compressed air for drying a bike

jdd

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Jul 26, 2008
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#1
I was over at a shop the other day, and someone was finishing washing their bike. After the rinse, they started using what I might call a puffer to blow off excess water. It was maybe 25cm long, with a nozzle, and maybe 4cm diameter. Accordian-like.

It did seem to work, but I'd never seen/used anything like that--I choose a sunny day, wash, and then keep the bike in the sun, giving it a light bounce now and then to knock off the water.

Obviously a real compressor would be a great way to blow-dry a bike, but this person was just giving little puffs at the brakes, etc.

Have I been missing something, or skipping some all-important, crucial step?!? :rolleyes:
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#2
Compressed air works good if you can't take the bike out for a spin. But hopefully they have a drier inline with the compressor or otherwise they are just blasting hypersatured air into the very places they are trying to dry. For brake pivots and other moving bushings I use a small spray of CRC or WD - it's much better at actually water displacement. Obviously for sealed bearing lubricated components , blasting air directly on them will actually force the water / slurry residue INTO the bearing - not good!
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#3
You're right Tim, air that rapidly decompresses cools off and that can lead to condensation (it heats up when compressed, but some cooling fins usually remove the excess heat before the compressor storage tank, so that when it decompresses again it ends up cooler than before compression-decompression).

I guess a real hairdryer could be the ultimate tool for the job! :D
 

jdd

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#4
...
Obviously a real compressor would be a great way to blow-dry a bike, but this person was just giving little puffs at the brakes, etc.
...
Okay, so unless the air has been pre-dried, compressed air is not a great way to blow-dry a bike...! (and the hand-held 'puffer' I saw was not pre-drying any of its air)

Still, after a wash, compared to water left sitting on a bike, I'd think that some condensation would be less of a worry, and maybe even more easily displaced by a squirt of some lube than larger amounts of water.

**

I'd never thought to do it before, but I'll try to add a short spin after my usual solar drying technique. Thanks for that idea.

John D.
 

GSAstuto

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#5
Most the hubs use labyrinth seals and when you spin the wheels it will actually force any accumulated water /debris away from the bearing. Same with the BB bearings. After I've washed my bike (did 2 of them today) I generally:

1) Wipe down the frame with a silicone polish cloth.
2) Hit all the moving bits with a dash of CRC
3) Lube all the rolling bits with some Bio-Oil (Pedal, JockeyWheels,Caliper pivot)
4) Degrease and re-lube chain (if I've been out in the rain or muck for a few rides)
5) Ride it around the block a few times, wipe down with a dry cloth and re-adjust anything as required.
6) Inspect cables, clamps , etc for possible wear or looseness.
7) Inspect wheel / tire for any anomolies, cuts, etc.

I don't like surprises when I jump on my bike at 6.00 to go Greenlining or head for the mountains. Same goes for my triage kit:

1) Tube of sealer (GEAX)
2) OTT Valve Extenders and valve core wrench
1) Short piece of silicone tubing
1) Mini tool (hex, driver)
1) Mini patch kit (mainly for other riders who flat and forget theirs)
1) Pharms (ibuprofen, aspirin, zyrtek, etc)
1) 'Emergency' Gel (Hi-5 Extreme)
1) Mini Pump or CO2 Bombe
4) Band Aids