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a little bit of simple green in some water, use a sponge or rag to wipe it down and then blow it off with the air compressor.

we don't get much mud around here and when we do i don't care about tiny scratches so i just use a brush to brush it off then the air compressor.

notice a trend? yeah the air compressor with a good nozzle is like the best cleaning instrument in the world (as long as you aren't dumb enough to point it directly into your shock seals).
 

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This will be the first time I'm cleaning my bike. Is there any place I shouldn't wipe down with a sponge? I'm really nervous about wiping down the forks and if soap or water get into it. So just wipe down and if I dont have a air compressor, then do i need to rinse off with water and just let it dry?

AFter that, do I need to lube anything?
 

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I use Pedro's Bike Lust to shine the fame, protect it from water, etc. A bottle lasts forever too.

And yes, after you wash your bike, you need to relube the chain, deraileurs, etc. Basically any moving part that was originally lubed, but especially the chain.
 

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Before cleaning the frame, you need to take care of the drivetrain. Use whatever chain cleaner you prefer. If I am leaving the chain on, I use TriFlow and a stiff Pedro's or Park Tool brush. I apply TriFlow liberally to the chain and then brush all the links until they are clean. I even push the bristles through the links to clean between them.

Next I clean the derailleur pulleys and cogs/chainrings. Either the cog cleaner on the end of the Park Tool brush or a small flat blade screw driver will do. To clean the pedals, I use a stiff brush followed by the air compressor. Then I apply my favorite pedal lube.
Then I brush out the BB/crankarm area. DO NOT use the air compressor to clean the BB area. You risk forcing contaminants into the bearings.

Then brush the fork stanchions off with a firm toothbrush. Lube the fork seals with TriFlow and let it stand for a minute. Then cycle the fork a few times to allow the dirt to push up the stanchions. Wipe clean. Lastly, if they're really bad, I pull the cables out of the stops and clean the stops and ferrules. After the drivetrain is clean, I turn my attention to the frame.

Light dirt/dust- spray the frame with Pledge in the pump bottle. Be careful not to get any on your brake pads or rims/rotors! Let it stand for a few moments and then wipe it clean with a soft, clean rag.

Heavy dirt/mud- The best time to clean the bike is just after you have finished a ride. Rinse the frame with a hose with the water turned as low as it will run, a low trickle. Most of the mud should rinse off. If you're mud has clay, it will likely stick to the frame. Use gentle brush strokes with your hand/fingers to help remove the mud. If the mud is dried on, be sure to let the water soak in before brushing the frame off.

I finish with Pledge in the pump bottle. Wipe the frame clean with a soft, clean rag.
 

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Simple Green, Pedros whatever degreaser you want, bucket of water with car wash & wax liguid added, rinse then ride around to spin dry, towl dry the rest of the way. DO NOT USE AIR it will push water in & grease out of any seal or o-ring. Relubricate all pivoting or moving part whipe off excess, lubricate chain whipe off excess. Honda polish for the frame & such, Motul silicone on fork tubes.
 

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Fixintogo said:
Years ago a guy in Long Beach told me to use furniture polish - Pledge or whatever -- and it works great at making the frame shiny. Lemony, too!
That is what i used to use beffor Honda polish came out, much better + you can check out the bikes & maybe ride out with one with a free can of Honda polish.
 
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