How To Clean Your Bicycle: Tips And Tricks For A Sparkling Ride

The longevity of your bike and how well it’s going to work for you depends on how you maintain your bike, especially how you clean it. 

For a bike to work more smoothly, last longer, look better, have an enjoyable ride, and save money too, it has to be cleaned. 

After you come back from your ride you may be so tired and decide to just store it and wash it later, and then you forget till your next ride. But taking a few minutes or a regular weekly or monthly interval (depending on how often you ride and how long your rides are) to wash it will increase your riding experience. 

Regardless of how wonderful in performance your bike is, or how many suspension parts your bike has, any build-up of dirt will wear down your bike and also eat through the parts too. Your bike is a collection of moving parts, as it moves it gathers mud and debris. 

If you spend a lot of time riding in wet, muddy conditions, or if you ride hard, fast, and often, plan to clean your bike more frequently. Your chain needs to be cleaned and lubed if you touch it with your finger and it comes away with grease. This is because lubrication protects it from excessive wear caused by constantly moving it

For you to clean your bike, there are some essentials you will need to ensure you do it well. Some of them include; 

Wash Supplies
  • Water
  • Washstand
  • Brushes
  • Chain cleaning device
  • Degreaser
  • Bike wash fluid
  • Chain lube
  • Rag
  • Chamois leather
  • Bucket 
  • Sponges 

Read also: How To Choose The Right Bicycle Chain For Your Bike

While washing your bike;

  • Ensure to recycle your sponges. 
  • Floss with a clean rag between chainrings, cogs, and other hard-to-reach places.
  • Do not mix your buckets, tools, and rags. 
  • Do not use an abrasive sponge or brush on your frame
  • Do not use a high-pressure hose as water will get into sensitive parts of your bike.

The followings are some tips and steps you can follow to clean your bike and give you a sparkling ride;

1. Clean The Drive Train

chain floss 4

Use a chain cleaning device to clean the chain or apply the degreaser and use a brush to clean. Ensure that the brush you use for the drivetrain you don’t use for any other part of the bike, especially the brakes as it can contaminate it, forcing you to replace your brake pads.

You will also need to have something you can use to dislodge stubborn grime from places such as jockey wheels, and some brushes have a hooked handle for exactly this. A flat-headed screwdriver and an awl can help here.

2. Wipe Down The Discs Or Braking Surface 

HowtoFixSqueakyDiscBrakes cleaning

To do this, you need to wipe your discs or rim brake surface down. No matter how careful you are while cleaning the chain, there’s always a chance that muck can find its way onto your rotors and can cause issues on rim brakes. So while on it, spray some degreaser into a paper towel or rag and wipe clean the rotors.

3. Rinse And Apply Detergent

Wash Rinse

To do this, use your hose, or bucket and sponge, to wet the bike and remove the majority of the mud and grime that has built up on it. While (if) using a jet wash, stand afar a bit or turn down the intensity. 

Then spray detergent along the main tubes and the areas highly affected by dirt.

4. Brush Clean

cassette cleaning

While brushing, pay attention to moving parts and use a smaller brush to get into narrower spaces. Using the brushes combined with detergent will help loosen the remaining specks of dirt from the bike. Use a rag to clean behind tight areas like the crankset and front derailleur.

5. Rinse The Bike Again

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Using fresh water, rinse off the bike. Further, spin each wheel to rinse all the detergent out of the tread, then check to ensure all dirt has been brushed off, if not, rinse it over again. 

Read also: How To Choose The Right Bicycle Derailleur For Your Needs

6. Dry Your Bike

dry your bike

If you have a work stand, move your bike into it. Use a rag or chamois leather if you have one to dry the bike. After that, while avoiding the brake surfaces, polish it by using a paper towel as it will reduce the amount of muck that will stick to it on the next outing.

7. Lubricate Your Bike

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To do this, apply lube to the chain while turning the pedals. Try not to over-lubricate it as it can affect your bike’s performance. If you don’t have a work stand, you’ll have to turn the pedals backward. Use a moisture dispersant lube on your derailleur pivots, taking extreme care to avoid your braking surfaces.

For you to keep your bike sparkling always and for it to last longer, there are some things you need to know and do constantly: 

  • You need to realize that cleaning your bike regularly will increase the life of your bike.
  • Doing a quick clean after every wet ride will help you avoid major problems later.
  • Always add 1-2 drops of bike lubricant to important components 2-3 times a year or after a deep cleaning.
  • Always monitor your drivetrain as this is the most important area to keep clean.
  • Cleaning your bike regularly will protect it from rust and damage.
  • Once you’ve cleaned your bike, applying a specialist polish can help stop dirt from sticking and make your bike easier to wash next time. 
  • While cleaning your bike, inspect the chain, brake pads, wheels, and tires.

Proper bike cleaning should be a big part of your bike maintenance. Washing your bike regularly will ensure all your expensive bike parts have a long and happy life.

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