Bike Cleaning

Must admit, I’m not as fussy as I used to be about cleaning and lubing after a ride. I used Muc Off wet lube the last time I did the drivetrain and now it’s looking a tad black.

Was looking for tips and just watched Si on GCN giving his bike a 5 minute wash. Apart from the fact he whipped the back wheel on and off in 5 seconds and it takes me 5 minutes, he used WD40 as a degreaser and a lube. Says he has done this for years, winter and summer and has had no issues.

I thought WD40 was a big no no as a lube. Have I been wasting my time and money all these years?

Watching with interest. I need to know all the cleaning/maintenance tricks!

I used wd40 to clean the drivetrain on my wife’s bike. Worked really well. But then lubed with a dry Muc Off lube.

How often do you you lube the hard to get stuff - like pedals, cranks etc?

Last year switched to waxing chain. I bought a second hand slow cooker, and wax stays there permanently. I need to rewax after around 250km, just turn on slow cooker. pop chain on top of solid wax, come back down 45mins later and put chain back on bike

No idea whether it makes drivetrain more efficient, however, keeps the chain nice and clean all the time.

I heard reports that waxing chain makes chain last longer… its bollox, just replaced one, it did pretty much the same distance as old chain (4000km)

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Are you sure it was regular WD40? The brand has a range of bike specific products now, so maybe he was referring to those?

I use the MucOff equivalent spray: MO-94. I also use dry lube at this time of year, and wipe off the excess. A quick chain wipe after each ride cuts down on total cleaning time overall as it reduces the build up of the black sticky stuff (which is mud, worn metal particles from the chain, old lube, all mixed together).

So I spray (nowhere near disk brake rotors!) gently onto the chain, wait a minute, use a cloth, wipe clean, then next morning I lube the chain before the ride.

But I have transitioned slowly from hating the bike cleaning routine to absolutely loving it. Yesterday I removed the jockey wheels from my Tarmac to clean them properly. Did a cassette clean as well, and also cleaned up my daughter’s Isla Luath 26 which had sat for a while (and then she rode it around for half an hour).

I don’t degrease bottom brackets or headsets. About once every year or two I get my bikes serviced and he does that for me. Also the right time to retape the bars and check spokes etc… so I do the easy stuff well, and the hard stuff nowhere near often enough, but the bikes all run like a dream so it seems to be working!

The thing with wd40 is that it will clean your chain but it won’t lubricate it.

Chain lubing methods and products are much like arseholes (everyone’s got one)

The thing for me is after you’ve cleaned your chain it needs to be dry and free of any product before you reapply your chosen lubricant.

I’ve never tried waxing a chain but removing it once a week and sticking it in a slow cooker may seem like too much faff for some but I think I’m going to give it a shot.

@Matthew_Spooner what wax do you use?

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He says it was the regular stuff and it wasn’t a sponsored video, just something he’s done for years

He reckons degreasing/cleaning and then applying WD40 does lube it. Has had no issues on 5 hour wet rides.

Not sure but I get the impression he’s doing this after every ride.

ah ok. I wouldn’t do that personally but I come from a Moto mechanic background so am used to having specialist products for different jobs.

As for bike cleaning, I have a Park Tool PR21 stand which makes cleaning easy, and part from my mtb, I’ve ran Wippeman Connex chains for as long as I can remember and their reusable/ no tools link, make taking the chain off a doddle each time. (although, they did a long time to come out with a 11spd)

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Like @Matthew_Spooner I have a crockpot and wax and frankly would never go back.

It’s so convenient and easy.

I use Molten Speed wax, bought a 1lb bag, half of it is in crock pot, not had to add any extra in 12 months. Ridden around 13,000km and use it on all bikes. It’s getting a bit discoloured now

Definately don’t do it once per week. Tend to do a couple of bikes at the same time, maybe once per month.

For me it is easier than cleaning and lubing the chain. Only faffing is the first time when you have to make sure that the chain is clean and greese free

Have you seen the new Silca drip wax?
Has an alcohol that evaporates in about 30 minutes so can drip on like water but sets same as paraffin wax. Also contains some tungsten slippery bob gomery.

Cool thanks for that.

So let me get this straight -

Take new chain and quick link and drop it into jar of white spirit. Shake for a couple of minutes. Remove and dry with rag. Continue until the rag wipes clean. (Can leave overnight)

Then drop It into a jar of methylated spirit. Shake for a few minutes. Then dry with clean rag. Should be clean or repeat first stage.

Hang chain to dry

Drop chain into slow cooker. Wax should be around 200•c - swish chain around.
Remove chain and let it hang to dry

Break chain links by hand and refit


Sorry @roscoemck for highjack of thread

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200F on the instructional video

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:flushed: ah yes they’re American!

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Hijack No2 sorry.
Would the same quick link be ok for the life of the chain or is there a limit to how many times they should be opened and closed?

It depends I believe Shimano are one use but others are available and you could probably get a few uses out of them

Something like this

Are these things any good?

I’m clearly not going to dip a chain in hot wax or any of that malarkey. But i do want to commit to a bit more preventative work on my bike this time around:

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And is that a decent price. There are some on Amazon for like £7. But i’m guessing they’d be as tough as running your chain through some wet Aldi tissues?