We all love riding our bikes but not many of us enjoy cleaning them. A clean bike could be the difference between a smooth and trouble free ride or a problematic few hours in the saddle. Keeping your drivetrain, rims and brakes spick and span slows down wear and improves performance, so there really is no reason not to give your pride and joy a bit of TLC.
After a Sunday morning ride, the afternoon is often set aside for non-cycling activities, but wait, don’t simply wheel your bike into the shed, only to take it out again the following week- give it a quick clean to ensure it is ready for your next adventure.
Ten minutes is all it takes to get your bike back to its showroom best. Below we run through 10 easy steps to ensure your bike always looks its best.
What you will need
① Set up
If you have a workstand, remove the wheels and place your bike in the stand to begin cleaning.
② Spray Down
Using a hose or a bucket of water rinse the worst of the dirt and grime off your bike. Be careful not to spray directly into bearings, as this may cause water to seep in and damage them.
Add the bike wash of your choice to a bucket of water and using a sponge start working over the frameset, saddle and handlebars. Leave the chain and wheels for the time being.
④ Clean the chainApply chain cleaning fluid, liberally, to the chain and drivetrain. Then, with a sponge, brush or chain cleaning device, agitate the fluid, focusing on hard to reach places such as chainrings, derailleurs and jockey wheels. Care should be taken when spraying chain cleaner near brake pads.
Rinse the frame, handlebars, saddle and drivetrain with water.
⑥ Clean the Cassette
Move onto the wheels. Using your chain cleaning fluid and a brush, work vigorously into the sprockets on your cassette.
⑦ Clean the Rims and Hubs
Do not use cleaning fluid on the rims as this may affect the braking surface, instead use water and a sponge or a brush to get grit and brake residue off the rims.
⑧ Check the Tyres
Work your way around the tyres, looking for flints and cuts. The last thing you want is to get your bike out the following weekend to find you have a puncture.
⑨ Dry Off
Put the wheels back on and wipe the whole bike down with a dry chamois cloth or a rag.
Add a thin layer of lubricant to your derailleurs, chain and brakes. Make sure you wipe away any residue. Now you’re ready to ride!