Clay soil and dust- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Clay soil and dust

    Hi I am new to MTB but have hiked a bit in bay area parks
    I notice the grounds are very dry, cracked sometimes, and rock hard by this time
    it kicks up alot of dust that gets on the gears and everything..

    Is it hard on the bike and how do you get the clay dust off? What is your cleaning routing after each ride? I just got a new bike and would like to take care of it like I take care of my cars etc.. Yet I don't think I am commited enough to take off my cassette and degrease it and relube it each ride, for 2 bikes

    it seems to me the dust is more harsh than other regions that get a bit more rain that has more muddy and soft grounds.

  2. #2
    aka baycat
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    No it is not hard on the bike. These things are meant to get dirty and used.

    I do two things depending on my level of laziness. Let the dust, mud, soil, clay, horse **** dry and then brush it off. Or hose it off after a ride and let dry or towel off. Stay away from blasting the bike with high pressure.

    I lube my chain after it has been cleaned so it is ready for the next ride.

  3. #3
    Feeling a little taller
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    When it comes to dust, personally, I just clean and lube the parts after each ride. When I say clean, I mean that I typically just wipe off any dust and dirt with a soft rag. I might us a plastic-bristled brush to get any dirt from between the cogs and the chain rings. I flush the chain dirt out with a cheap thin wet lube and wipe it down with a rag, then apply new, thicker lube to the chain.

    When it comes to the thick mud of winter, that's a different story.
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  4. #4
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    Can you recommend some products?
    maybe finish line citrus degreaser and the dry lube?

    does it take a different skill to ride on these arid lands which seems more tractionless to me.. I grew up in BC and always almost has moist and soft ground when I rode as a teenager..

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    Can you recommend some products?
    maybe finish line citrus degreaser and the dry lube?

    does it take a different skill to ride on these arid lands which seems more tractionless to me.. I grew up in BC and always almost has moist and soft ground when I rode as a teenager..
    personally...i never degrease a chain....i simply grab it with a rag..reverse spin the cranks to get most of the gunk off then apply your favorite lube/cleaner and wipe again (i like Rock N Roll Blue FWIW)....takes about 90 seconds...

    then replace the chain when it gets all stretched out...easy peasy...

    what rear tire are you running?.....and where are you riding?
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  6. #6
    Feeling a little taller
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    personally...i never degrease a chain....i simply grab it with a rag..reverse spin the cranks to get most of the gunk off then apply your favorite lube/cleaner and wipe again (i like Rock N Roll Blue FWIW)....takes about 90 seconds...

    then replace the chain when it gets all stretched out...easy peasy...

    what rear tire are you running?.....and where are you riding?
    What CHUM said!

    NEVER use degreaser on a chain. The degreaser remains in the nooks inside the rollers and pivot points and destroys any new lube it comes in contact with.

    And never use WD-40 on a chain!

    http://bicycletutor.com/no-wd40-bike-chain/

    This guy is my new hero!
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


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  7. #7
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    OK.. I am going to get a brush or something..
    so I read the cleaning guide on the newbie forum and
    it seems like you can just kind of "floss" the spocket with a rag, run the chain in the rag and relube?

    Is finish line dry lube /w teflon a good one?

  8. #8
    I like mtn biking, too
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    Don't forget to wipe off (floss) your fork stanchions with a soft cloth. This and what-Chum-Said are the only 2 things I do (or, if I get home from my ride really late, I don't do anything - especially if it's just dust). If it's really muddy and excessively dirty, I will use a low pressure hose.

    http://steveukmtb.wordpress.com/basi...hock-cleaning/
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  9. #9
    Paper or plastic?
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    Last time, I got so lazy, I just used the compressor to blast the dust off, then lubed the chain.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  10. #10
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    actually...the easiest is just convert to SS and lube a SRAM PC-7X once every 4 months with Phil's Tenacious oil......

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  11. #11
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    In November I ride through a big mud puddle and all the summer dust just rolls right off.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    NEVER use degreaser on a chain. The degreaser remains in the nooks inside the rollers and pivot points and destroys any new lube it comes in contact with.
    While I now use the same method as Chum for most regular maintenance, I have to point out that "degreaser" is a very broad term and this generalized warning doesn't apply to all of them.

    There certainly are degreasers that will stay behind unless thoroughly cleaned, which as you pointed out is nearly impossible to actually do. Almost all degreasers sold in a bike store are in this category.

    There are also degreasers that evaporate on their own and so won't destroy lube applied afterwards. Acetone, Mineral Spirits, Kerosene and others. You can safely soak your chain in these degreasers as long as you give them some time to air out

  13. #13
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    If the chain needs degreasing, it needs to be removed from the bike IMO.
    Degreasing on the bike can cause damage to other parts of the bike. Like the hub bearings, freehub, disc brakes etc.

    I think the most important thing to do is wipe dirt/dust off the fork/shock stanctions before every ride. And when you need to lube your chain, just grab it with a rag and back pedal as chum stated....then lube it.

    Here is what I do if I feel that the chain needs to be degreased.
    Remove chain from bike ( helps if you use a quick link, suck as a SRAM power link, connex link, or KMC link)
    Put it in the parts washer and soak in a tub of degreaser for about 5 minutes, or however long it takes me to do other things to the bike, like scrape gunk off of derailluer pulleys, and brush down the chainrings and cassette.
    Scrub chain with stiff bristled brush until the degreaser comes out clean-ish and all plates look clean.
    Rinse chain in warm water while moving links around until water comes out clean.
    I'll cup the chain in my hand while the water is flowing and kind of bounce it around to work the links.
    Blow the water out of the chain with an air compressor until no water comes out. Hit both sides with air, then spray air down into the rollers.
    Lay chain out on a rag, coiled up, and put a dot of lube in between each inner plate. Flip and repeat.
    Lay chain out straight and put a small dot of lube on each roller.
    Use a clean rag to remove all excess lube.

    Usually if I am doing all this, I will remove the cassette and cranks too, and soak them in the parts washer as well. Maybe even do the front and rear derailluer too.
    At this point, I'll change out all the cables on the bike and brush down the frame and clean it so I can easilly inspect it for damage.
    Then It's not a bad idea to take the front fork apart and change out the bath oil.

    This is not something I would want to do all the time, but usually do it every 6-12 months, leaning more towards 12.

    I usually lube my chain every other ride and dust off the stanctions every ride.

    I don't bother cleaning my bike at all unless I am doing a complete teardown as stated above.
    I try to never wash the bike either.
    I will only do it before a big bike trip, and the only reason I am doing so is to inspect for damage.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  14. #14
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    Thanks!
    Are there such things as stanctions covers?
    beside keeping the dirt out, I am putting the bike on the roof of my car and who knows some little rock may chip it when driving at freeway speeds.. I have had things hit my roof before

  15. #15
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    IMO, the stanction covers do more harm than good.
    Problem is that you get a little dust under them, and you may as well have sand paper covering them.
    If you do use them for transport, don't ride with them on.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    Thanks!
    Are there such things as stanctions covers?
    beside keeping the dirt out, I am putting the bike on the roof of my car and who knows some little rock may chip it when driving at freeway speeds.. I have had things hit my roof before
    yes, there are but you have to keep up just as much or more with cleaning because any dirt, grit and grime that does get in will be trapped against the stanchions and seals.

  17. #17
    Wēk Ss
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    I'm lazy. I hose it down gently with the hose in shower sprinkle mode. people say don't hose, but i couldn't care less. parts come, parts go.

    i just use dishwashing soap (dawn) if I need any sort of assistance, but a brush, water, and elbow grease go a long way.

    still...i'm lazy, screw it....hose it down gently (soft shower mode), wipe down with a shop towel, grease/lube the stanchions and shock, and park it. scrub the chain and lube it now and then.

  18. #18
    Ride More - Suffer Less
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHUM
    personally...i never degrease a chain....i simply grab it with a rag..reverse spin the cranks to get most of the gunk off then apply your favorite lube/cleaner and wipe again (i like Rock N Roll Blue FWIW)....takes about 90 seconds...
    I do the exact same thing using the same product. I really load up the RR Blue and then do another rag reverse spin which actually does some cleaning.

    I never clean my bike with water as it just gets in places I dont want it. If I need to clean parts I dissemble, clean, re-lube as needed and assemble.

    If I replace a tube or tire I will clean the wheel and hub throughly.

    If your the type that you must have a clean bike try WIPING parts down with WD40, it makes cleanup easier. DONT USE WD40 as a lube, just almost like you would use armor-all. I did this on my MX bikes for years and works great, plastic and all. NOT on seat.

  19. #19
    CHOCOLATE NASTIES Baker
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    There was a whole thread about drive train cleaning.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=465302
    Master of the unintentional track stand.

  20. #20
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    I use one of those Park chain cleaning machine thingys.

    As for degreaser, I just use regular liquid dish soap. It's mild, washes off easily, and works just as well as the big stuff. I give the chain a light spray to get rid of the soap, and it looks like new. Wait until it's dry before you put on lube.
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