So of course everybody makes sure to keep their lowers dirt free, and their stanchions nice and clean. But how do you do it. Do you use a special cleaner or a clean rag. What are you tips for keep ALL you suspension clean. Also what do you do for getting the dirt out of your chain or cassette. Love to hear everybody’s thought/ processes, and i’m sure i’ll probably try quite a few of these by the time this thread kinda drops off the radar… 😀 Cheers!
I like to keep things very simple and cost-effective. I rarely ever hose down my bike. It has to be severely covered in mud for me to do so and even then I do so gingerly. Instead, I remove the wheels and give the entire bike a light spray down with a generic version of Suzuki wash (most motorcycle shops have their own knock off versions for cheap). I use Park brushes (especially the christmas tree one) to go at any caked on mud in hard to reach spots. I then use old cotton t-shirts to wipe everything clean. The motorcycle wash degreases and gets any gunk loose without damaging seals or bearings. I don’t use the brushes on stanchions, but generally you won’t need to. Just wipe them off horizontally with a clean rag. Then the real magic comes with using SC1. It’s new bike in a can and makes stanchions extra slick, run smooth and protects them too. Spray the whole bike with it lightly and then a quick wipe down. A can will last you probably 6 mos or more and it smells great too.
Max from Traxxion Dynamics told me the easiest thing you can do to keep stanchions clean is to turn your bike upside down and bounce the fork a little bit before and after each ride. He claims gravity goes a long way toward getting the little bits of crud out of your fork. In fact, he runs the RS-1 fork on his bike precisely because it’s inverted and (in theory) doesn’t accumulate as much gunk inside.
After almost ever single ride I squirt a little 20wt or any thick oil around the seals. The compress the fork or rear shock a little. I find this draws out any dirt in the seal interface to the world. Clean off the brown ring then lube and compress again. Wipe off access.
For chains I found this works for me though is not conventional thought I think. After a mucky or gritty ride I jet wash the chain. This gets all the grit out from the rollers (and any dirty lube). Twist the chain to seae if I hear any crunchy sounds. If I do clean some more. I then apply fresh lube. If lube is caked on a bit I used WD40 first leave a few minutes then jet wash.
My ride2work bike chain rarely gets this treatment as it’s a hassle to get the jet wash out each night. I do hose the bike and chain down most rides. Relube chain. After a while the chain is pretty urgh! I then give it the jet wash treatment
I second the SC1 spray. That stuff is amazing. They also make a product called suspension clean. I drop the lowers on my fork a lot to clean out the lowers and stanchions, then I like to keep my wipers and seals fresh and lubed to keep it running smooth. I use Slickoleum on the bushings of the fork legs as it’s a lightweight grease so it’s perfect and then cycle it a bit and remove the excess that comes out the top of the seals before riding to keep it clean.
I have access to an ultrasonic parts washer so that’s where my cassette and chain go after they really accumulate gunk. In the interim or if I’m just doing something quick, gear brushes and a Chainmate for me.