This year I finally jumped on the fatty wagon and have been riding more this January then I ever have before. My problem is that when I get back home, my bike is usually covered in salty road spray. Roads can get pretty slippery around here and the salt treatment helps to break down the ice. So when I’m transporting my bike on a bike rack or riding around the streets, by bike gets covered in this salty film. Giving my bike a rinse down with a hose just isn’t an option during the winter months. My current method is to use a rag and a can of WD-40 to clean up my ride. I usually spray down the rag, go from top to bottom, then buff out any greasy areas on the frame. On more sensitive areas I use a bike specific degreaser. Once everything’s clean, I lube it up and go riding again. Is there a better method I should be utilizing? Is WD-40 okay for cleaning up your bike? Thanks! And remember it’s Farleys not Harleys that make you a badass.
I’d recommend rinsing it well in your shower. I live in Alaska, using the hose in my yard is not an option. I primarily ride trails only and transport in my truck bed and I have a canopy so road salt doesn’t get on my bike often. I do beach rides year round though and always rinse very well afterwards.
From my experience leaving salt on your bike for more than a good few hours can damage components which are anodised. It eats the anodised layer then reacts with the Al making it worse. So for long car journeys I put the bikes inside. I know this may not be possible so suggest rinse that salt off asap. May be cover the bikes?
I fitted an outdoor water pipe heater cord to my outdoor tap. It switches on at 3°C to stop it freezing. I appreciate does not get as cold as Alaska so this may not work well. I take the hose indoors.
WD40 is good imho, I use it, but get the salt off first 🙂
Edit: anodising is a protection layer and should be good most of the time. Just I experienced where it was worn thin or scratched then salt did its evil.
Some riders, particularly racers, spray down their (clean) frame with cooking oil before a muddy ride. WD-40 makes me a little nervous around bike parts, and cooking spray just seems a little less harsh.
I agree with Jeff and would stay away from the WD-40. I like the idea of spraying it down with the cooking oil prior to a muddy ride too. That is one I will throw in my bag of tricks. As for cleaning, I would stay away from the hose, especially on the bits and spots that move. I usually just get a rag and a bottle of Simple Green and go to town.