Bike Washing Help!

We get newsletter emails from the guys over at The Hive, makers of Chub Hubs, importers of Formula Brakes, etc.

This month, there was a nice little chunk of info about bike washing techniques and strategy, which I will copy and paste now.  Happy New Year!

Tech Tip
So it is winter, and where we are, that means mud. That might mean worse weather where you are, in either case if you are riding through the winter (you are riding through the winter right?) you are going to need to know how to keep your bike clean. While the standard garden hose seems like your best bet, think again. Hosing you bike after every ride isn't really the best thing for your bike, specifically the bearings. So what to do when your sweet ride is covered in a weeks worth of mud and horse crap? A couple tips can help you from wrecking those ever important bearings:

Our man Joe at Santa Cruz bikes says:
"Stop washing your bike so much. We did some experiments with bikes that were washed a lot but ridden infrequently, bikes that were ridden a lot but washed infrequently, and bikes that were both washed and ridden a lot. Guess what? Your bike hates only being washed and not being ridden. This test group had the worst results. They became creaky and not much fun to be around, much like the people who own bikes like that. Don't get all angry (you know who you are), you can still wash your bike from time to time - and there are those times where it has to be done after every ride. Everything needs more attention during those times. BUT, maybe you should examine your priorities. It's a mountain bike. You can get dirt on it. It's OK."
Joe knows his stuff and as the head engineer of Santa Cruz bikes he seems to know more about bicycles than he does about fine scotch.


  • If your bike it just a little dirty clean it with a rag. Knock all the big chunks of dirt off first then go over the frame with some Pledge furniture cleaner. Not only will your bike be shiny, but it will also smell lemony fresh. Just be careful not to get any on your disc brakes.
  • Grease those bearings. Use a high quality grease and change it occasionally, this will keep bearing debris and wear to a minimum. Also inspect the bearing seals and make sure that they are in good condition. On the Fifteen.g bottom bracket, try putting a layer of grease under the outer non-contact shield. This will help keep any water that does make it around the seal from getting to the bearing.
  • If your bike is covered in filth, it is ok to bust out the hose. But do it PRO style, spend more time brushing and less time spraying. Take your wheels off and clean the separately. Warm water helps.
  • Don't point the hose at your headset, hubs or BB. Pressure washing is a definite no-no. "But the pros pressure wash their bikes after every stage of the tour", yeah we know, the pros also have a team of mechanics repacking their bearings once a week. You don't need to wrap those parts in stretch wrap, but avoiding a direct blast will help avoid forcing water into those parts.
  • If you must wash your bike know the risks. Bikes that get hosed off will need a bit more love to stay happy. Washing your bike isn't the worst thing in the world, but realize that you will need to service your bearings more frequently. So from time to time, bust out the grease and spend some time cleaning the inside of your bike.

Euro Trip Memories

Playing around with GPS mapping options, came across this:

Man that was good times.

Here's a bunch more photos:

Good memories as I sit here at work on a snowy December day.

Trail Conditions Report: Placitas

Just rode out in Placitas today with Charlie.
The trails are primarily covered in snow, but it's dry and grippy snow, and completely ride-able.
It was a fantastic ride.  I finally took out the Salsa Big Mama demo bike.  First impressions were very positive.

Unless it warms up a whole bunch, Placitas should remain good for a while.

Holiday Boozy Treats!

Based on the quality and quantity of the gifts we have received this week, I am feeling reassured that we are doing our jobs well!

Thanks everybody! We definitely have the best customers ever!

2010 Lynskey Pro 29

Have you seen the new Lynskey Pro 29? They redesigned it from last year, and we just got one in.

It is, how do you say... ah yes, bad to the bone:

The frame is light, 3.6lbs for the medium, on our scale, with the sliding dropouts and everything.

The tubes, they are so twisty:

It is hard to imagine how they actually make these tubes, there is so much going on.

We got the frame in yesterday, and so far every person who has seen it can't help but put their hands on it. The shaping on the tubes is far more dramatic than we expected, it's quite hard to capture on a picture.

I can't wait to build it up. This one is going to be a very light singlespeed build, for a good Doctor friend of ours.

This will be the third Lynskey we have built up, the others were a Cross frame, and the Ridgeline 29er. So far, we have been nothing short of completely impressed. Beautiful welds, perfectly straight frames, great attention to detail, good looking, and at prices that are surprisingly affordable for a hand made in the U.S. titanium frame of this quality.

Check them out:

You can't see it in the picture, but their seatpost is wicked sweet as well, and matches the frame oh so nicely.

It's Christmas Eve-Eve, it's snowing outside, and it's slow here in the shop.

We just got "The Best of Earthed" DVD, it's pretty cool, we've got it playing right now.

Come by and say hi. We've got a beverage for you.

Super Secret Sunday Hours!

We will be open tomorrow, Sunday the 20th, for a few hours, from 8am to 12pm, or so.
In addition to our regular awesome inventory, Tony's special lady friend will be here with a plethora of gift-tastic homemade artsy goods. If you didn't know, Tony's special lady friend has the skills to pay the bills when it comes to making artsy stuff, like light switch covers with pin-up girls on them, rad jewelery pieces of all sorts, etc.
Furthermore, there will be other handmade items from local artisan friends.

If you have ever felt inclined to bring the wife / girlfriend, this would be the day!

Salsa Big Mama Demo!

Salsa has graciously lent us a Big Mama, for our demo amusement. Interested?

It's a 4" travel full suspension 29er. It's the only full suspension 29er that we have access to that I'm interested in, and I'd like to get some feedback from our customers.

So, if you think you might like to check it out, swing by and pick it up for a ride or two. It's a size large, and it will be available first come first serve. I'll have it until January 8th. There will be no fee for demoing it.

Tony's New Ride

Tony is going to huck his meat on this mad mammajamma!

Holiday Hours

We're going to be closed for a few around the Christmas, as you might have guessed.
Basically, closing early Christmas eve, then closed Christmas through Monday. Open again Tuesday, Weds, Thurs as usual, and closed again on New Years day, as you might have guessed.


New Troy Lee D3 Helmets are here!

We got the new D3 in. And boy does it go well with our jersey:

Any chance our design caught Troy Lee's eye last year when we had them make Jerseys for us?
Hard to say, but I'm going to go ahead and assume yes.

Anyway, the helmet sure does look good with our Jersey.

The new D3 is chock full of new features, worth checking out. We have every color in stock now (except the black carbon, which is proving hard to get).

Soft Goods Sale! Canari, Endura, Giro, Mavic, Vaude and more!

(Tony has skills none of knew about.)

We've got a bunch of clothes we're sick of looking at, so we're blowing it all out at 40% off.

Sizes and selection are random, but we have a rack full of clothes from Canari, Endura, Mavic and more. There are a couple Endura jackets, some Craft base layers, and all sorts of baggy and lycra shorts from Mavic and Canari.

We also have quite a few mid to large size packs from Vaude. Been finding that your hydration pack doesn't have room for all your clothes as the ride warms up and you shed layers? Booya! We got something for you at 40% off.

Also, a good size pile of Giro helmets, mostly '08 models with discontinued colors, at 40% off.

Last but not least, we have way more Giro Sunglasses than we need in the shop. So.. those are 40% off too. We've got a very nice selection of frame models and colors. Some of the best cycling sunglasses available, now for an awesome price.

Playing With GPS Maps

So, I've been thinking that a whole set of GPS maps of our favorite rides and routes would be a fun thing to have compiled and available for our customers.
It was brought to my attention that Bicycling Magazine has a pretty comprehensive website set up for GPS map hosting, and so I've been checking that out today.
I've set up a Bikeworks Albuquerque user group, under which we can post all our routes. The GPS maps can be uploaded onto your personal GPS unit, or you can print out maps of the ride and descriptions to accompany.
So far I've just put up one of our favorite Cedro-Otero loops. The map is rather un-detailed, but future versions will be more detailed. Check it out:

Bicycling Magazine Bikeworks ABQ GPS User Group Link

My goal is to have a place to point customers, out of towners, etc. when they come in asking for directions for rides. The books and maps covering our local mountain biking are pretty lacking, and I've felt for a long time that something like this could be really useful.

So, if this sort of thing interests you, let me know what you think. Does it work? Can you load it up on your GPS? I know there's a few different sites that have similar functionality, do you have a site that you like better and recommend?

Word to mama bird. Back to fixing bikes.