This may be a pretty dumb question but after a day of riding what would be the best way to clean the bike off. I am assuming that the hose is the proper answer but I am looking to avoid rust and I figure too much water over a prolonged period of time would do just that.
Should I hose it off to get the major crap and then go over it with some sort of protectant like WD-40 or something?
Hose is ok, but low pressure. damp rag to wipe it down. Buy a chain cleaner and use an old toothbrush for the drive train. Lube well when done.
Get the WD-40 out of your garage. use bike lube for everything that way you are not tempted. I use bike lube on my garage door...works great!
You dont need to wash your bike after every ride unless its really caked on.....but do remember Cleanliness=longevity for the moving parts!
If my bike is really dirty I brush the chain, cogs and chainrings with citrus cleaner, then hose the whole bike down with a misting spray. I then wipe the bike down, run some Whitelightning on the chain, wipe it down and use a rag between each cog (kinda like flossing) to get them clean. After the chain is dry I lube it with T9. Done.
Just (dry) brush the bike once all the dirt is dried on. this will take care of the dried on dirt, and then (if necessary) lube chain, derailers and pedals. Just make sure you wipe any excess lube of and you are good to go.
Mountain bikes should only look clean and shiny on the day you buy them. After that, they like to be coated with a light coat of dust, mud and dirt.
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