Cleaning and detailing

Discussion in 'Electric Mountain Bikes (eMTBs)' started by EddiePJ, May 2, 2016.

  1. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    This is my basic guide to cleaning and detailing of an e-mtb. Feel free to add your own method, and any tips or tricks.

    After removal of the battery and console, and assuming that you have access to a hose pipe or portable 12volt washer, quickly rinse off any large lumps of mud etc, avoiding bearing areas, battery area and console area.

    After this I quickly use an airline to blast the chain free of water, then apply a degreaser to the chain. As this is taking action, I apply muckoff or similar, and gently agitate it in.

    Once both have been left to do their thing, I then hose down the whole bike, once again avoiding bearings, battery area and console. I never direct water or degreaser into the area of the rear cassette, or front sprocket. I lean the bike over to the right hand side (not onto the derailleur). Then wash the rear cassette cleaning it from behind, so as not to risk detergent contact with any bearings.

    After the above, I thoroughly go over the whole bike with an airline to remove as much water as possible, then I spray the whole bike with duck oil, avoiding brakes and cassette, and once again blast the whole bike with an airline.
    Never apply wd40,duck oil, gt85 etc to bearing areas and rear cassette. The reason being is that you will eventually wash the grease out. So don't do it!

    I then suspend the bike as below. (That is one old photo, and empty area)

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    Once suspended, I remove the wheels, brake pads, saddle, battery and console.

    I then re wash the wheels, paying great attention to the discs. Removing the wheels also gives me a chance to check for any damage and loose spokes, and also gives better opportunity to check the tyres for thorns or cuts.

    It bugs the crap out of me when people say that they have cleaned their bike, then upon inspection they haven't cleaned under the saddle. That is my reason for removing it, as I can then wash and clean it properly. I also clean the seat post and then apply an anti seize spray.

    Next up is brakes. I thoroughly clean the calipers with the pads removed, and also thoroughly clean and check the brake pads, for damage and wear.

    I use kimwipe to clean the battery and console area, and then once again spray the whole bike with duck oil, then wipe everything down again.
    I pay particular attention to the rear derailleur, jockey wheels and front sprocket. Make sure that each is spotless.

    Next up is suspension. Make sure the dust seals are clean and intact, remove any water or grime, and check sliders. Once I am happy that all is well, including seals, I then apply ForkJuice which has two benefits, firstly it brings up a nice sheen, and secondly it does a brilliant job of preventing mud from the next ride sticking.

    Once I am happy with everything, I refit the brake pads.

    Lastly I lubricate the chain, and apply ACF50 to any exposed metal parts, and also go up and down through the gears, and check brake action, and steering.

    Stubborn marks can be removed with car insect and tar remover, and it's worth buying a bag of lint free rags. You can buy these by the sack load online. Just look for bag of rags.

    Other than just checking that everything is sound and secure, with bolts and tyre pressures checked, there isn't really much else to do.

    I then move onto my spd shoes, and ensure that the cleats are cleaned out and spotless.

    I also run two chains. One on the bike, and one being cleaned. Admittedly I seem to have been lazy about this of late though.

    I guess that I can take a completely dirty bike, and get it back to looking pristine in about half an hour. It's half an hour very well spent and could save loads of money and hassle. Whilst I carry out my own maintenance work to my bikes, also I use the services of a local lad, who in my opinion, is the best that there is. He has both the tools and knowledge that I don't have, and has in the past spotted things that I have missed.

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    Items very much specific to the Bosch motor system and controls.

    Starting at the handlebar end, water is prone to get between the HDMI (console) and the connecting housing bracket. It takes surprisingly little rain to enter between the two, and I would advise removal of the console between wet rides, the drying of the two components, and the application of dielectric lube. Most error codes can be traced back to either this element of the system or the battery connector. If you ever get error codes come up, check both first.

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    I also regularly remove the plastic cover from the mode setting switch and clean behind. With my off road use in all weather conditions, moisture and crud get behind. This doesn't affect the system in any way though. For light off road use I wouldn't advise removing it, as it has two very small plastic securing pins that could easily be snapped. Be warned.

    Moving down to the battery. This is an area of concern, as water collects between the battery and the connecting block.

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    With this area, as well as removing the battery after each ride and ensuring that the contacts are clean and dry on both the battery and the connection block, every few weeks or so, I also remove the plastic case that surrounds the block, as this is another trap for moisture and crud. Apply dielectric to the contact points.

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    At this point, I should also mention the lock that secures the battery. This is quite a problem if using the bike in adverse conditions, and soon becomes stiff in operation. I often remove and clean the outer plastic cover, and in respect of the lock, I use either graphite powder, or ceramic dry chain lube. Just a small dab of it, wiped on, then off the key, usually makes a massive difference.

    Now to the motor. My motor seems to spend most of the time looking like this!


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    What I will say is that you don't have anything to worry about in respect of the cases. Very little moisture actually ever enters the cases, and the connection blocks always remain moisture free.
    I would suggest that you take a look to see if you have the plain alloy motor such as mine below.

    [​IMG]


    If you do have plain cases, then I would strongly recommend using something such as ACF50 to coat the motor. They really do not like being even remotely damp, and corrosion quickly sets in. You might be lucky and have the new black cases, which presumably won't ever be an issue.


    A handy hint for you at bike washing time, is to remove both the console and battery, and then fit a latex glove to both mounts. As you will also see, I have some very large holes to the sprocket area of my motor cases. The cover was destroyed a very long time ago, but it does go to show, how even with these holes. very little in the way of water ever gets in.

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    Finally, please don't feel put off by what I have shown. My use of the e-mtb is very different to most, and whilst the above looks severe, the reality is that you have nothing to worry about. :)

    The Bosch system is very good. Just get on and enjoy the bike. :)
     
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    #1 EddiePJ, May 2, 2016
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  2. SRS

    SRS Pedelecer

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    Eddie, I think you enjoy cleaning your bike as much as you do riding it.

    Mine gets cleaned when it rains.
     
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  3. Electric daz

    Electric daz Just Joined

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    My tip is for after the washing process is to rub the frame with car wax, keeps it looking showroom fresh
     
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  4. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    I spotted a photo on here earlier today, showing a section of a rear wheel which had supposedly been cleaned, but to my mind wasn't, so I thought that I post the following.

    I realise that my version of a clean bike is perhaps different to many, but I have another handy hint when it comes to cleaning the cassette side of the bike, either with the wheel in or with the wheel out. Obviously if you are cleaning the bike properly, you would remove the wheel anyway, but the following tip is useful in the event of having to apply a rust inhibitor after a ride with the wheel still in place..

    Simply cut a slot into a piece of cardboard or better still plastic, then slide it between the cassette and the spokes. If the rear wheel is still in the bike, the chain can simply be lifted out of the way in order to turn and clean the cassette, using a proprietary cleaner which can then be applied to the cassette area. Bear in mind that if cleaning with the rear wheel still attached to the bike, that contamination of the disk and pads could and is probably still likely to happen, and if degreaser gets onto the pads as well, then you might just as well bin them.
    Removing the wheel is always going to be the better option, as any contamination to the disk can quickly be removed, and there is then zero risk of the pads being contaminated as well.
    Because my bikes are cleaned after pretty much every ride, there is never a build up grease or oil on the cassette, and I simply spray with Duck Oil, and run a clean cloth between each gear ration to remove the oil and any residue of muck.

    Removing the wheels when cleaning, also gives better opportunity to inspect tyres and spokes.


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    #4 EddiePJ, Jul 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
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  5. soundwave

    soundwave Pedelecer

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    this is what i use and gave it a clean today and refilled my tyres with stans no tubes.

    after i cut open the bottle and found it had gone off and set in the bottom of the bottle.

    its around 12 months old so this stuff does go off if you dont use it in time so will be changing over to a diffrent make when my other bottle has run out.

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  6. Dom T

    Dom T Pedelecer

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    Silly question ..What's duck oil ? is it similar to the bike spray from Muck off ?
    I clean our bikes each time we've been out and thoroughly once a month (he does his own then). I tend to use the Muck Off range and had fenwick at some point.
    What cleaning products do you prefer ???
     
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  7. Mac_user82

    Mac_user82 Pedelecer

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    I will personally only use Fenwicks because it has no solvents in it so you don't have to worry about solvents attacking your grease which saves time re greasing things all the time

    At the end of the day any solvent which hasn't been washed off properly will be removing grease and causing more harm to your ebike


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  8. Mac_user82

    Mac_user82 Pedelecer

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    I just use some Fenwicks chain foam cleaner on my cassette their is no solvents in side the foam cleaner so you don't have to worry about it removing grease at all

    All you have to do just spray some on the cassette turn the pedal coat the whole cassette then let it soak in for 2 mins get a cassette scrubbing brush job done and just wash out with water works perfect every time


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  9. Tom Rae

    Tom Rae Pedelecer

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    Duck oil is a Swarfega product similar to GT85, basically it is a protective lubricant spray and corrosion inhibitor which is non conductive and can be used on electrical fittings. I use GT 85 myself but I am sure there are other similar products too. It does make cleaning the bike much easier next time.

    Tom
     
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  10. Dom T

    Dom T Pedelecer

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    Well that's stupid of me as I have some GT 85 which we use already.
    Think I may just have to invest in Fenwicks then.
    Thanks guys
     
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  11. Mac_user82

    Mac_user82 Pedelecer

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    My advice would be if you are using Fenwick
    Chain foam cleaner "best product on the market by far no solvents either"
    Fs1 concentrated cleaner "Bike washing 1litere will make 11 spray bottles
    Fenwicks disk brake cleaner "Great for cleaning the pads"
    Fenwicks shield to keep the dirt off your bike"leaves a nice coating to stop grime and dirt
    And for lubing your points on your bike just gt85

    if you would ilke me to send you the links in which ones to buy then i dont mind helping you out
     
  12. Dom T

    Dom T Pedelecer

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    Thanks Mac, I'm good with the info and will change my products. Muck Off tend to be in your face mostly. We've used Fenwick before, but only the bike cleaner so will in vest in the other products. It's quite ironic as Fenwick ain't far from where I live just doesn't sell the products, as is Schwalbe's head office.
    Dom
     
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  13. The Bear

    The Bear Pedelecer

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    Ive been searching for dielectric gel to put on my battery connectors, but its not easy to find at an affordable price. Is silicone gel the same thing?

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  14. tillson

    tillson Pedelecer

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    I use Screwfix No Nonesense degreaser. About £8 for 5 litres and is very powerful neat, easily bringing up grease caked components like new. Great on chains. If you dilute it about 20:1 it’s a great general bike cleaner (keeping it away from bearing areas).

    I’ve been using Pledge furniture polish on the frame. It gives a great lasting shine and crud seems to fall off. I’ve used it for about a year on Carbon & aluminium without any issues.
     
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  15. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    I actually now cringe at some of what I have written above, and have changed many of my cleaning methods over the last couple of years. I'm actually in process of writing what I hope will be one of the most comprehensive ebike cleaning and detailing articles to date.

    Tilson, I have discovered another very good way that allows crud to just fall from the frame or not even stick. It is takes the very sound advice that you have given, but uses it in a different way.

    I have learnt that using a clay bar on the frame, wheels and anything else that I can, it totally transforms the detailing process. Obviously the clay bar is only the first stage of the process, as once done I then apply Auto Glym Super resin polish, followed by Auto Glym Extra gloss protection.

    Admittedly this is a very over the top process for what is just a bike, but from my own experience it is well worth the extra bit of effort.
     
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  16. MikeS

    MikeS Finding my (electric) wheels

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    Wow Eddie. There’s no way I could do what you are describing in half an hour. More like 2 hours for me. I like the tip about the latex gloves and will try that
    Another post suggests some degreasers have no solvents. Can’t understand how that would work.
    Some tips from my motorcycle experience. Buy acf50 in the 1 litre bottles and use an artists paintbrush to apply it
    Try the waterless wash and wax from The Range but only get the one with Carnuba wax in it. As long as a Bike is not heavily caked this can save a lot of time

    Eddie your original pics seem to be missing for me. Which component on the Bosch do I remove to check whether I need to acf50 anybate alloy?
    Mike
     
  17. EddiePJ

    EddiePJ Pedelecer

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    Thanks Mike. Sadly the image host went bust a while back, and pretty much all of the uploaded images are now gone.

    Ref ACF50, I too buy it in a 1ltr bottle, as it also then comes with the applicator can as well, although mine doesn't seem to be that great.I hadn't thought of using an artist brush, as I have been using cotton wool buds. They are fine for a few dabs, then fall off. Thanks for the tip. :)

    I'll have a hunt for the Bosch related info for you.
     
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  18. Dom T

    Dom T Pedelecer

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    It's amazing what you learn in a short amount of time in what works well for 1/2 cost. Shower or swimming caps for covering the discs, clay bar is brill as is the autoglym stuff for the car....
     
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  19. TimEbike

    TimEbike Just Joined

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    ACF50 - I've used it on my cycles and motorbikes for a few years now . I wash the bike, and when dry use a dedicated microfiber cloth that I spray a very small amount onto and then simply wipe the cloth over all surfaces. Also use an artists brush to dab a tiny amount into screw heads etc. Works perfectly for me
     
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