I live in a townhome with an unfinished basement and I am looking for tips on how to clean a bike and its drivetrain indoors.
A bike workstand really helps. For my non-waxed chains, I’ve had good luck with this. It does a pretty good job on the chain when on the bike, but sometimes I like to soak the chain a bit and scrub with a cheap tooth brush.
For the bike itself, Muc-Off also makes a cleaner (pink in a spray bottle) that works well with some rags. The smell isn’t overpowering thank goodness.
When I’ve cleaned the bike in the apartment I have found Babywipes invaluable.
I live on an apartment so I took the front wheel off (depends on the size of your bike and tub) and put it on the bathtub .
For a full clean, I first clean the chain and drivetrain with a drive train cleaner (muc off) and I use some brushes and a special chain cleaner device that I bought on Amazon (very similar to the muc off shown by @FrankTuna). Then I use a sponge (it’s for car washing, a big one) with water and any bike cleaner product (some times dishwasher if I’m out of bike cleaner ) and then remove the product with a light shower and proceed to dry it with clean clothes (usually old t-shirts ). You have to be careful with the disc brakes and the cleaning products… and remember to also wash the front wheel (if you want).
Maybe not the best, but that’s my indoor bike washing method.
I travel a ton with my bike. My bike bag has a bike stand but the one below one my bike buddy uses.
In the hotel or Airbnb we use the following. Simple green always works and is cheap. The mat ensures we aren’t jerks. Wipes ensures we don’t need towels and if we do we bring along a rag or two.
I clean my bike after each ride. Here’s my suggestions.
If I had to do a full wash indoors:
(why bother with special soap, this is totally fine)
Cargo tray for the floor
You still need to get the liquid out so that’s a shop vac or something. I actually didn’t see anything long enough but there are some long mats out there for kitchens that have water capacity built into them.
Or go with a kiddy pool because there’s no party like a Sponge Bob party.
I use Sunlite bike polish and keep the bike on the trainer. I don’t think dry washing is what you’re asking for, though.
Chain etc is obviously the same indoors as outdoor.
I live in an apartment with carpets and have the same approach as @Ddtoco (but i take both wheels)
One big improvement i did in my setup was to start using squirt. The bike is so much more clean and it’s a lot easier to clean wax then oil (bike and bathtub ). I’m testing Wolftooth WT-1 oil and first impressions are very positive… but i have a few more miles to go.
I also built a simple H shape frame that seats on top of the tub with a quick release to lock the fork. I use this for the deep cleans.
For reference, I leave in England and my bike is the same for commuting and riding on the weekend - no matter the weather (almost)
Beat me too it. I use this stuff all the time. I have a spray bottle by my trainer bike, a bottle in the garage, and a bottle I travel with.
Simple and easy.
Keep on top of cleaning. A quick clean every day is multitudes easier than trying to do deep clean of a filthy bike after weeks of not being cleaned.
Wax your chain too. Leave the oily mess in the past.
Also… Find the closest car wash with a wand to your house. Toss in a buck and hose as much gunk off as you can before you get home. Or just do your deep clean there.
Just use your shower.
Stand bike in shower.
I also live in an apartment and i use baby wipes and use Smoove on the chain.
What @Neuromancer said along w/baby wipes for post-ride quick wipe downs. If married, I would also advise only putting the bike in the shower when your wife isn’t home and making sure you leave no traces!
Just hose it down in the living room.
This is a great thought. I much prefer cleaning the bike with wheels out (and either chain off for wax chains or a chain keeper device and chain cleaner machine for wet lubes). I’ve often thought about how I could do some kind of wall mounted seatpost clamp that can be removed when not in use, etc. but actually some kind of a cross between a stretcher/cot frame and one of those bathtub-top accessory trays would be an ideal solution. A fork mount and a support for the BB would eliminate the need for a seatpost clamp and could all be done out of PVC sprinkler pipe with relatively minimal reinforcements.
ONR is a freaking revolution in how I clean my bikes and cars. It’s borderline unbelievable.
Lol, I couldn’t be bothered going out in the cold to clean my bike just now so I just gave it a wipe down with baby wipes. I’m using a drip wax so its not major but I’ve used a wet lube in the past (and still do on my other bike) and that’s just a case of more baby wipes. Maybe one to wipe down the frame and one or two to wipe the wheels, then using them to wipe down the chain (gripping the chain with the wipe and back pedalling is quite efficient). If the chain is a bit more mucky I’ll repeat the backpedal with a clean wipe, maybe thread it between links and perhaps re lube it first. Before relubing and wiping off the excess with a dry cloth.
Has no one suggested putting the bike in the shower? Chicks really dig a man who puts his bike in the shower.
It’s been suggested above.
Unless said chick is your wife who comes into the bathroom to find you in the shower w/a bike covered in dirt and grime from a rain ride that has resulted in the previously clean white bathroom to be “… filthy mess… ” It was a week or so before I was out of the dog house. Lesson learned!
- Don’t do it when the wife is home.
- Don’t use the master bath, use the guest bath.