Best way to fast lube/clean bike in 24 HR race- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best way to fast lube/clean bike in 24 HR race

    I'm just a few weeks away from my first 24 solo after doing a 2 person team last year. As my training has progressed I switched from wanting to just finish to wanting to compete for the podium. I have a dedicated pit crew (2-3 people) that will keep me going.

    My primary bike is a SWorks Stumpy FSR and I have an Epic comp 29er as a back up bike. During my training rides, I've noticed that a moderate to hard effort a lap only gives me around 3-4 minutes a lap faster time than a easy controlled smooth lap. So, I want to ride easier and make that time up in the pits.

    My current method for cleaning the bike in a long race involves using a park tool chain cleaner with a mild degreaser, water hose (from RV outdoor Shower), blowing water off with an air compressor then rock and roll Blue or T9 lube, and wipe dry with rag. Then quick wipe down all suspension and brushing off any caked dirt. This is not fast, more than 5 minutes. But will last 3-4 laps. I'm expecting to need 15-18 laps to podium and anything more than 1.5-2 hours off the bike will take me from a competitor to a finisher.

    Is there a fast way to this that works? Do I need this much cleaning? Another option I'm considering is a bike change after every 3 laps to my back up for a lap. However, my back up bike is a rental 29er with rented carbon wheels...never riden a 29er and want to stay on my Stumpy as mush as possible.

  2. #2
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    Typically I race on the same bike throughout the entire 24 and only get on my spare bike (if I can transport one to the event) if there is a problem with my primary bike. I put on the longest lasting lube possible given the particular conditions at the event and never stop for any chain or bike maintenance unless it's critical.

    For the first 6-8hrs I'll go non-stop, meaning a rolling resupply of Infinti bottles as I go past my pit. Right around that time it's gonna be night light setup and while I click my helmet light into place my pit just gives my chain a quick wipe with a rag and reapplication of lube, less than 30secs. Good to go until morning time.

  3. #3
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    There are several drivetrain cleaners that come in a spray can. I've used these in endurance events. They are fast and in conjunction with an air compressor might work well for you. I never have a compressor and find myself wishing things were a bit drier.
    Although it doesn't sound like your current 5 minute cleaning every 3-4 laps would hurt you that much. A combo of the 2 might be good. A spray can clean, blow, lube and go to get you to a full wash pit stop.

  4. #4
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    I spin the chain around a shop rag for several passes then apply a long lasting lube and I am good to go for 3-5 laps under normal conditions....that's all....it is easy and fast. If it is really muddy I will do this every lap.

    The more important thing is to keep up with regular bike maintenance and not start a 24 with a worn drive-train.

  5. #5
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    I would agree with STaylor and mtbne. Quick and easy. My two cents is to use a fairly heavy lube. It will attract dirt, but will last a long time. When you do the pre-lubing rag wipe, just squirt some brake cleaner onto the rag, and it will provide a surprisingly quick effective Poor Man's Cleaning prior to lube application.

    I can get overly picky with chain lubing for training, etc., but once in a 100 miler, I was fighting for second place and my chain was making noises like I had never heard. At the pits, I just grabbed an old spray can of TriFlow, squirted it on, and took off. It worked great, and took about 15 seconds. Sure, the drivetrain was filthy at the end of the race, but it was filthy in second, NOT THIRD, place!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Typically I race on the same bike throughout the entire 24 and only get on my spare bike (if I can transport one to the event) if there is a problem with my primary bike. I put on the longest lasting lube possible given the particular conditions at the event and never stop for any chain or bike maintenance unless it's critical.

    For the first 6-8hrs I'll go non-stop, meaning a rolling resupply of Infinti bottles as I go past my pit. Right around that time it's gonna be night light setup and while I click my helmet light into place my pit just gives my chain a quick wipe with a rag and reapplication of lube, less than 30secs. Good to go until morning time.
    Pretty much the same plan for me. I've come in second in a 24 by less than 2 minutes twice now. Pits should be calm and thorough but not include anything that isn't absolutely neccessary.
    Cheers, Dave

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