Last year I took an online test to see how obsessive-compulsive I was and scored a perfect 100 (but I took the test again just to make sure). I told this story to a young medical student I know and he said, “I knew you had OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) the first time I saw your garage.” Guilty as charged—all of the tools in my garage hang in their proper spot on the pegboard (all 192 square feet of it) and my bikes have to be sparkling clean before I can hang them back up after a ride.
I ride year-round in all weather conditions and have actually come to enjoy riding in the mud on my Surly Necromancer Pugsley. However, I can’t stand to have a dirty bike in my garage. When I get home after a ride I usually wipe the bike off with a Grease Monkey Wipe to remove dust and road grime. If the bike is really dirty I use a Veloshine Bike Wipe—a large, heavy-duty cleaning cloth that quickly takes mud and sand off a bike and leaves it with a decent shine.
A few months ago one of the mechanics at the local bike shop showed me a can of Sunlite Bicycle Pro Polish and told me the shop uses it to clean up bikes after a tune-up. I bought a can of this spray and it does a fantastic job of brightening up a bike! All you have to do is hold the can about 5 inches away from the bike and spray on a light coat of the polish—then just let it foam up for about a minute and wipe it off with a clean cloth. The polish leaves a slick film that helps prevent dirt build-up on frame and is safe for metal, carbon fiber, plastic, rubber, and vinyl. However, you need to keep it away from the rotor on your disc brakes.
Even though the Sunlite Bicycle Pro Polish is a great product, you still need to give your bike a nice coat of paste wax at least once a year (unless you like the grunge look).
Sunlite Bicycle Pro Polish retails for around $6.00 and is available at most bike shops. If your local bike does not have the item in stock you can ask them to order it for you from J & B Importers (part # 62028).