Preventing Rust, Polishing & Electronics Cleaning | GCN Tech Clinic

– Welcome back to another
episode of the GCN Tech Clinic, where I aim to help and solve your bike related problems. So if you’ve got one,
make sure you leave it down there in the comments
section for me below, or on all forms of social media using the hashtag #askgcntech. So with no further ado, let’s crack on with the first question this week. And it comes in from
Patrick Zapanta who says: “How do you riders clean
a bike with DI2 set up? I’m just afraid that I’m
gonna get water into the components, and it
might short the system.” Patrick, good question. Uh, you’ve got nothing
really to worry about. I’ve been using DI2 components probably seven or eight years now, and I’ve never had any problems with them
when I’ve been washing my bike. Ultimately, I mean at
home, I even jet wash my bike, and I’ve not had any shortages of electrical components. Something to consider,
though: obviously if you are using a jet wash or a hose,
as well as a sponge even, don’t go wild and wacky down in there where the cables actually
go into the components. Although saying that,
I’ve seen Cyclo-cross riders and their mechanics literally jet wash bikes as if they were submerged into the Atlantic ocean. But don’t go ahead and
do that, because it is your own pride and joy, and
those riders are sponsored. If you’re particularly worried, though, maybe get yourself some
silicone grease, available from an electrical supplier
or something like that. And just put it around the cables, where they actually go
into the components, and it does create a
nice, water-proof barrier. Next up is a question from Jordan who’s keen to know my thoughts
on how to prep spokes, prior to building wheels. Now, Jordan mentions products
like DT Swiss Spoke Freeze, that locks the spokes in place, like a low level Loctite, or medium strength. Um. But regarding this one, really, Jordan I’ve built a fair few
wheels during my lifetime. It’s not something I really
enjoy that much, really. I enjoy building them for
myself, but other people, I’ve never really taken
that much enjoyment out of. Anyway, all of that
aside, I’ve never actually used any specialty locking compounds, like the one you’ve already mentioned there. The reason being: if you’ve
built a wheel correctly, the spokes shouldn’t be coming loose. Those sorts of products are
used when, in my opinion, you have the persistently
offending spoke that’s always coming loose,
and you just wanna try and sort that out once and for all. What you could try is
something like beeswax. I’ve heard of people
dipping the threads of the spokes in that as well as the eyelet of the rim, and that just
makes truing a pleasure. If you are gonna build up
wheels, yeah, like I said I wouldn’t actually use any sort of Loctite or anything like that. It’s just my personal preference. Although, I’m sure the
wheel builders out there, people like MrGrumpy53,
a regular commenter, he’ll have an opinion
on this one, for sure. Next up is a question from
Tokyo Pedestrian, who– Hang on, “pedestrian”? Hope you’re a cyclist, too. Anyway, right, Tokyo
Pedestrian wants to know: they wanna put a new
crank set onto the bike. They wanna put a Shimano
Ultegra R8000 one on there, but the rest of the components
are Shimano 105 R5800. Now, they’ve got a new bottom bracket to put on there, a C-bear one. That’s a nice bottom bracket, actually. Uh, however the mechanics at the shop have told them there’ll be some
problems with the shifting if they put a newer crank
set, such as the R8000 one, with the old 5800 11-speed groupset. “Is this true? Do I need to
buy a complete groupset?” Good question. It’ll work, I reckon. I
don’t see any reason why not. I know the spacings
between the chain rings are marginally different, but
it will work absolutely fine. I’ve done it myself, so you
can take my word on that. The only time where you
could possibly run into a few problems is if you’re
using a DI2 front derailleur on that, because you
can’t control the throat as accurately as you can
with a mechanical groupset. The reason being,
obviously, you can really minutely adjust all of the
Bowden cables and the tension. Where as with a DI2
style groupset, you press a button and it does everything for you. Of course you can set the limit screws, but I don’t see any
problems why it won’t work. Okay, next up is TomaCukor who says: “I washed my chain off
the bike with dish soap, and rinse it off, but
my chain always ends up rusting shortly after.
What am I doing wrong?” Well, you’re using dish soap. Use bike cleaner or car cleaner. In seriousness, it doesn’t
really matter either way. It is good, though, that you’re actually cleaning your chain. What I would do is, once you’ve actually rinsed it off, give the bike a good shake, or maybe get a dry cloth,
something like that and run the chain through it to get off as much water as possible. Then apply some water displacing fluid, something like WD-40, for instance. Make sure it doesn’t go on your breaks or breaking surface, anything like that. And then, after about 20 minutes, when it’s all evaporated,
run through again and wipe away any access, then
apply your chain lube. Therefore it won’t be able to rust. Hopefully that also
answers the question of Felipe Ramirez, who says: “If you use WD-40 on the chain to get rid of water, how long do you have
to wait before applying your regular chain lubricant?” About 20 minutes. Another cleaning style question, now. This one’s in from Lewis Wood, who says: “What’s the best way to
get the bit of the frame behind the chainset? I
normally work the sponge in the gap and spin the
cranks, but wondered if there’s a more finger-friendly way.” Right then, Lewis, it’s good to have a fellow bike-cleaning fanatic. Right, what I would
suggest is: get yourself a cloth, a microfiber
cloth, something like that, dip it in your bucket of soapy water, get it nice and frothy there, and then essentially put it in
between the chain rings and the chain stay or
the frame, and sort of shimmy it backwards and
forwards, up and down, and try and get away all that mucky grime. That should do the trick. Now, if you’re really
serious about cleaning up your frame, the only
thing you can do there, is actually remove the chainstay. It’s pretty extreme, and
probably not the most time-efficient method
of doing it, but yeah. If you wanna get it nice and gleaming, that’s the way to do it. But otherwise, get that bit of cloth and just shimmy it backwards and forwards. Okay, right. Ben Martinek has recently got himself some new wheels. They’re fast and beautifully minimalistic, but they are also much
louder than Ben would like. Is there a way to quieten them down? Ben’s read about adding a
more viscous oil or grease. Alternatively, adjusting
the spring tension. Is this recommended? Ben, stop don’t do it.
Okay, the reason being all of the poles and
ratchets inside of your free hub, they are doing a job. If you start chucking in
more grease, thicker oil, or adjusting the spring tensions, you run the risk of either
those poles and ratchets becoming absolutely gunked up, or the spring tension being really, really loose and not being able to do the job of the free wheel, so engaging
with actually the hub shell. The two things could be disastrous. One: it could leave you
literally just spinning, because the free hub is not engaging, or the alternative, which
is a real nightmare. Happened to me once in a
race about 15 miles in. For the remaining 70 miles of the race my wheel was in a
almost fixed wheel state. Because every time I tried to free wheel, the chain wants to carry on going. The reason being: the
spring tension inside of the free hub was too much, and yeah. That was a big, big problem. So if you chuck in more
oil and more grease, that sort of thing, it is just gonna gunk them up, and not allow them to do their normal job of springing
backwards and forwards. So, I’m afraid Ben, my friend, you’re just gonna have to live with
that loud free hub. Which is strange, you want it
to be a little bit quieter. We get loads of questions
on the tech channel asking how can I make my free hubs louder? So you’re the envy of all these people. Eddie Grooves is up next,
another bike cleaning question. Now Eddie says: “Hi, I always
have my bike immaculate. However, I’ve recently
upgraded my wheels to full carbon and was wondering
if just washing them is okay for the breaking surface? Does a residue remain from a typical bike wash product and
hinder strong breaking? Should the breaking surface be cleaned with anything else? Eddie, absolutely fine to use your usual bike wash or car wash, or even your dish soap on your rims. Just make sure you give it a good amount of pressure there, just
to wipe away any break dust or any glazing over
that sometimes you get. Makes me think maybe
you’re not getting the optimum breaking performance
that you’re seeking. So, make sure of course,
you’re using a special carbon specific break pad, there. Because that will help. But, yeah, there’s no other
reason why you shouldn’t be getting perfect breaking performance. Next up is Trey Quattro, I like that name. Because I do like an Audi Quattro. “What’s the GCN Tech take
on waxing your carbon bike? I was told that waxing with car polish every few months is a good idea. Haven’t done it yet, but wipe
it down after every ride.” Trey, love this question, mate. Yeah, I use car wax or polish on my bikes. Especially when the first
time I start to build them, because you can get all the
nooks and crannies there. But the reason I like it, is it actually helps prevent dirt and water and all those things
sticking onto your bike. Instead it creates a slight
barrier, if you like, and it makes cleaning a
little bit easier too. Now, if you’ve got yourself
a matte finish frame, don’t go using polish or wax on it. The reason being: matte frames look so, because there isn’t a
clear coat on top of them that has a really smooth finish. Instead a matte frame is kind of like a resemblance to a peak of mountains. So it’s like this, but that’s over a real microscopic look. So they’re tiny, tiny, tiny little voids. If you start putting wax
on it, it fills those voids and ultimately turns it
into a glossy looking bike. Or, well, a not a matte looking one. So if you’ve got a
matte frame, use a matte detailing finishing product. There are specialist
ones from bike companies. I think Crankalicious make one, there’s probably a few other ones out there. Otherwise pop into a local car store, because while matte finishes on cars are pretty cool, I’ve been told, these days. Maybe on an Audi Quattro, even. But yeah, I would always use a wax on a frame if possible. Now the final question
this week comes in from Ali Yazdi who says: “Hi I’ve got a vintage road bike in very poor condition for free. I’m restoring and repainting the frame, and I’m thinking of
converting it to a fixie, can I use a track hub? Also can the old cranks be repurposed? I need a guide to start. Oh, Ali, it all depends
on how fussy you are, really, with things. Now you say, you know,
it’s just an old bike, you’ve been given, and uh, what? A very poor condition. So, yeah. Something to consider here though, is to use a track hub inside of a road frame. Generally, the actual
over-lock-nut distance measurements are going to be different. So on a track hub, it’s gonna be either 110, or 120 depending on the age. Whereas a road hub you’re looking at 126 or 130, generally. So that would involve,
well, slightly moving the frame in, which isn’t ideal. But the good news is: you can actually get road hubs designed for fixed sprockets that are in road widths. So essentially, slotting
straight in there a-OK. And that will probably help you as well, be able to repurpose the cranks. If I was going to be racing on that bike, I would say no. I wouldn’t go ahead and try and do all of this. I would have something
specific for the job. But while you’re just keen to use it as a fixie and probably just
pop around to the shops, that kind of thing, so
it’ll be fine for that. Right, I hope I’ve been
able to help answer your questions this week on
the GCN Tech Clinic. Remember to leave yours
down in there for me in the comments section below. And why not like and share
this video with your friends? Give it a big ol’ thumbs up, don’t forget to check out the GCN shop at: We’ve got a whole heap of goodies for you to check out. And well, why not check out my cheap bike to super bike video just down here. And then to actually find out how it performed click just down here.

66 thoughts on “Preventing Rust, Polishing & Electronics Cleaning | GCN Tech Clinic

  1. #ASKGCNTECH hey there , I recently replaces my two older specialised inner tubes to new continental race 700×25c but both the tubes punctured while installing . What can be the reason for that , they both had similar punctures

  2. Jon, I've never used wax, but I've always put a drop of oil or grease on the threads so that there is no binding when you bring the spokes up to high tension. I've always assumed that the oil would evaporate or wash off after a few rides, thus holding the spokes very tight, yet preventing the spokes from freezing to the nipple (specially with aluminum nipples)

  3. I was just thinking of how I could polish my rims. Looked through different tips on the Internet, I open YouTube and this came up.

  4. I don't understand the fascination with loud free hubs. Bikes should be quiet. If it's making noise, generally something is out of alignment, worn or not lubed properly.

  5. If the vintage frame is very old (5 speed) it'll have 120mm spacing…… old fashioned baby bottle brush is great for cleaning hard to get at spots on a bike…..

  6. best thing for rust prevention is acf 50 used it for years in the army it's about £15 a can and lasts for ages i find it strange that it's never mentioned, it's safe on everything, google it guys

  7. #askGCNTech Mostly, I'm an enthusiast for the bike wash (I've given up on my Olympic time trial dreams, but I continue training toward that day when they add the 5-minute bike wash as an official event). But, while I try to keep my road bike immaculate, this really isn't happening with my commute bike. Could you give us some advice on the minimum maintenance and cleaning routines for the daily beater?

  8. Hi John, in June I will cycle the first stage of the TdF as a charity ride. It includes some cobbled sections including the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen. I will ride my lovely new Canyon Endurace 8.0 with Ultegra groupset. Should I fit a chain catcher? Also clinchers or tubeless?
    The DT Swiss wheels are tubeless ready, but currently I am running 28mm GP4000 clinchers. Many thanks.

  9. A loud freehub? I just applied somewhat more grease in the ratched mechanism and it became more silent. No problems ever since.

  10. Hi GCN,
    I was wondering if there was different types of tarmac which work with different tyres, as I find it hard to ride my bike with my training wheels rather then my race wheels. Why is this? #AskGCNTech

  11. #AskGCNTech 
    Hi Jon, I have been riding my bike with DI2. Since I wash my bike very often I was wondering if I should be concerned about re-greasing the shifters and the derailleur. I figured the system should be completely sealed since im running electronic and hydraulic disc brake.
    I know on mechanical it could affect shifting performance but I didn’t know if DI2 (electronic) would also need that traitement.
    Thank you and love the show.

  12. For wheel building, the old school way is to dip the thread into linseed oil. It's a drying oil so protects the threads and acts like weak thread lock.

  13. I've heard that putting less viscous oil into free hubs actually makes them quieter since thick grease will move out of the way of the pawls, were as thin oil will stay in place and dampen the clicking. Messy mind unless there are some very good seals in the free hub body!!

  14. Hey John! Help…I'm riding Vittoria's tanned sidewalls tyres, I'm sure you've ridden and cleaned a fair few pairs in your time.. Please can you tell me how to keep the sidewalls looking sweet? Cheers! #askGCNtech

  15. Car polish and car wax are two very different things. Polish, at least here in the US, cuts just a little of the clear coat right off the top. Straight carnuba , non cleaning wax, is not abrasive at all.

  16. #AskGCNTech!
    I have ZIPP 303NSWs wheels. The front seems a little out of true. Can these, or any carbon wheel, be trued in the same way as my old alloy rims?

  17. Those were excellent questions, thanks, everybody. And thanks, Jon, for dispensing knowledge and answers from the Wall of Park Tools. And the last question was my favorite and that's what friends are for–saying I got this old bike, do you want it? And to borrow from Joni Mitchell, her song about a street musician who 'played real good for free', I'd say those bikes roll real good for free.

  18. Hi. I'm respraying/building up my Cannondale Slice from scratch. and I've got it ready to spray. any tips on getting a really nice finish on the paint?
    i want this thing to shine nice a bright in the sun. I'm going for 3 different colors of base and blue pearl then clear over the top. #AskGCNTech

  19. Thank you, Jon, for answering my question! I will go ahead and swap my crank. Regarding my username, I should change it to better reflect my new hobby.

  20. Hii #AskGCNTech i have seen the video about drilling holes in frame for internal cable routing, like the same way cani drill hole in aluminum aloy frame for panier rack mounts and install rivenut. Thank you. Fan from india

  21. Dish soap may be very high in sodium chloride! So that may contribute to corrosion. I used to work in manufacture of HSCs (hard surface cleaners) and DWLs (dishwashing liquid), they often have sodium salts (chloride is the cheapest) as agents that help when water may be hard.

    Give the components a very good rinse, blast air if possible, then lube quickly after washing. I had quick corrosion issues with KMC chains a couple of cross seasons ago when I would leave the bike to drip dry outside. Now I do everything a bit quicker.

  22. #AskGCNTech Hi John, I recently purchased a brand new Specialized Tarmac that is equipped with Shimano 105 group set. It has the hydraulic disc R7020 levers which seem to vibrate and make an annoying sound while riding on rough roads. I know how they tighten to the handlebars, but is there a way to only tighten the levers themselves to keep them from vibrating? Thanks!!

  23. Hi Jon, I like to imagine you're not wearing anything underneath that desk. Is Demonshine or similar foam spray cleaner a bad idea for bike cleaning? #AskGCNTech #CanningsPotY2019


  24. Hi Jon (Good Initials BTW)…is there an advantage of using drive side vs. non-drive side single-sided power meters? #AckGCNTech

  25. #AskGCNTech I have been unable to ride my bike for a few months, but I did ride it occasionally during winter, so it picked up winter road salt. My disk brake rotors, including the braking surfaces, the chain and are now rusted. How can I remove the rust, particularly from the rotor?

  26. Hey Jon, I’m riding a Trek Domane 4-series with Tiagra andTrek’s press fit BB90. What is Shimano’s BB90 equivalent if I’m going to be be upgrading to 105 R7000? #AskGCNTech

  27. Hi Jon, my wife has just purchased a Bianchi Via Nirone 7 (it was the color that sold her 😉) She is just getting in to road cycling, but I’m already planning for several upgrades in case she really falls in love. What can be done with the 8 speed Claris? Is this bike only going to fit an 8 speed groupset or will I be able to fit something like 105?

  28. #AskGCNTech Jon, are you familiar with any Di2 set-ups using ONLY buttons similar to the sprint or climbing additions, but WITHOUT having shifter handles or TT bar-end shifters present? I'm using TT brakes (in the bar-ends) and would just like to have a simple thumb Up/Down set-up for both Front and Rear Derailleur. Thanks.

  29. Hello Jon. I don’t get my front derailleur setup without rubbing on the cage when driving on the smallest sprocket on the rear cassette. If I move it further out it starts rubbing on the drive side crank. Is there something I can do about it? I use an r8000 front derailleur. The issue occurred both with the r8000 crankset as well as with my power2max rotor cranks. #AskGCNTech

  30. #askGCNtech – first of all, super show! My question is related to headset. I have a Tarmac and I cannot seem to adjust the headset so it sticks. I will tighten it up before a ride, remove any movement etc., pretty much following old GCN videos with Si and Dave etc but not by Jon C. When I get back home, the dang headset is loose again. What am I doing wrong? Also, winters can be harsh here so I read a lot inside and I sweat a lot. How to grease The whole headset and expansion bolt system to be safe and sound?

  31. Further to the question about noisy freehub, mine (Mavic Cosmics) used to make a great noise and since I had my bike serviced (by an ex-TeamGB mechanic) its completely silent! I've done around 200 miles since the service with no issues, should I be concerned at all? #AskGCNTech

  32. Definitely check what kind of soap you use.

    I use shampoo.

    You could use dishwasher soap – but it contains SALT……

  33. Morgan Blue sell a type of waterproof grease (marine quality) which would work well if you want to protect your DI2 connections

    Some pros add it to their chain if they expect to lose all their Lube during a wet one day race

  34. Spoke prepping – Put a drop of thick oil chain oil into the nipple threads before building, makes truing way easier as it "releases" the friction/stressing which can happen when tensioning the spokes, plus it helps prevent corrosion, which is very important especially with aluminium nipples and carbon rims.

  35. Shouldn't the uneven surface of a matte frame hold the wax better? Similar to having to make the surface of an inner tube rough, before patching it up, so that it sticks better.. Result may be glossy, but won't it hold the wax better?

  36. Hi Jon, I have a set of 2nd hand Mavic Aksium wheels and looking to renovate the breaking rim surface, any suggestions?

  37. +1 on waxing your bike when the components are off. I’m interested in trying the ceramic coating though that’s supposed to make dirt not stick. I don’t know if it comes in a bottle, I know it was $$$ to have done to my new truck so I didn’t get it.

  38. Ok, here’s one! I love a clean chain/group set. I can’t keep mine clean enough! Is too clean or cleaning too often bad? Maybe for the hubs or other areas? #AskGCNTech

  39. Great show as per usual Jon! On the subject of using car cleaner for bikes I have just picked up a bottle of turtle wax car schampoo for this purpose. But arriving home I realized its also containing wax (maybe not so surprising considering the name…). Will I be able to use this on my disc brake bike or will I ruin the discs/pads? #AskGCNTech

  40. #AskGCNTech Hi. To grease or not to grease? That's the question.

    At least when mounting a square taper crank on the BB. Had some discussion on this topic lately. "Better" to risk contact corrosion or crank damage? What's your opinion?

  41. #askgcntech – Hi John, I'm swapping my Mavic Ksyrium Elite's over to a Campagnolo bike. I've installed the freehub and all appears to be working – how do I know if I need a spacer for my cassette? It's a Mavic ED11 freehub body and a 10 speed Campag Veloce cassette if that helps – thanks!!

  42. #AskGCNTech Hey Jon, right now i´m running Sram Force 1x. I want to get a spider powermeter, but I also want to upgrade to the new Force ETap AXS Groupset. As i would like to get the Power Meter first, i want to know if i could use the 12 speed Etap AXS Power Meter Crankset with the normal Force group.
    I couldn´t find any information on the internet, i hope you can help. 🙂

  43. #AskGCNTech hi guys greeting from bolivia! Awsome show! Can i use the cinelli pista handlebar on my old road bicycle using a quill adapter? I use my bike for commuting and some 50k rides thanks a lot!!!!

  44. By the way I have R8000 chainrings on a DFour91 and the 5800 FD, and sadly it is indeed not fitting all that well together. An R8000 FD should be cheap enough though.

  45. #AskGCNTech!

    I was wondering if you or anyone who follows your page here could tell me about the vintage bike I have. It's possibly English? It's a Kingston 3 speed. it has a sticker with the firestone "f" logo on it, the color of it is copper. Brown what looks to be leather seat… a white pinstripe on the tire hub caps (I think that is the right term? I'm sooo new to learning about vintage bikes/ the terms for bike parts in general). I got this bike a few years ago from a garage sale in upstate Geneva NY, USA area. I don't know if that helps. Seemed like the old guy selling it didn't know much about it, and I got it for $20 even. I would love to gather more information on this bike including the year it was made, and it's actual worth. So, thanks for reading, and I look forward to learning more about this hopefully.

  46. I've recently bought a set of wheels second hand. The cassette "wobbles" when I free wheel. Is it wheel bearings or the free hub? #AskGCNTech

  47. Hi gcn , great show as always. I got a couple of questions about Quick release and Trough Axle. I'm planning to buy or build an all road bike. Do i really need TA system for gravel bike ?. Or should i stick with trusty old QR system ?. Is it just for wheel security or is it just the marketing ?. Cause bike manufacturers like surly still using QR system for their disc frame set. Cheers #askgcntech

  48. Heya, I just bought a bargain of a bike with ultegra Di2, stages powermeter (Giant propel 0 2016) but the frame has one or two chips from gravel exposing the carbon underneath, the frame has a matt finish, is there a way to easily fix this as I am a poor college student, or do I have to repaint it ( I would preferably have a glossy finish with a protective clear layer) Cheers from Norway!!

  49. #askGCNtech While im accelerating on the bike and I put a lot of load on the pedals I often hear a bang. It's a a new bike, I've ridden around 200 kilometers on it. Anything I can do about this? Thanks for your help!

  50. #AskGCNTech I have a secondary bike with Shimano A070 7-speed groupset on it. After installing a 10/11 speed powermeter crankset on it, it doesn't shift well into the lower chainring. Can the shifting be improved by only upgrading to an 11-speed front derailer, or do I need to do the whole groupset to 11 speed?

  51. Hi Jon love the show. I have a Canyon Ultimate CF SL and love it except for one thing….the headset, it's the one with the little grub screw to pre-load it. I've adjusted it and serviced it but can't eliminate the chatter when I brake. Is there an after market bearing kit that can convert the top bearings and headset to a traditional one?

  52. #askgcntech which one lasts longer, a threaded dura ace bb or a threaded ultegra bb? Does dura ace have stainless steel ball bearings?

  53. #AskGCNTech help i need some advice on tyre pressures for the bigger rider, i am 100kg and ride a specialized diverge, i am riding some of the flanders pave this year as part of a larger cycling holiday. What tyre pressure would you recommend for this? I am using clincher wheels currently. Love the show Jon and enjoy the top advice given.

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