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cleaning a bike ?

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What is the proper way to clean a bike?? We have 2 Trek 3700's. they ride on the back of the camper every weekend and ride dusty trails and sit out all weekend. what is the right way to clean the grime off of it??


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Good question. It sounds like an easy thing to do, but is actually quite an art.

Put the bike on its kickstand if you are a wussy(jk), or lean it against something. Get a bucket of soapy water(dishsoap), 2 sponges, a few rags/towels, and an old toothbrush. Remember to keep the rags/sponges you use on the drivetrain(chain,rings,cassette and derailluer) separate from the ones you will use on the rest of the bike; you dont wanna smear gunk/grease all over your frame!

Spray the chain, rings(the front sprockets), and cassette(cluster of gears on the rear wheel) and derailluer pulleys(the part that shifts the gears on the rear wheel) with most any household cleaner like 409 or Fantastik. Really soak it good and let it work a min or so. Then take an old rag and get the major gunk off. Repeat. Spray the cassette and derailluer good again and use the toothbrush to get the gears really clean. Rinse with soapy water and sponge until it looks spiffy.

If you have dried on mud, take a rag and knock off the big chunks first. Then take a new sponge/rag with soapy water and wash off the frame. Its ok to rinse with a garden hose, but DONT use a pressure washer as you risk forcing water into the bearings, etc. which is bad. After rinsing, wipe the bike dry.

Now its time to lube your chain as cleaing it should have removed the lubrication. Get a good chain lube from a bike shop and apply the lube to the chain liberally(dont put lube on the rings or gears). Pedal the chain backwards for a while as you apply lube to the entire chain. Then take a rag and wipe off the excess lube as it will only attract dirt and you are good to go.

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