How to Clean A Bike
The only thing you want to do is put the bike in the shed after a grueling climb over the hills. However, it's crucial to take care of your bike. A well-kept bike runs smoothly and ultimately saves you money. Consider the fact that your bike contains a number of moving parts that may degrade if they are exposed to dirt and other particles. You should give your bike some TLC if you haven't cleaned it in a while.
You've come to the perfect site if you want to learn how to clean a mountain bike or remove rust off a bike. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on cleaning a bicycle.
When should I clean my bike, and why?
Every time you go for a ride, your bike should be cleaned. You don't need to give it a full cleaning before a little trip. You ought to at the very least clean and lubricate the chain. Before storing the bike, you should clean it if it is covered with dirt.
You should bring your bike to a cleaning station if you don't have access to clean water. If you're traveling, seek for accommodations that allow bikes.
Touching the chain with your finger is another indication that your bike needs cleaning. It has to be cleaned if the solution becomes black. However, excessive noise when pedaling indicates certain parts are unclean.
Essentials Needed to Clean a Bike
If you want to give your bike a spotless look, you'll need a few essentials. At the basic level, you must have a bucket of clean water and soap. Other essentials include:
You can use wet or dry lube. Dry lube is the best when riding in the dirt. It tends to be more efficient and friendly to the pocket. The only downside is that it can rinse off in the rain. Wet lube, on the other hand, fits in wet conditions and won't rinse off in the rain. However, dirt and grime can stick on it, so you may want to rub excess lube. The gritty paste is not good for the longevity of the drivetrain.
It cleans the gummy parts of the bike chain. You should only use environmentally-friendly products. Avoid turpentine and kerosene.
Brushes and rags
Keep plenty of these for oil, grease, wax-related tasks, and general cleaning.
Optional but helpful. It helps you position your bike at a comfortable height and access hard-to-reach areas.
Bike Chain cleaning device
There are three types of cleaning brushes. First, you'll need a soft-bristled brush to clean the frame. A paintbrush can also work here. Secondly, you need a brush to clean the extra-filthy zones like cranks and tires - it looks like a toilet brush. Finally, you need a gear brush or a stiff-bristled gear brush. For the soap, you need an environmentally-friendly detergent. Of course, a degreaser will also do the magic.
A bike cleaning kit is something you may get if money is tight. It includes a sponge, cleanser, lubricant, and degreaser. You require a specialized cleaner to get rid of oil, grit, and dirt if your vehicle has disc brakes.
You can test a handful of the many different bike cleansers available. Verifying that the product is suitable for disc brakes is crucial. Some cleaning products also serve as degreasers. Such goods are more affordable and environmentally responsible. Naturally, choosing items with less environmental effect is always an option.
How to Clean a Bike in 7 Simple Steps
1. Clean the drivetrain
To clean the chain, you need a special brush. The last thing you want is to contaminate the braking surface with filth. If you make this mistake, you may be forced to change the brake pads. A chain cleaning device will also help to dislodge the stubborn grime - a flat screwdriver can also help.
Your drivetrain (rear cassette, chain, front chainrings, and rear derailleur) deserves special attention.
2. Wipe the disc brakes (surface down)
You should wipe the brake disc surface down. Be careful because there will always be a muck that can get to the rotors. A paper towel can help you avoid this mistake.
3. Rinse your bike and apply detergent
To rinse the bike, you need a garden hose, sponge, and water. At this point, any loose mud and dust will come out easily. The general rule of thumb is to avoid targeting the water at the hub and cranks. If water gets to these areas, that could be a disaster.
A simple hose, bucket, and sponge will remove the mud and grime buildup. If you're using a jet wash, you should turn the intensity down.
4. Brush clean
As you clean the bike, you should pay attention to the moving parts. A smaller brush will get to the narrow spaces. Remember the underside - an old rug can be useful here. After a few cleans, you'll develop a routine.
Work from top to down - headset, handlebars, seat stays brakes, top tube, and front fork. Finish by cleaning the cranks, cogs, chainrings, and chain stays.
At this point, you should focus on the non-oily parts of the bike like the handlebars, brake levers, saddle, and gear shifters. If you have a scrub brush, you may want to get into the nooks and crannies of the frame. Once it's clean, you can spot any scuffs that happened during the ride. You can dab some alcohol to remove them from the frame.
If your bike has rim brakes, use hot water and a sponge to remove as much dirt as you can. After you're done, give them a good rinse.
If your bike has disc brakes, you may want to use a rim disc cleaner. And because they are aerosols, you should wipe them away with a clean rug. Make sure you don't get the disc cleaner to the other parts of the bike.
For the wheels, you need bigger brushes that can get into every nook and cranny with less effort. You can start from the valve before you hit the hubs and spokes. After that, flip the wheel to work on the opposite side.
5. Rinse the bike
Spin each wheel and rinse with clean water. You may want to use the brush to clean the areas and rinse again. It's easier to spot issues when the bike is clean.
6. Dry the bike
If you have a work stand, use an old dish cloth to dry the bike. For the braking surface, use a silicone spray. This will not only reduce the muck for your next outing but also make it shine. As you dry your bike, you should not just focus on the frame. Make sure there's no water on the bolt where rust can settle.
If you don't dry the bike after cleaning, you could leave water marks all over. Use a microfiber cleaning towel to do the job.
7. Apply lube
Are you wondering how to clean rust off a bike? You should refer to the manual and apply lube according to the manufacturer's instructions. Be careful not to apply on braking surfaces. To lube the chain, hold the bike upwards and turn the pedals in an anticlockwise direction. Then, drip the lube on the chains rollers and add a few to the pivot points.
The other parts that need lubrication are brakes and derailleur levers. You can apply a drop or two to keep them functioning properly. The pivot points can also become rigid so they may need some lube.
To finish it off, you should wipe the excess lube. If you're not careful, this can affect the performance of the bike.
Without lube, the drivetrain could rust and may be forced to replace.
If you're still worried about how to clean a mountain bike, the process is the same.
Clean bikes perform better and look nicer. You can protect your car from rusting and save money on repairs by giving it a few routine washes. All you need are a few simple tools. Make sure to adhere to the aforementioned procedures if you're unsure how to clean a bike. You want a clean bike that will function well for many years, after all.