05 Juli, 2009



Useful Tools and Supplies

This article will discuss bicycle washing. Cleaning the bicycle makes it look great, last longer, and improves performance. For more detail on cleaning the chain specifically see Chain Cleaning. Washing a bike is a messy job. Begin by changing to clothes that fit the job, and putting on an apron such as the SA-1 or SA-3. Next, find a work area that is appropriate. Gather together all the materials for cleaning. See list above.


Gather supplies before being the work.

Fill the buckets with hot water. Just like when washing dishes, warm water cleans better. Use a biodegradable dishwashing liquid or similar soap, and mix it in one of the buckets.


Add soap to water and mix.

If the bike is to be clamped, scrub inside the jaws holding the bike. Also wash area you will be clamping. The jaws will not scratch, but if there is dirt between the jaw and the paint, it may mar the finish.

Clean inside jaws Clean area clamped

Begin by cleaning the dirtiest items first, which is typically the chain and drive train. Use a chain cleaner such as the Park Tool CM-5 Cyclone Chain Scrubber.

Use the CM-5 to clean the chain.

The PRS-20 and PRS-21 Repair Stands offer an option for holding the chain. Remove the rear wheel and reverse the frame on the stand. The axle will hold the chain for cleaning.

PRS-21 or PRS-20 holds the chain for cleaning.

Use the GSC-1 brush to clean the derailleur pulley wheel, derailleur cage, and chainrings. Use solvent, but do not drip solvent into hub or bottom bracket bearings.

Clean greasy items with brush and solvent.

Clean all chainrings with GSC-1.

After scrubbing the chain with the CM-5, empty the CM-5 and fill it with soapy water. Using two different types of solvents, a degreaser and a soap, is very effective in cleaning the chain and removing grit.

Use soapy water to scrub chain after using a solvent.

Wrap a rag or sponge around the chain while you spin it.

Rinse the chain with water.

If the wheels and rear gears are especially dirty, it is best to pull them from the bike. Scrape out packed in grass, dirt, and grime from between the gears with the GSC-1.

Use gear comb

Clean between the teeth by scrapping with a "gear comb."

Lean the wheel so the cogs are facing the ground to minimize solvent dripping into bearing as you scrub the cogs with solvent.

With the wheel either in or out of the bike, use the pointed brush to clean the hub between the flanges and outside flanges. .

Use the sponge brush to get between spoke nipples of the rim.

Clean the frame and the bike components. Use the sponge with soapy water to clean the tubing. Use the tapered detail brush to clean hard to reach places such as behind the bottom bracket, derailleur and even under the saddle.

Don't be shy with the sponge and soapy water.

Use brush to clean all components.

Bottle brush cleans the hard-to-get to places.

Cleaing large tubes
Use the tire and frame tube cleaning brush for large tubes and tires.

If you are using a hose, use only low pressure with a wide spray. Let the water drip down from above. A water bottle may also be used for rinsing. NOTE: Mark the water bottle as unusable, as it may become contaminated with soap.

Rinse bike from top down.

Allow the bike to dry after rinsing. Use compressed air if available, but do not blast bearings directly. Use a light lubricant such as CL-1 on the chain, pulley wheels, cables, and pivots points. After the bike is washed, take the time to rinse off the BCB-4 brushes and clean the repair stand.


You can buy them fresh or frozen; the fresh ones are better but are harder to find (you'll have more luck on a weekend, actually). If you buy the fresh ones in long fat ropes you can slice them lengthwise into quarters and then into about 2-inch-long strips. Or you can buy some which are long but thinner, and just slice those every 2-inches. Or, slice the cakes diagonally into ovalettes about1/4 inch thick. Fresh rice cakes should be scalded in boiling water for a few seconds, then let soak completely covered in tepid water, after which they are ready for a quick stir-frying. Do not overcook. Fresh rice cakes may be kept in their packaging for 1-2 days; if there are leftover uncooked rice cakes, care should be taken that they do not dry out too much. Uncooked leftovers should either be wrapped up well, refrigerated overnight, and used the next day after being allowed to come to room temperature first, or else wrapped up very well and frozen.
The frozen ones generally come pre-sliced into ovalettes, although there is a brand which packages them in frozen ropes as well and frozen rectangles seem to be becoming more popular. Try to get some in a bag with a local label on it which might have been made fresh and then frozen only very recently. Sometimes bags of dried but not frozen rice cakes are also available, especially in large quantities--squeeze one or two through the bag and see how close to fresh they are. If you are not planning on cooking the whole amount of frozen rice cakes at once, be careful not to let the remaining portion thaw out. The consistancy of rice cakes changes drastically after being thawed once and then refrozen--when you next go to cook them, they will start shredding and splitting apart in the water, and they will not hold their shape.
• BEEF, VEGETABLE, AND RICE CAKE STIR FRY (from Practical Korean Cooking by Noh Chin-hwa)
If you're not a meat or vegetable person you can leave both of those out of this dish and still make it successfully--I've done so many times! Still, when the recipe is followed exactly the flavors blend nicely (particularly the soaking liquid from the mushrooms) and the result is impressive.
Cut 2/3 lb rice cake into 2" lengths and quarter lengthwise. Scald in boiling water, rinse in cold water.
Cut 1/4 lb beef into thick strips and season it with 1 T soy sauce, 1/2 T sugar, 1 T chopped scallion, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 t sesame salt, and 1/2 T sesame oil.
Cut 1/4 lb carrots, 2 oz. bamboo shoots, 3 dried mushrooms (soaked in warm water to reconstitute first), and 1/2 cucumber into 2" long flat rectangles.
Fry seasoned beef until cooked and add vegetables, rice cakes, and 1/2 c soaking water of mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Season with 1 t soy sauce and 1/2 T sugar and stir well.
Prepare the appropriate amount of rice cakes, either fresh or frozen, as directed above, and set aside, drained and cooked, for now.
Slice red bell pepper into long strips, the green parts of scallions into 1-inch lengths, and half of a fish cake (or more to taste) into long strips. Chop finely the white parts of the scallions and 1 clove of garlic.
Prepare a modified version of the marinade for the above recipe: mix 1 T soy sauce, 1/2 T sugar, 1 t sesame salt, and 1/2 T sesame oil, also adding 1/2 t chilli sauce or more to taste.
Heat a wok with a little oil and cook the garlic and the white parts of the scallion. Add the marinade/sauce, and when bubbly, add rice cakes, red pepper, fish cakes, and green scallions. Cook for 1-2 minutes, coating all ingredients with sauce, and serve immediately.
Serve these after miso soup and pan-fried dumplings for an easy, delicious three-course dinner which is big on taste!
Partially cook rice cakes (either scald then soak the fresh ones, or boil the frozen ones until just tender) and set aside, covered. Mix up in a non-stick frying pan a single package (usually about $0.79 and easy to find in any American supermarket) of Noh Korean BBQ Sauce Mix according to package directions with vegetable oil and water. Add chilli sauce to taste and scallions chopped in about 1-inch lengths. Cook sauce, stirring, until bubbling. Return rice cakes to frying pan and stir briefly, cooking them the rest of the way and coating them in the sauce. Remove rice cakes to serving platter and reduce the sauce futher, boiling until it clings to a plastic spatula easily. Pour remaining, thickened, sauce over rice cakes and serve.
If you are careful not to overcook them, rice cakes are excellent in soup. Simply add strips of beef, dumplings, thin yellow noodles, the rice cakes, some scallions and any other greens you wish to a rich beef broth and have a terrific, filling meal!
Dip plain cooked rice cakes, dumplings, or both in any of the following suggested sauce mixtures, or invent your own!
o plain soy sauce
o rice vinegar and shredded ginger
o soy sauce, a little rice vinegar, a dash of seseme oil, a little chili sauce
o soy sauce, hot seseme oil, and chopped scallions
• KING FUNG GARDEN (read in-depth review and see photos!)
• KOREANA in Central Square several blocks off of Mass Ave makes a very nice, spicy rice cake appetizer large enough for a main dish. At $8.95 it's expensive enough as well, but the rice cakes are nicely cooked, firm to the bite, and the dish is well-seasoned.
• See Sun Market in Chinatown (frozen ovalettes only)
• The very large Chinese supermarket at the other end of Chinatown, near the Mass Pike (all kinds frozen, some dried, sporadically some fresh)
• The Lotte Mart on Mass Ave near Main Street, in between Kendall and Central Squares (frozen and dried ovalettes and fresh rice cakes usually available everyday)
• The small Korean grocery store on Beacon Street in Brookline, on the inbound side of the street, before you hit Coolidge Corner (all kinds frozen and dried, and fresh ones only available Saturdays and Sundays)