I found this article from Discovery's mechanic Vince Gee on their PaceLine Website quite helpfull. You can find an article on bike lubing a this URL as well http://www.thepaceline.com/
* Dish soap (blue "Dawn" is my favorite)
* Two sponges -- One for the chain and one for the rest of the bike.
* Parts cleaning brush -- For the chain / cogs / chainrings. Or, a cheap 1" paint brush
* Small bottle brush -- For the hard to get areas.
* Degreaser -- For the chain / cogs / chainrings -- Pedros "Orange Peelz" is my personal Favorite.
* An old nasty water bottle. Cut the top off and you have a cup for your degreaser.
* A wide soft brush -- for chainrings and spokes -- the small dust pan brushes work well here (Pedros Super Pit Kit has a great "paddle" looking brush for this).
As a complete bike wash kit, Pedros Super Pit Kit is very nice. Add some blue Dawn and an old water bottle to this set and you are pretty much complete.
How to do it:
Wander out to the sidewalk, get the hose out and make a bucket of soapy water. I like to use the cut water bottle because when the bike is in the workstand you can put your degreaser cup (the cut bottle) in the cage of the bike so your degreaser is always close by. I'll also wash the bike with the wheels off so I can get into all the tight areas (I'll usually do the wheels last).
A) With the parts brush or paint brush "paint on" the degreaser onto your chain, cogs and chainrings by turning the crank with one hand and brushing on the degreaser with the other hand. In my obsessive / compulsive manner, I count pedal revolutions when cleaning the chain. In my quest to go as fast as possible, I want to do exactly what I need to and not a second more. Pedal about 4 revolutions in the big ring and small cog and your chain goes around one complete time. So when I degrease the chain, I usually turn the crank in multiples of 4 depending on how dirty it is and how much degreaser I need to brush on. Don't forget to do other dirty areas like the derailleur pulleys and the derailleur itself.
B) Rinse the chain, cogs, chainrings and any other areas that you degreased with water from the hose. You'l get most of the degreaser off via this process. You can use a spray nozzle, just don't high-speed blast it.
C) Take a sponge (that will now and forever be your dirty-chain sponge) and using the soapy water "grab" the chain with it and spin the crank with the other hand as you use soapy water to get the remaining degreaser off the chain. Remember the 4 crank revolution rule here? Now use the wide brush (Pedros "paddle" brush -- dust pan brush) to lightly brush the chainrings with the soapy water.
D) Take the other sponge (this will be the frame sponge for its life) and soap down the rest of the bike. Don't forget under the bottom bracket shell where lots of debris collects, including but not limited to your favorite sports drink clogging up the cables under the BB.
E) The bottle brush can get areas like under the saddle, inside the brake calipers (when the wheel is off), some areas of the derailleurs, in-between the crank and seat tube (below the front derailleur), under the fork crown and any other area that is hard to get to with a sponge.
F) Handle bar tape can also be washed here (I'm a fan of white or light colored tape) and with some soapy water and a clean sponge it can clean up really nice.
G) With the hose rinse off the whole bike now.
H) For the wheels brush on degreaser for the cogs (rear), sponge off the tires and rims, and us the bottle brush gets inside to the tight hub shell area and the wide brush for the spokes.
I) Rinse off the wheels and you are done. We don't dry the bikes, they air-dry.
* Don't worry about the myth about getting water in your bearings. It is just that. A myth as long as you don't point the hose at high pressure directly at the bearings. I usually rinse off the bike with a wide spray pattern instead of a narrow stream of water. Your bike will get way more contaminated on a rain ride than the rinse cycle here.
As a team mechanic we have to wash bikes daily during races. If I can save two or three minutes per bike, then the collective mechanics (usually 2 or 3 at each race) will save at least 20 minutes of work and thus be 20 minutes closer to dinner. If I am really flying, I can usually wash a bike in about 5 or 6 minutes or so. When washing bikes daily they don't get so dirty so it is not too hard to scrub off the day's dirt.
- Haven't washed your bike in 4 months? Then you are going to do a bit more scrubbing that I do, and you will probably need a bit more degreaser to get it clean also.
Good luck, and good riding! - Vince