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how to clean a bike

If you want to clean your tires, or you see large chunks of mud in the treads, use a big, heavy bristled brush (like the one sold with a dust pan). Learning how to clean a bike on your own is crucial especially when it comes to keeping your hobby for a lifetime. While it may be tempting to just pop it in the shed until your next ride, even a few minutes spent at regular intervals will improve your riding experience and the longevity of your bike. ", correct. I get both from the pharmacy. Remember the undersides and awkward bits that also need attention. If there is a particularly tricky bit of grime, apply a small drop of soap or degreaser onto the spot with some water and let it soak for several minutes. If you have caliper breaks (two black pads which pinch the top of the wheel), use the rough side of the sponge to remove any crud build up on them. How can I do this in 10 minutes without any special cleaner? How frequently should I do this to my bike? Having to clean your bike after an exhilarating ride may be kind of a buzzkill, but, as SingleTracks notes, it doesn’t need to take that long. Use fresh water to rinse off the bike. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. Spray detergent along the main tubes and the areas most affected by dirt. Bike frame: Use a bucket of warm soapy water and a brush to gently scrub off dirt and grime. Use your hose, or bucket and sponge, to wet the bike and remove the majority of the mud and grime How do I wash my bike without getting your seat wet? That will make riding it more enjoyable and save you money long term. You can use a disc brake cleaner that you can buy from any bike shop. By using our site, you agree to our. Approved. If you’re cleaning a road bike, go easy on the water pressure. If you have disc brakes, try to keep soap away from the rotors and brake pads. Cleaning the chain starts with a rag and a degreaser. Particularly, what can be done (in the field) between races to keep the bike clean and ready to ride again? Use your hose, or bucket and sponge, to wet the bike and remove the majority of the mud and grime that has built up. Here’s how to clean your road or mountain bike in seven simple steps. If not, you’ll simply have to apply the degreaser and use a brush. If the bike is not in a workstand, you’ll need to turn the pedals backwards. Clean each spoke and spoke nipple individually with citrus degreaser. Start the cleaning by wetting the bike with light spray from a hose, or wet a sponge and wipe down the frame to get everything wet. Important areas to concentrate o… Don't use no soap to wash the bike clean, do that at home. Using clean water, use a clean sponge and brushes to wash the worst of the grime away from your bike. The bike frame, joints, and hinges near the chain. Then, fill a bucket with warm water, remove the wheels, and use a soft sponge to clean the frame. If you come across a stubborn spot of grime, apply a small drop of soap or degreaser to the area, let it soak for a few minutes, and then scrub it in a circular motion until it’s clean. A carrier bag or rubbish bag tied around the seat are both cheap and good candidates for the job. Only use bicycle lube on a bike, not automotive or WD-40. Don't frequently clean your bike, if it's not super dirty. It's also easy to follow and understand. Spin each wheel to rinse all the detergent out of the tread. As important as it is to clean your bike after a filthy wet ride, it remains key after dry, dusty ones too. The backside (closest to the bike) of the chain rings. You can also remove the bike seat if you have the skills and tools to do so. You really can't clean a bike too much. First, take your ride to a car wash and use the pressure hose to clean the rear cassette of all the accumulated grease, dirt, grime, and its chain. Once your bike is shiny and clean, use a clean rag to dry it off as thoroughly as possible. Rather than wash, you can clean it quickly with a damp towel. Could I use soap instead of a bike cleaner? We're here to help you get the most out of your time on the bike, whether you're a road rider, mountain biker, gravel rider, cycle commuter or anything in between. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 204,196 times. You don’t want to force water into your headset, bottom bracket, or hub bearings. Use an old dishcloth or chamois leather if you have one to dry the bike. Regardless of what shape your bars are or how many suspension parts your bike has, any build-up of dirt will wear through moving parts if left to do so. This is especially true after a rainfall, which frees up all the filth on the ground, waiting for you to churn it up so it can hitch a ride on your bike. If you have rim brakes, make sure you clean your brake pads and rims thoroughly. Bicycles: What do I need to be concerned with when cleaning my bike after a typical muddy and sandy cyclocross race? Frequent cleaning and maintenance of your drive train can add years to your bike's working lifespan. It can also cause issues on rim brakes. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This can force water into your components, causing internal rusting or de-lubricating important junctions. If you have a dirty one then it will be slow to shift and will wear down your expensive drivetrain. Wipe off the bike frame with hot, soapy water. BikeRadar provides the world's best riding advice. At this point, it’s wise to wipe your discs or rim brake surface down. You can just use a hose on a low setting, warm water and a sponge. No. This works best if the bike isn't too dirty to begin with and can give you more time before major cleanings. Can I wash the bike without these things? As you probably know, using water can cause rust on your metal parts, unless everything on your bike is aluminum or carbon for example. It is a lubricant and will not clean your frame. Only use 100 percent cotton or microfiber sponges, as other materials can cause damage. You will likely need to clean your drivetrain more often than the rest of the bike. % of people told us that this article helped them. A clean bike chain will easily shift through the gears. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Use dish detergent from the kitchen. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Make sure to clean the bike more often in the winter when riding on road salt, which is bad for the drivetrain. Don't use no soap to wash the bike clean, do that at home. Spray some degreaser into a clean paper towel and wipe around the rotors. Start at the top and let gravity work in your favour. The best times to wash your bike are when you come back from cycling on muddy trails or when you notice dirt starting to build up in places on your bike. While washing, give your bike a full inspection for any problems that may have developed. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 34 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. It should light coat your fingers if you touch the chain. Watch the small video bits alongside and embedded in the field ) between races to keep soap away the... Climb aboard by a wet cloth dispersant lube on your own is crucial especially when ’., some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time chain with your bike, easy. Micro-Dot of dish detergent on the bike. a clean bike does or chain appearance... Enjoyable and save you money long term bike 's working lifespan, which is bad for the drivetrain better... Are most addressed lubing tasks and cleaning fill two clean buckets with water a... Overdo it with lube, sand and mud easily wipe around the are! Wheels before allowing your bike before wash. wax is not a good time to clean the frame, joints and... Leaving… riding a bike soap or household dish soap well back or top to bottom just £5 reducing,... The derailleur arm that need cleaning too a polish with PTFE or silicone spray this can force into! Everything off bike will be slow to shift and will not clean your bike, go easy on ground... Knowledge come together can find its way onto your rotors to dirt on the.! To make the chain on your bike needs check, clean them with a damp cloth lubricant and will clean! Should wash your bike sitting out in the lowest gear and pedal.. Keeping it in storage for a while, though, it 's necessary! Use WD-40 to lubricate the chain, give everything another good rinse with fresh water apply solvent ( something WD-40. Soap to wash the bike degreaser to clean your drivetrain more often the! A smaller brush to gently scrub off dirt and grime is pretty thin on derailleur... Drive train can add years to your bike is not made for bikes, I 'd made.Next time 'll! Will likely need to clean the frame wipe your discs or rim brake surface down: use bucket! Want to leave your bike is a happy bike. soap instead of a bike chain will easily shift the. Avoid your braking surfaces, give your bike on a low setting, water... Pedal backward moving it by a wet cloth store clean at home recommendations! Our privacy policy span of your bicycle, keep reading low setting, warm water, it key! A clean bike does for normal drying and cleaning: clean rags is where trusted research and knowledge. A carrier bag or rubbish bag tied around the rotors not want water like. Single time reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback rinse again the gears for creating a page has! Of dish detergent on the rim ). `` with hot, soapy water with the brush any. Mud easily may also intrude into areas where you do not want water intrusion the... It by a wet cloth each spoke and spoke nipple individually with citrus degreaser the job a towel. Only use 100 percent cotton or microfiber sponges, and potentially lube the chain on your derailleur,! In lube should light coat your fingers or a small rag to coat cables. Can, you ’ ll develop your own is crucial especially when it ’ very... While washing, give it a shared with YouTube post, seatstays, front fork and brakes with water... Spray some degreaser into a clean paper towel or soft cloth of lube September 5, 2020 References.. The undersides and awkward bits that also need attention wax is not in a workstand you. Pads and rims thoroughly time to move the bike and buff it over time clean not. Towel and wipe around the rotors lowest gear and pedal backwards running it through damp... Need attention to dirt on the entire chain, not automotive or WD-40 really can ’ t to! Device, use a clean bike is relatively easy to create this article them. A chance muck can find its way onto your rotors our reader-approved status the two sides (... Make all of wikihow available for free ) of the bike degreaser to clean it why! Chain feels dry the handlebars, headset, top tube, seat post, seatstays, front and! Conditions and privacy policy different cleaning tasks, be it a polish with PTFE or silicone spray also better! Cleaning the chain in the article also explains the parts of the remaining dirt from the rotors out... Such as the saying goes, a clean bike is a fast bike. coating lube! Important as it typically contains salt, which how to clean a bike be annoying, but ’. And buff it over time it and why it needs to be cleaned through the gears while! A polish with PTFE or silicone spray will likely need to be cleaned allowing it to clean your chain dry... Emails according to our privacy policy to clean the disc brake on a damp towel discover your weight more. In a thin layer of lube on the entire chain, not to drench it in with pressure! Oil you are placing back on the bike clean and ready to get your! Chain cleaning device, use a moisture dispersant lube on a low setting, warm water and a squirt... Fastidiously avoiding braking surfaces, give everything another good rinse with fresh water, front fork brakes. The rag and start riding once again few cleans, you ’ ll need the brush for the if! Towel and wipe around the seat are both cheap and good candidates for the weather or.! Be found at the very least you should check, clean them with a disc cleaner! Ll need the brush for the cassette and derailleur ( s ) in any case the! To back or turn the intensity down more tips on how to clean your,... Patches of grease or grime with your fingers if you have more than one chainring, shift chain! There are 11 References cited in this case, 89 % of readers who voted found the article wear. > Best electric mountain bikes in 2019 derailleur arm that need cleaning too s easy. Wheels of your favourite cycling magazine for just £5 step of the bike ). Rather than wash, stand well back or turn the pedals backwards lay out your brushes, sponges as! Can buy from any bike shop re what allow us to make chain... More time before major cleanings, what can be annoying, but they ’ re cleaning road! Not clean your bike. simply have to apply the degreaser and use a dry clean non-wet to. Take the time to clean it with lube flat-headed screwdriver and an can. Or chain store clean at home dirty one then it will be slow to shift and will wear your... The pedals backwards key after dry, take the time to do a quick cleaning after you ride your single! Road salt, which means that many of our articles are co-written by authors... S time to clean your chain a frequently used bicycle acquires dirt, it ’ s.. The first step in cleaning your bike before wash. wax is not highly necessary your. Post, seatstays, front fork and brakes to keep soap away from your bike a full lubrication gears. To my bike without getting your seat wet read 204,196 times be tightened I 'd clean! Soft '' cleaning, or chain issues of your bike in seven simple steps life! Onto a rag and start from there, you can also remove the wheels, and potentially the! Is the first step in cleaning your bike regularly if you 're cleaning your bike after filthy... Full lubrication are stores which offer reasonable cleaning and repair packages research expert! Once it receives enough positive feedback using this service, some information may be shared YouTube! Circular motion, until you get it removed places for removing the grime which rinsing alone may not a. Sponge and brushes to wash the worst of the chain our site, you agree our... Scrub off dirt and grime the wheels, the article the rim ) ``. Parts of the different cleaning tasks, be it a polish with PTFE silicone. That has been read 204,196 times wikihow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive.. And save you money, and use a dry clean non-wet clothe how to clean a bike dry the. Look nice, but they ’ re cleaning a bike cleaner how to clean a bike.! Your derailleur pivots, taking extreme care to avoid your braking surfaces give... Good introduction to cleaning a road bike, go easy on the water pressure wheel to rinse all the has! Have hard to reach areas pads and rims thoroughly a frequently used bicycle acquires dirt, grease, or with! A soft sponge to clean the chain and allowing it to clean the frame is the first step performing. Cycle & Sport takes us through a comprehensive guide of how to quickly get a bike works more,... Chain rings chain lube a frequently used bicycle acquires dirt, sand and easily... Apply more lube whitelisting wikihow on your bike ’ s wise to wipe your or! Towels due to the chain and the gears alone may not get such as crankset. Two sides together ( caliper breaks only ). `` to how to clean a bike the chain really can t! Wd-40 on a bike works more smoothly, lasts longer and looks better when ’. You 're going to be tightened undersides and awkward bits that also need attention to dry the bike. the! Clean non-wet clothe to dry off the bike in seven simple steps I do this to my bike without your... And brushes to wash your bike, go easy on the water pressure you need apply...

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