bike, chances are you shouldn't be on the trails at all.
    You should tell the horsie folks in northern Arizona this. Try riding 13 miles of singletrack with 8 inch deep hoof prints littering the trail every foot or so. I swear equestrians are the absolute worst trail stewards in all the land.

  5. #5
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    most mud just falls off if you let the bike dry.

    if you need to hose it off, pull out the seatpost and turn it upside down to get out any water that got inside the frame.

  6. #6
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Quote Originally Posted by underdogoc
    ...

    Whats the official direction on getting a days worth of mud and muck off the rig?
    just hose it off ASAP - if the mud is fresh, it'll just fall off. I don't like the argument of just letting mud dry... moisture will actually be on your bike longer overall than if you had just rinsed it. Like eatdrinkride said avoid getting water into seat tube - and don't go high pressure on bearing areas.
    give the bike a few good bounces to shake off excess water - hit some areas w/ a rag if ya need to then let dry
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  7. #7
    Anti-Outsourcer
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    +1 for horse riders not giving a sh!t about the trails.

  8. #8
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheeseSoda
    +1 for horse riders not giving a sh!t about the trails.
    x2, but for some reason MTBers get a worse rap than horse riders.

    i do like when the horse riders cross over onto the local bike trails and the horses crap everywhere.

  9. #9
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Quote Originally Posted by eat_dirt
    x2, but for some reason MTBers get a worse rap than horse riders.

    i do like when the horse riders cross over onto the local bike trails and the horses crap everywhere.
    Maybe find some horse only trails and crap all over them. Fair is fair you know!

  10. #10
    Vaginatarian
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    Don't know why, but everyone seems to miss the very first sticky at the top of the beginners forum, the one labeled" basic cleaning and maintenance guide"

  11. #11
    i call it a kaiser blade
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    Don't know why, but everyone seems to miss the very first sticky at the top of the beginners forum, the one labeled" basic cleaning and maintenance guide"
    real men don't read instructions.

  12. #12
    The Martian
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    How the heck did "how do I best clean my bike" turn into "bash the equestrians yet again".

    Just because *SOME* equestrians fudge up trails riding in the muck doesn't make it right for bikers to do the same. And just because a biker *MIGHT* have done this (fudged up a trail riding in too mucky conditions) doesn't make yelling about those *SOME* equestrians relevant to this thread.

    To the OP:
    I generally attempt to avoid hosing down my bike as I don't feel water is the best thing for it and it's normally never dirty enough to justify it. I just let the mud dry (normally is before I get home with the bike) and wipe it down with a damp cloth and clean the parts with a cloth and regrease/oil. I don't think a hose used with common sense will hurt a bike though and I've been known to use it to get the worst off frame and wheels when necessary (got stuck in a mudbog that shouldn't have been there while teaching a class. Yes to get that much mud on the bike involved hurting the trail; it was fireroad and was privately owned/maintained and fixed ASAP).

  13. #13
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    How the heck did "how do I best clean my bike" turn into "bash the equestrians yet again".

    Just because *SOME* equestrians fudge up trails riding in the muck doesn't make it right for bikers to do the same. And just because a biker *MIGHT* have done this (fudged up a trail riding in too mucky conditions) doesn't make yelling about those *SOME* equestrians relevant to this thread.
    Sorry........I guess.

    OP: Just wash the darn bike. Anyone who refuses to use water to wash a bike is just being anal retentive. It's not the space shuttle. Although I bet they wash that with water, I could be wrong. Maybe they use baby wipes.

  14. #14
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    Hosing it down is a great method. I see no problem with it. Just don't use high pressure, and be careful of this around the bottom bracket and bearings. You don't want to force water into these sensitive areas.

    Using a very mild detergent should be fine as well, just as long as you make sure to let it dry and regrease/relube the required parts as needed. If you do this, also make sure you clean your chain properly and relube with wet or dry lube as needed. Don't let water sit on your chain!
    2006 Giant Pistol 1 - Full XT Drivetrain

  15. #15
    Vaginatarian
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    washing a bike with water from a hose is ok
    going to a car wash and using the power washer is not
    the end

  16. #16
    Hoosier
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    Don't know why, but everyone seems to miss the very first sticky at the top of the beginners forum, the one labeled" basic cleaning and maintenance guide"
    You're crazy, whats next? Asking people to use the search or do a little bit of research on their own before posting?
    SS is like beer...its an acquired taste.

  17. #17
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    maintenence guide

    Quote Originally Posted by dan0
    Don't know why, but everyone seems to miss the very first sticky at the top of the beginners forum, the one labeled" basic cleaning and maintenance guide"
    Quote Originally Posted by Keatan
    You're crazy, whats next? Asking people to use the search or do a little bit of research on their own before posting?
    I went and gave it a look... I scanned through it all and saw nothing about washing mud.
    Did I miss it? If not, no need to be bashin' the OP
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  18. #18
    ...idios...
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    "I scanned through it all and saw nothing about washing mud. Did I miss it?"

    You did. It's in the section headed "Cleaning, Detergents and WD40", sub-headed "Detergents and Cleaners".

    What use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings? -
    Diogenes


  19. #19
    ~Disc~Golf~
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    Yep...quite right "If the whole frame is coated in mud then obviously it’ll all need washing down." - right there in black and white. I just missed that section I suppose. (could happen to anyone )
    Nice write up regardless Steve.
    [Bash On!]
    Honestly... ahh I give up

  20. #20
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    I think the best is to use a hose with a brush attachment, where the water flows through the brush.

    Can you imagine how much time some people must spend if they use a damp cloth to wipe it down! Hahaha!
    Mint condition Marzocchi 66RC for sale (170mm) pm to make an offer!

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  21. #21
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    i know this is probably overkill already, but i'll add my $.02- if things are really dirty, i get a bucket of somewhat soapy water (mild detergent) and use a sponge to clean it up. i try to get off all the mud with my hands first- as others have said, if it's dry, it usually "breaks" right off.

    around the drivetrain, i get all the chunks out with my hands or a screwdriver or similar tool (just to gently poke around in there)- you could spray the front and rear der a bit with a hose if you wish- just be sure to dry them and relube (i like to dry with an air compressor). i usually just get the big stuff out with my hands and then degrease and relube.

    enjoy! cleaning the bike is 1/2 the fun- great way to get to know your bike, too!
    ez

  22. #22
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDon
    I think the best is to use a hose with a brush attachment, where the water flows through the brush.

    Can you imagine how much time some people must spend if they use a damp cloth to wipe it down! Hahaha!

    10 minutes, MAX...

    While my bikes get dirty they rarely if ever get throughly caked in mud. If one did I'd have no qualms taking a hose to it first. But of course I stated that in my first post

  23. #23
    Doctor
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    Don't wash it.

    Clean and service the chain, of course. After the dirt dries, use a stiff brush to remove it from anything it's actually affecting functionally (perhaps v-brakes, etc.), or to reduce weight (e.g. fenders).

    Bearings don't like water. Fork tubes don't need any attention, either.

    I stopped washing my Epic years ago. I've serviced the forks/shock, and there's no contamination in the old fluids, nor any wear on the anodizing - although they looked filthy w/caked-on dirt before I serviced them. The wheel hub grease (I use Phil grease) stays clean after 1K miles, unlike when I was washing the bike.

    My bike looks like a tractor, but the vast majority of time I spend on it is riding.

    jeff

  24. #24
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    Bikes ain't fer lookin' ats, they be fer ridin!!!

    But yeah, unless it's really bad I just leave it until it dries, at which point it normally falls off on its own next time I ride. Every 3 months or so I make sure that everything gets completely cleaned, new grease, etc. and that seems to work just fine for me.

  25. #25
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    After your muddy ride, use the garden hose, then let it dry in the sun, or your garage, what-ever. Once it's dried off, douse it with 409 spray to get the rest of the residue off. 409 kicks arse! It'll get some of the oily grime off too, then your rig will look nice and shiny before you go and play again. Any shop rag or thick towel works with the 409 too, btw.

  26. #26
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    Wash it with a hose just like a mototcycle. Don't use a high pressure sprayer. Once all the mud is off. Clean the drive train thoroughly. Then wash the bicycle with soapy water and a soft cloth. Rinse, then lube the drive train. The more often the bicycle gets washed, the more often the cables will probably need to be lubed. Use whatever automobile wax on all painted areas of the frame once it's nice and clean. I prefer a carnuba wax.<BR><BR><HR align="left" width="25%">Clean bicycles weigh less
    Last edited by KevinBicycle; 01-14-2009 at 11:45 AM.

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=CougarTrek]Just because *SOME* equestrians fudge up trails riding in the muck doesn't make it right for bikers to do the same. And just because a biker *MIGHT* have done this (fudged up a trail riding in too mucky conditions) doesn't make yelling about those *SOME* equestrians relevant to this thread.

    Did no one else catch this?
    He said "Fudge"
    hahaha.... mental pic......sorry just my inner 12 year old. Couldn't pass it up.

  28. #28
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    I never had an problems hosing off the mud as has been mentioned several times.
    except that one time after getting totally drenched out on the trial I thru the bike in the garage and left it for over a month. it never was the same after that!

    anyways after washing I will spray wd40 on the chain to displace the water. After wiping down and drying it, lube of the chain with oil then wipen down the entire chain with a thin coating of oil to prevent rust. Dont use was wax lube or dry lube, they wont prevent rust.

    WD40 doesn not lube. I use the it as a penatrant rather than as a lubricant.
    I have used WD40 successfully on Radio Controlled electronic equipment to displace moisture.

  29. #29
    The Martian
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    [QUOTE=jayusl]
    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Just because *SOME* equestrians fudge up trails riding in the muck doesn't make it right for bikers to do the same. And just because a biker *MIGHT* have done this (fudged up a trail riding in too mucky conditions) doesn't make yelling about those *SOME* equestrians relevant to this thread.

    Did no one else catch this?
    He said "Fudge"
    hahaha.... mental pic......sorry just my inner 12 year old. Couldn't pass it up.
    Hey, ya gotta get around the forum sensors somehow. Glad you found this more amusing than the typical *.

    PS: I'm a she

  30. #30
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    Sorry I didn't get the "cougar"=female from your name.

    Excellent way around the sensors. I can't think of a better word to use than FUDGE.

  31. #31
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayusl
    Sorry I didn't get the "cougar"=female from your name.

    Excellent way around the sensors. I can't think of a better word to use than FUDGE.
    Hum, hadn't thought about it that way before. Cougar in my username actually refers to my first bike that is named Cougar (and is incidentally a Trek). The bike was named by my college proof structures class after I convinced them that I had been mauled by a Cougar with the impressive chain ring gouges in my leg.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CougarTrek
    Hum, hadn't thought about it that way before. Cougar in my username actually refers to my first bike that is named Cougar (and is incidentally a Trek). The bike was named by my college proof structures class after I convinced them that I had been mauled by a Cougar with the impressive chain ring gouges in my leg.
    Thats hilarious! Maybe I can borrow that story,with your permission of course, but insert alligator instead of cougar.Not to many cougars down here in the swamps Second thought, the cougar thing could spark panic and send people running for the safety of their locked doors. Yep cougar stays.

    Sorry to hijack thread.
    Question: Wash it?
    Answer: Yep, I do.

  33. #33
    The Martian
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayusl
    Thats hilarious! Maybe I can borrow that story,with your permission of course, but insert alligator instead of cougar.Not to many cougars down here in the swamps Second thought, the cougar thing could spark panic and send people running for the safety of their locked doors. Yep cougar stays.

    Sorry to hijack thread.
    Question: Wash it?
    Answer: Yep, I do.
    For sure, use at will

    *hijack over*

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