Thursday, January 31, 2008

Clean bikey!

Not much to say about last night's commute. This morning, I was extra hungry and there wasn't anything tasty at home, so I stopped by Burger King for some breakfast to eat at the bus stop. Once downtown, I saw the remnants of a pretty serious car crash. Lorin swung by to have coffee with me. It's been a few weeks, so that was cool. We bewailed the current state of the presidential race, bickered about music, and discussed the upcoming Bike To Work Week plans.

I swear, this time of year I spend almost as much time cleaning or fixing my bike as I do riding it. Okay, not quite, but I do spend more than a mere morsel of my week doing preventive maintenance, adjustments or repairs. If my bike is in any kind of disrepair, I pretty much have to figure out what's going on. Noisy chains, noisy brakes, and crufty shifting are not an option. Last night's clean and tune took a few hours but it was worth it.

I can tell you that I found the most awesomest degreasing agent ever made. Brakleen. Holy moly! Not only did it shine my rear gear cluster and chainrings up, but it evaporated in about a minute even outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures!

Anyways, here are some obligatory photos. Bath time for bikey!

My whole bike was covered in this grimy film:


I took the wheels off and scrubbed them down first, then threw the rest of the bike in the tub. First upside-down, then right-side up like this, but leaning over so it wasn't resting on the rear derailleur:


The rear cluster. I cleaned it with Brakleen and ran a rag between sprockets while it was still off the bike. This photo was after I re-lubed the drivetrain and all that good stuff.


The Goat is clean! Sorry for the over-exposure. The reflector tape throws it off and I mis-calculated the exposure time.



Random Tunage:
Des'ree - Dreams can come true
Sixpence None The Richer - Breathe

7 comments:

Chris Locke said...

My wife would kill me if I washed my bike in our tub. Then again, what she doesn't know will not hurt her. Washing indoors this time of year sounds like a good thing....

Noah said...

Chris, I should have replaced this:

"I swear, this time of year I spend almost as much time cleaning or fixing my bike as I do riding it."

with this:

"I swear, this time of year I spend almost as much time cleaning or fixing my bike and cleaning up after the messes I make as I do riding it."

It took me at least half an hour to clean the bathroom up after that little escapade. Had I not... well, I don't want to think about that!

Apertome said...

Your bike looks great. I don't think I'd go to all that trouble. I usually end up doing the best I can with my bike on a towel, using some degreaser and paper towels. I can't do as thorough a job as you have, but it doesn't take as long, either.

Anonymous said...

u came thru on the pics for me!cool,i also use a aresol brake cleaner on my derailers and cog,it evap"s quick,i also use a dust-a-way air in a sray can (no air compressor)to blow out chunks of debree.COOL TOPIC!,THANKS

Jennifer said...

I knew I couldn't possibly be the only person in the world who cleaned a bike in the bathtub.

Warren T said...

I have two very salty bikes that are waiting for a bath. I'm with Chris though, no way I'm going to get away with it inside the house.

Maybe I'll try the car wash if we get a dry day above 35 degrees.

Anonymous said...

When I come home in the aftn. I fill a gal. milk jug with warm water and just rinse all the salt/slush/dirt off the bike. Takes about 3min. I clean the chain/cassette once a week, Just a quick scrub. It it's dirtier. I'll remove the cassette and soak it in degreaser and run the chain thru a chain cleaner. Daily/Weekly cleaning is essential for Winter Riding. ScottNorthSide, Columbus,Ohio (considerbiking.org)

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