Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm the proud new owner of a pressure washer. Use it to clean my driveway, my cars, barbeque, and my bikes....ahem..then I discovered there is a lot of controversry about how best to clean bikes and some folks think pressure washing is a bad idea.

So, I'd like to start a thread asking personal experience of those who have pressured washed their own bikes. Have you found that it causes any negative effects? Is there any special care you take when using your pressure washer?

Note that I'm asking for personal experience here. I'm not asking for people to speculate about the potential problems of using a pressure washer nor to tell me how you just dribble water rather than spray water on your bike. I'm looking for infomration from those who have personal experience pressure washing their bike and what the end result was of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
402 Posts
I've done it but stay AWAY from any bearings. I hold it well away from the bike and use a wide fan to reduce the force of the blast. It is for dirt removal only...

I had a friend take paint off an old car he bought with a pressure washer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
I had one for a long time for dirtbikes and I blew off many graphic sets with it, not as crazy as paint, but just goes to show how strong some are. I don't pressure wash my bicycles though, I just use a regular hose. I don't need one because in the desert where I live my bike only gets dusty. I have used them with no issues though, however I was cautious of how and where I sprayed it. I would stay away from hubs, BB and head set. As stated above, they can do some serious damage to bearings. Personally I would reserve the pressure washer for when your ride gets real dirty. I wouldn't use it every ride.
 

·
Rollin' a fatty
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
Only pressure washed my bikes when they were so muddy that with a hose will take a long time with a low power washer and in fan mode, for the crud is fine but stay away from bearings, hubs, freehub at all cost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I worked at a car dealership one summer pressure washing cars, and I got pretty skilled at it. I took off some pinstripping in the beginning if I got too close but quickly learned about the various distances and how far to stay away.

I'm wondering if using a fan sprayer and staying a few feet away from the bike would actually get water any worse than riding in mud and rainstorms. I understand that if I'm close - a few inches to a foot - I'll be able to get water where it isn't supposed to be, but am not thinking that three or four feet away will cause much issue.
 

·
www.derbyrims.com
Joined
·
6,766 Posts
I would not use a high-pressure washer, even avoiding aim at the pivots, head set, fork and shock sliders, and wheel bearings, that strong and thick spray bouncing off the bike tubes and tires could still push water past seals. I've used car wash wands at a distance occasionally when traveling. Otherwise, I regularly use a garden hose with hand spray nozzle avoiding seals, and wipe down with an old towel, having had no early bearing or suspension wear problems from water invasion for 30 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
When all you have is a hammer - everything looks like a nail. - Abraham Maslow

I work in another industry, which suffers from many people killing bearings with pressure washers. I have users, that have never cleaned their equipment, and have it last 10-15 years of heavy use. I also have users that have killed bearings in 6 months with pressure washers and detergents/de-greasers. Sealed bearings are never totally sealed. Avoiding direct spray is good on paper, but not in practice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,587 Posts
Sealed bearings are not really water tight, especially if you spray the directly.

I would just let the bike dry and use a brush or dry rag to clean it up.

This topic has been discussed before with lots of disagreement, but when it comes to hosing a bike ( garden hose or pressure washer for sure) I would say NO.

It's just not necessary. Why take the chance?

SPP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,917 Posts
I've pressure washed my bike. I don't really like to, but sometimes if my bike is ultra dried-on dirty I will (I ride in very muddy conditions). My worry with using a pressure washer is less with the pivots and more with the fork/shock. I think pressure washers kill forks in particular. So if you do it, don't aim at the suspension at all and wash them separately. I use the default setting at the car wash (meaning, don't pull the trigger of the pressure washer!) and wave the washer quickly beck and forth.

Now everyone can call me an idiot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,329 Posts
with my new bike upside down a friend used a regular garden hose with a spray nozzle to spray the bottom bracket clean. He got the nozzle really close to get into all the crevices. Within a day the bottom bracket was grinding. Bike shop said the shimano EBB was not really serviceable and I should get a new one. So I took it apart anyway, packed it with grease and it has been ok for the last 6 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
This topic has been discussed before with lots of disagreement, but when it comes to hosing a bike ( garden hose or pressure washer for sure) I would say NO.
Yes, it has. This thread is different. I'm asking for personal experience for those who have used pressure washers. Not just soliticting general opinions from anyone who rides bikes.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,604 Posts
This topic has been discussed before with lots of disagreement, but when it comes to hosing a bike ( garden hose or pressure washer for sure) I would say NO.
Using a low pressure garden hose on a bike is absolutely fine. If you think a garden hose will harm your bike then, according to that logic, you should never get your bike wet at all.

A pressure washer is different, I would never use one on my bike.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,460 Posts
Sorry, i don't take orders or conform too well.
As a proud owner of pressure washers for 20+ years, and avid cyclist for longer, I'm smart and aware enough to never mix the two.
Dumb people make the same mistakes, smart people learn from them, but a genius learns from others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
Sorry, i don't take orders or conform too well.
As a proud owner of pressure washers for 20+ years, and avid cyclist for longer, I'm smart and aware enough to never mix the two.
Dumb people make the same mistakes, smart people learn from them, but a genius learns from others.
Post of the day :)
 

·
Merendon Junkie
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
I friend of mine did me a "favor" and pressure washed a bike he had borrowed from me. He bragged about how his super strong pressure washer had left the bike like new! One week later, the bottom bracket was dead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
946 Posts
After an exceptionally muddy ride with a more experienced biker, we stopped off at a car wash station to spray off our bikes. I didn't think it was a good thing to do but he assured me that it was fine. Whelp, he sprayed the Voodoo decals right off my frame. I can't imagine what happens to BBs and such. Needless to say, never did that again. My brother pressure washes decks for a living, that thing can peel paint off things, no way I want that anywhere near bearings and seals. Eek!
 

·
Ride Instigator
Joined
·
3,220 Posts
If you don't have the common sense to NOT use a pressure washer or compressed air on precision machinery then take the advise from those that do. That is all.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top