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Cleaning With Power Washer

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Cleaning With Power Washer

Old 06-06-20, 03:10 PM
  #1  
Rick53
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Cleaning With Power Washer

I know there are some who do this on a Regular basis and Some who think it's the worst Idea in the world. The Videos I watched with Professionals Cleaning,They all Used Power Washers and Compressed Air to dry the Bikes off . .


I have 4 Bikes to Wash : With Grand kids 2 of them get dirty pretty fast > None are Cheapo Bikes 3 Treks and 1 Specialized : The Most Expensive of The 4 is a Dual Sport 4 . The Least Expensive was a Woman's 2019 Trek Verve 2.


3 weeks ago I spent all of 5 Hours carefully cleaning theses Bikes : I used Brushes , Pipe Cleaners ,Rags Etc . Used My Park Tool Chain Cleaner on all 4.


TODAY they were all fairly dirty again: Oily dirt all over the Drive Train : The Bike Trails have water in Several Spots due to the excessive rain this Season. There's no way to avoid going thru the Mud at least Once a Ride. Regardless of the Trails used


I mixed some 8 Ball Siding and Auto Cleaner in a spray bottle : I also used Kerosene in a Spray Mixture on the chains and areas where oily dirt was packed . I used Wesley's on the Tires> Let them set about 15 minutes: Then Power Washed ,Compressor Dried and Re-lubed the Chains. Took me Exactly 85 minutes :

The only places I used a brush were on dried mud on the tires sidewalls :

They came out Cleaner then Normal with 1/10 of the Elbow Grease normally use :
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Old 06-06-20, 03:22 PM
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Nothing wrong with power washing a bike. Even at 3500 psi I don't think that it will remove the paint. I would just be cautious with the amount of pressure.

Last edited by hrdknox1; 06-07-20 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-06-20, 03:22 PM
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All you need is a standard hose with VERY little pressure. Using a "power" washer is a good was to get water into the bearings and washing the grease away.

Just yesterday I came home from a ride on damp roads and path and my bike was covered with sand, dirt and grit. I "gently" washed the bike with a hose set at a very light setting and it removed all the dirt. I then cleaned the chain and drivetrain.

I quick wipe down with a microfiber cloth and it's perfectly clean.
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Old 06-06-20, 04:02 PM
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I’ve been using car washes for ages when I get around to washing my bikes (which is seldom). All my bearings are sealed unit now but they haven’t always been. It’s never been an issue. Just don’t use the most powerful part of the stream near the bearings.
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Old 06-06-20, 04:10 PM
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Iíve had to do it on tour. Once when I rode through some camouflaged mud and sunk down a good 4Ē. Spokes splattered mud everywhere before I came to a dead stop. Took care not to spray directly into areas with bearings.
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Old 06-06-20, 04:56 PM
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Old 06-06-20, 08:30 PM
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Professional mechanics know what areas to not aim the high pressure water stream at. Plus they have to clean a lot of bikes and often have to do it quickly. hterefore for them a power washer makes sense.

Cheers
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Old 06-06-20, 10:23 PM
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What is the actual advantage of using the pressure washer? Regular hose can wash off loose dirt & the greasy parts need extra care anyway. Chain cleaning is the only part where I use reg hose & jet nozzle setting to blast off grit/grime after scrubbing with degreaser.
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Old 06-07-20, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
What is the actual advantage of using the pressure washer? Regular hose can wash off loose dirt & the greasy parts need extra care anyway. Chain cleaning is the only part where I use reg hose & jet nozzle setting to blast off grit/grime after scrubbing with degreaser.
See my story above. I actually had to work hard using the power washer to get rid of the mud in some places, like from nooks and crannies of my cantis. I had to ride a ways to town so some of the gunk got caked on from the wind and warmth of the air. Took me a good 15 min. of spraying and I still didnít get it all.

Another time I got caught in a massive downpour on a long dirt road. Made it to camp and didnít hit civilization until the following day after riding more wet dirt in the morning. Bike was covered in this sandy grit that again baked on. I tried a regular hose at Adventure Cyclingís headquarters, but it wasnít up to the task. Was returning the bike to a shop that day for shipping home. Couldnít give it to them like that. Had to spend serious time at a car wash with a power sprayer.
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Old 06-07-20, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
What is the actual advantage of using the pressure washer? Regular hose can wash off loose dirt & the greasy parts need extra care anyway. Chain cleaning is the only part where I use reg hose & jet nozzle setting to blast off grit/grime after scrubbing with degreaser.
Caked on stuff can be really hard to wash off. On tour I carry a 6" long stiff bristle narrow brush (think snow brush for car windshield) without a handle. I use that to scrub off caked on sand or mud.


Cakeg on and/or sun-baked clay-based crap is really hard to rinse off.

Cheers
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Old 06-07-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Using a "power" washer is a good was to get water into the bearings and washing the grease away.
Been there...done that. (But not for many, many years now).
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Old 06-07-20, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
What is the actual advantage of using the pressure washer?
Convenience. I don't have one at home but there are car washes all over the place. The car wash has soap and degreasers as part of the system.

There are also times where you can't get to a hose. Like Indyfabz, I've used car washes on tour. I rode from Toledo, OH to Philadelphi, a distance of about 950 miles. About 700 miles of it was dirt roads (Ontario) and tow paths (Niagara Falls to Philadelphia). I was going to stay in a hotel in Philadelphia but didn't want to present a filthy bike at check in. A quick power wash made it all nice and shiny and, more importantly, presentable.
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Old 06-07-20, 09:51 AM
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YES, we've all seen team mechanics pressure washing bikes with ZERO ***** given about bearing and such.

Here's the thing, though, first off, those bikes get rebuilt and re-greased fairly often, so it's not a huge deal to be a little reckless. Plus, it's not like they keep bikes for very long anyways, so longevity isn't much of a concern.

Another thing to consider is the rider of bikes we are watching being sprayed down like they're on fire. These are usually support riders, and team mechanics don't care as much about their bikes. You can bet that Chris Froome's bike doesn't get that sort of treatment.
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Old 06-07-20, 10:57 AM
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Sounds like the kids need to help and learn. Would probably think the power washer was "cool"
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Old 06-07-20, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
YES, we've all seen team mechanics pressure washing bikes with ZERO ***** given about bearing and such.
No, we haven't all seen team mechanics washing bicycles. Frankly, I don't watch bicycle racing nor do I watch what team mechanics do. I have other things to do than watch bicycle racing and watching them mechanics work on bikes ranks even further down on the list.

Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
Here's the thing, though, first off, those bikes get rebuilt and re-greased fairly often, so it's not a huge deal to be a little reckless. Plus, it's not like they keep bikes for very long anyways, so longevity isn't much of a concern.
Has anyone here said to just blast away at the bearings with a power washer? I think you'll find that the advice has been to avoid the bearings, although GCN did a video where they blasted the bearings at close range for 2 minutes without any water infiltration. If you have a problem with water getting into the bearings, there are 2 solutions. One, don't use a power washer right next to the bearings. Or, two, get better bearings with better seals.

Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
Another thing to consider is the rider of bikes we are watching being sprayed down like they're on fire. These are usually support riders, and team mechanics don't care as much about their bikes. You can bet that Chris Froome's bike doesn't get that sort of treatment.
I think something went wrong with your language integrity modulator. We might be able to fit you in next Tuesday for a diagnostic.
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Old 06-07-20, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Iíve been using car washes for ages when I get around to washing my bikes (which is seldom). All my bearings are sealed unit now but they havenít always been. Itís never been an issue. Just donít use the most powerful part of the stream near the bearings.
If you have sealed wheel bearings. If not sealed, like a boat trailer, they need to be opened, cleaned with solvent and repacked.
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Old 06-07-20, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
No, we haven't all seen team mechanics washing bicycles. Frankly, I don't watch bicycle racing nor do I watch what team mechanics do. I have other things to do than watch bicycle racing and watching them mechanics work on bikes ranks even further down on the list.



Has anyone here said to just blast away at the bearings with a power washer? I think you'll find that the advice has been to avoid the bearings, although GCN did a video where they blasted the bearings at close range for 2 minutes without any water infiltration. If you have a problem with water getting into the bearings, there are 2 solutions. One, don't use a power washer right next to the bearings. Or, two, get better bearings with better seals.



I think something went wrong with your language integrity modulator. We might be able to fit you in next Tuesday for a diagnostic.
What the heck are you even talking about?

Firstly, I can't fathom why a someone would get upset because I said we've all seen professional bikes being washed. I mean, A, I think a reasonable individual would understand that "all" isn't to be taken literally. And, B, if that was my intention, why has that upset you so much? God-forbid somebody think you've seen a team mechanic washing a bike... The horror!

Secondly, NEVER claimed anyone on here suggested pressure washing like pro mechanics, that deduction should elementary on your part. It sounded like the OP thought it was a good idea because the pros do it, and I just wanted to explain why they do, and he or she shouldn't.

And lastly, what? It's the truth. That's how the world works, you think everything is even-steven in professional sports? Talent takes priority, that's just a fact.

And by the way, I would STRONGLY suggest getting up on a different side of the bed tomorrow.
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Old 06-07-20, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Pouhana View Post
If you have sealed wheel bearings. If not sealed, like a boat trailer, they need to be opened, cleaned with solvent and repacked.
Point to a bicycle hub with sealed bearings that uses ďboat trailerĒ bearings. The ones that resemble boat trailer bearings are cup and cone. Since around the mid90s even those are sealed quite well and I wouldnít worry about using a power washer around them, especially if you donít put the nozzle right on the bearing.

On the other hand, even a poor quality sealed cartridge bearing is sealed well enough that the nozzle could be used directly on them. If something goes south on those bearings, they are simply replaced. If the bearing is a poor quality bearing, replace it with a better one.

And, frankly, ďboat trailerĒ bearings are fairly well sealed against water. They are meant to go into the water with a boat on them, arenít they? I donít know many boat owners but I donít think they spend all their time with the boat out of the water rebuilding bearings.
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Old 06-07-20, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
What the heck are you even talking about?

Firstly, I can't fathom why a someone would get upset because I said we've all seen professional bikes being washed. I mean, A, I think a reasonable individual would understand that "all" isn't to be taken literally. And, B, if that was my intention, why has that upset you so much? God-forbid somebody think you've seen a team mechanic washing a bike... The horror!​​​​​
You sure sounded like you were speaking for all of us.

Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
Secondly, NEVER claimed anyone on here suggested pressure washing like pro mechanics, that deduction should elementary on your part. It sounded like the OP thought it was a good idea because the pros do it, and I just wanted to explain why they do, and he or she shouldn't.​​​​​
You implied that it. Power washing isnít going to melt the bike nor is it going to contaminate the bearings. If you have a bike that was built before about 1995, some care should be used around the bearings. After that...to the present day...itís not going to matter that much. Mountain biking did in open grease systems long ago. GCNís video even showed that directly spraying the bearings for minutes at a time doesnít lead to water infiltration.

Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
And lastly, what? It's the truth. That's how the world works, you think everything is even-steven in professional sports? Talent takes priority, that's just a fact.​​​​​
Whatís the truth? Your last paragraph makes zero sense. Are the riders the ones that are being sprayed down like they are on fire or their bikes the object of the fire hose? If the former, I really doubt they are using actual fire hoses, so it wouldnít matter. If the latter, again, it doesnít really make that much of a difference.

Bicycles are durable machines and can take a lot more abuse then people think. They arenít make of sugar that melts if shown the slightest amount of moisture.

Originally Posted by Ross520 View Post
And by the way, I would STRONGLY suggest getting up on a different side of the bed tomorrow.
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Iíll pass on the sleeping arrangement advice. Thanks anyway
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Old 06-08-20, 11:04 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You sure sounded like you were speaking for all of us.



You implied that it. Power washing isn’t going to melt the bike nor is it going to contaminate the bearings. If you have a bike that was built before about 1995, some care should be used around the bearings. After that...to the present day...it’s not going to matter that much. Mountain biking did in open grease systems long ago. GCN’s video even showed that directly spraying the bearings for minutes at a time doesn’t lead to water infiltration.



What’s the truth? Your last paragraph makes zero sense. Are the riders the ones that are being sprayed down like they are on fire or their bikes the object of the fire hose? If the former, I really doubt they are using actual fire hoses, so it wouldn’t matter. If the latter, again, it doesn’t really make that much of a difference.

Bicycles are durable machines and can take a lot more abuse then people think. They aren’t make of sugar that melts if shown the slightest amount of moisture.



I’ll pass on the sleeping arrangement advice. Thanks anyway
I'm gonna make this real simple because this a completely asinine argument and I'm tired of it...

I did not read a SINGLE reply because responding. I just started typing.

There's no way I could have addressed posts I didn't read until AFTER I posted.

​​​​​​All I was doing was trying to persuaded the OP not to pressure spray the crap out of his poor bike. Nothing more, nothing less.

Now about sounding like I was "speaking for all of us", get over it. I wasn't. And it's a dumb thing to care about even if I was. Oh no! Someone thinks all cyclists have watched a video of team mechanics washing a bike! What ignorance! Shame!

​​​​​​Please add me to ignore.

-Cheers

​​​​​​
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Old 06-08-20, 12:11 PM
  #21  
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I'm not a moderator (and don't particularly want to be one), but still...

CHILDREN!! BEHAVE!!!
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Old 06-08-20, 12:51 PM
  #22  
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I washed my bike yesterday with a bucket, some dish soap, a couple of brushes and sponge. Rinsed the soap off with a garden sprayer. The whole process took maybe 15 minutes. I have a power washer and an air compressor at home, but it's lot more hassle for one bike. For four, maybe the power washer is easier. Only way to know for sure is to do it both ways and see which is easier for you.

I bought a used wheel-set with campy chorus hubs a few years ago that was filthy from sitting in a garage for years and years. I was going to repack the bearings anyway so I decided to clean the wheels with a power washer. I wasn't careful at all and sprayed the heck out of the hubs because they were so filthy with decades of grime and dust. When i took the hubs apart they looked like they had just been serviced, so I would have no problem using a power washer on my bikes if it were easier. I have been powerwashing my off-road motorcycles for decades and the bearings are pretty much the same thing as on a bicycle.
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Old 06-08-20, 12:51 PM
  #23  
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A power washer is only powerful up close so if you are careful full I don’t see it doing any harm. IMO.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:27 PM
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Power washers work. But I have had some frames end up with water in the tubes, this can lead to rust or corrosion.
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Old 06-08-20, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
Power washers work. But I have had some frames end up with water in the tubes, this can lead to rust or corrosion.
Carbon fiber doesn't rust
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