Cleaning sand and dirt off a fat tire bike

Roflo

Member
I know this sounds like a silly question but I am quite serious. I am getting the Volt 20" fat tire mariner mountain trail bike in the next week or so. I am planning on running this bike on both beach sand and dirt trails. I am concerned of the best way to clean sand and debris from both the rear motor hub and the gear casing area and the chain. Is it safe to hose the back area down with water without damaging the motor. What the best way to get sand out of the chain and gears. What is the proper maintenance procedure.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
I live in NM and trails are extremely sandy and dusty. I don't have to deal with saltwater like some folks. I don't know the way I do it is proper; but, I use:

- Park Tool CG-2.3 Chain Cleaner with Pedros Oranj Peelz Cleaner for the chain.

- Finish Line Speed bike Degreaser to spray rear derailleur and between front/rear gears. Does a good job of cleaning hard to reach the sand/dust.

- Blue lent free disposable shop towels to wipe up any extras.

- White Lightning Easy Lube with wax (in blue bottle). Suppose to be good for sandy and dusty conditions to keep stuff from sticking to gears/chain. The Wax lube can coat the gears and chain and prevent any sand/dust from sticking to make clean-up faster.

I cut a 13gal trash bag open to put under the bike to catch all the drippings from degreasing and lube.

I just use a lent free cloth, bucket, and the same mild soap I use to hand wash my cars. I wipe everything down, never spray with a hose.

I also use Clorox wipes to clean the (sweaty) seat and grips after a ride. It is still almost 80 degrees in NM at the end of Oct.

I also use Finish Line max Suspension Spray for the front suspension every once in a while and use Lizard Skins Fork Boot to help keep them from picking up dust/sand.

I sometimes have to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull out any thorns from the 4" tires I can't by hand. I also use Mr Tuffy 3XL tire liners with Stans tire sealant.

I usually set my PSI to 20 when I commute during the week and between 10-15 PSI when I ride the trails. We can go from rocky, dusty, hard packed, to +6 inches of loose sand on the same ride. Lower PSI works better the deeper the sand. I keep a VIAIR 90P protable air compressor in the car for fast adjustments.

Before:



After:
 
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@mrgold35 Those fork stanchion covers often hold dirt, and can actually cause more wear-and-tear than if left uncovered. Like NM, Colorado is very dusty. My favorite chain lubes are the ones from Dualco. The Hot/Dry formula runs exceptionally clean, and outlasts the wax-based lubes that I've tried.

Professional race mechanics swear by blue Dawn dishwashing soap, a bucket, and some good brushes. For the disc brake rotors, isopropyl alcohol works great.
 

mrgold35

Well-Known Member
Taking off the Lizard Skins fork protectors and cleaning are part of the spic-n-span + lube procedure. My ebike forks are bottom of the line types and I worry the fine NM dust will eventually get down into the forks over time. The forks use to look like my tires after a trail ride like the above picture. They now stay very clean on the same ride with the Lizard skins.

Not sure if the OP's beach run will be near fresh or salt water? Maybe our sea-side ebikers can add some additional input for dealing with saltwater and/or saltwater sand precautions and clean-up?
 
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dm nelson

Active Member
Great cleaning & lube ideas, thanks! Not having room in the house or carport for bikes, mine are kept in a covered patio area. To keep water & dust off my parked ebikes I'm having success with these bike covers. My partner often brings hers to work to cover bike from rain or mist. They seem well made compared with less expensive covers. :)

I've read of others using this lube on their bikes to protect against corrosion, salt, ect...
https://www.amazon.com/Lear-Chemical-ACF50-Anti-Corrosion-Lubricant/dp/B000P1C8UO


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Roflo

Member
Wow great detailed responses, and yes, I live at the beach (Pacific Ocean) so salt water and sand are going to be my biggest enemies.