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Apartment Dwellers - How do you clean bike?

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Apartment Dwellers - How do you clean bike?

Old 03-30-11, 05:47 PM
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MooCow
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Apartment Dwellers - How do you clean bike?

For those of you living in an apartment w/no attached garage, how do you get your bike clean? Especially stuff like the cassette that requires degreaser. My current place has a good-sized balcony and I have been cleaning it outside, draining onto cardboard. The balcony at the new place is small. The inside is laminate, which is probably pretty easy to clean and I can put down something, but it's not ideal.
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Old 03-30-11, 05:52 PM
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Clean the bike with paper towels and a mild spray cleaner (i.e. diluted 409).

Clean the cassette by removing it and wiping each cog off. If you use wd40 it'll take less effort but it will be a little stinky.

I did this when I lived in an apartment and didn't leave a single stain on the carpet when I moved out. But I am a very tidy mechanic. If you're not put down a drop cloth.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:03 PM
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I use rags and paper towels. The paper towels are simple to wipe down the frame with a little degreaser or similar cleaner. I do however use mineral spirits, a jar and bowl w/ a brush to clean parts like the chain, derailleurs, cogs, etc... I simply rinse and or wipe them down, the mineral spirits residue simply evaporate. Then re-lube and re-assemble...voila. I am quite careful about being clean and tidy as well...but I do this whether I'm at home, in a garage or in a shop.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:08 PM
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Back when I lived in an apartment I used to sit out in the sun and clean it outdoors. Nice way to cool down. A cloth, can of WD-40 ( I know, I know), and I was done.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:22 PM
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I ride to the nearest car wash... pop in 5 dollars in quarters and clean the bike... then I detail the drivetrain on my porch
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Old 03-30-11, 06:28 PM
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Depending on if you plan on getting your security deposit back, some of us have been know to use the bathtub.

Last edited by DanMartin; 03-30-11 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:48 PM
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plastic tarp from camping store, check!
park repair stand, double check.
bag of latex gloves from my girlfriend's lab, you betcha.
simple green, rags, bike lube, yessiree.

the key for me is up keep. dont clean your bike once a winter or you will drive yourself nuts. once a week seems to keep the cassette and deraileur in check but i wipe down the chain and relube it every few wet commutes. i dont worry to much about chain maintenance though. i just replace them every 3 months or so.
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Old 03-30-11, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by DanMartin View Post
Depending on if you plan in getting your security deposit back, some of us have been know to use the bathtub.
I live in the dorm and use the shower quite often. The awesome thing is that community bathrooms have cleaning staff
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Old 03-30-11, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by veloboy971 View Post
I live in the dorm and use the shower quite often. The awesome thing is that community bathrooms have cleaning staff
Nice!
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Old 03-30-11, 07:17 PM
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lots of dirt - shower
less dirt - water/windex

chain and drivetrain: nylon brush + dish soap + sink
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Old 03-30-11, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DanMartin View Post
Depending on if you plan on getting your security deposit back, some of us have been know to use the bathtub.
+1
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Old 03-30-11, 07:24 PM
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I've recently just been using Clorox wipes, then dry off the little remaining bit with paper towers. Seems to do a good job and doesn't drip.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:28 PM
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Don't forget to be very careful around the walls if you are using sprays. Keep food and fishbowls covered too. Don't touch the walls if you have not wiped your hands clean. Keep the windows wide open if you can

I used a huge shipping box (cut it up, laid it flat) for a while, before that an old curtain. Just use something that seems like it will be too big (it won't...) and that oil/fluids won't leak through or roll off.

+1 to pdxtex's comment too.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:31 PM
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I take mine to the local coin operated car wash.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:31 PM
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I don't live in an appartment but I could easily clean my bike in an appartment. I clean mine with rags and a spray bottle. I could clean the chain with one of those chain bath type cleaning gagets. As for the cassette, I would take the wheel off and clean it in the shower or bathtube and then wipe the wheel down with rags.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:36 PM
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I can not imagine the wrath I would face from my wife if I tried the shower/bath route. Papers would follow.
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Old 03-30-11, 07:48 PM
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Windex and paper towels
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Old 03-30-11, 07:50 PM
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Rags and a bucket with some water and degreaser
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Old 03-30-11, 08:02 PM
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When I lived in an apartment, I used the bathtub.

Simple Green, Avon Bubble Bath, and a tub cleaner ... and both the bicycle I was working on and the tub were gleaming.
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Old 03-30-11, 09:30 PM
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Just take it outside to do most of your cleaning. If you do work inside, be very careful and lay something down underneath your bike. Also, make sure not to touch anything before you wash your hands.
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Old 03-30-11, 11:08 PM
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Back when I lived in an apartment, the complex had two spaces in the common area parking lot (i.e., not assigned) that was designated as car washing stalls. These had a nearby faucet and a little more space around (like a handicap spot). I used those for washing my bikes. I also had a few friends who lived in houses, and they were kind enough to put up with me bumming water and space to wash my bikes when I need to.
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Old 03-31-11, 12:56 AM
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On the balcony with one spray bottle full of cleaner/degreaser, one spray bottle full of water. I put an aluminum baking pan down on top of a piece of cardboard to catch the grease from the drivetrain, and the rest I just wipe with paper towels.
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Old 03-31-11, 05:02 AM
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I use water bottles full of hot water to spray the dirt/sand off outside.
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Old 03-31-11, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by alpha_bravo View Post
I take mine to the local coin operated car wash.
This is a great way to blast all the lube out of your bearings and wreck components. Be careful with this.
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Old 03-31-11, 07:12 AM
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Go to the hardware store and get a 5 gallon garden sprayer. They cost under $20. That solves your water source dilemma, it is a great substitute for a hose. Bonus - you can take it to cross races and use it for pit washes. The rest is just washing your bike like anyone else would.

For occasional light cleanups, use the wonderful Veloshine (www.veloshine.com) products. They are a sponsor of my team, and their wipes are great.
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