Washing your bike after riding can be a real nuisance. However, it has to be done to keep it in good working order, and to keep up its shiny aesthetic. Without regular cleaning, especially after muddy conditions, your bike’s drive train will soon become susceptible to a whole host of problems.
With this knowledge, Bikes Instore has put together a simple seven-step guide on how to clean your bike like a pro.
What You Need
- Bike Wash Fluid
- Bucket and Hose/Sponge
- Paper Cloth
- Chain Cleaning Device
If you’re in a rush after your ride, you can simply spray your drivetrain with water-displacing lube to flush out water in the chain to avoid rusting before you can properly wash the bike.
Step 1. Cleaning the Chain
Use a chain cleaning device as well as degreaser to remove built up mud, oil and grime from your chain. If you don’t have a chain cleaning apparatus, a brush and aerosol degreaser will work with a little more elbow grease.
If your cassette and jockey wheels hold lots of grime, use a scrub and degreaser for these before continuing.
Step 2. Cleaning the Disks (If Your Bike Has Them)
If your bike has disk brakes, it’s a very good time to spray degreaser onto some paper towels and give them a good wiping to remove any grease from the drivetrain.
Step 3. Spray Water and Bike Wash Onto Your Bike
Wet the bike with a bucket and sponge or hose. If you are using a pressure washer, make sure you stand well away from the bike to avoid damaging its bearings. Spray your whole bike with bike wash and allow it to settle as per the manufacturer’s method.
Step 4. Brush the Bike
Agitate built-up mud with a brush to loosen it from the components and fame. Beginning at the top of the bike, brush any remaining muck from the bike with your brush. Pay attention to moving bike components such as brakes and gears.
Step 5. Rinse
Rinse of all the loose mud and cleaning spray. Use fresh water, then check to ensure you’ve removed all the grime from the bike. You can brush and rinse again where necessary.
Step 6. Buff Your Bike
Use a leather chamois to soak up any remaining water. Next, shine up the bike’s frame using silicone bike polish or PTFE spray, ensuring you avoid braking surfaces like disc brake rotors or rims. Buff your bike with soft cloth or paper towel. This will help stop mud from sticking on your next ride.
Step 7. Lube Your Chain
Finally, lube the bike’s chain by holding up the bottle and slowly dripping lube onto the chain whilst turning to pedal backwards. Wipe off any excess lube. Spray any steel components with PTFE lube, once again avoiding braking surfaces.
Remember, It’s a Necessary Evil
Whilst we don’t want to spend too much time crouching over our bikes, wiping away any excess mud and grime, remember – it’s a necessary evil. Without proper care your bike can easily fall into disrepair and, trust us, there is nothing less enjoyable than riding a bike in disrepair. Regular cleaning will ensure your investment stays clean, functional and pristine.