Cleaning your bike is the single most important thing to save you money and ensure you love every ride. Too many times I'm called to jobs where the bike is rusted, covered in mud, or dusty and covered in cobwebs. I get the common complaints that the gears don’t work or the breaks get stuck or they can't turn very easily. The simple fix, clean it!
It doesn’t have to be a super deep clean leaving the bike sparkling. Focus on the key areas; Drivetrain, brakes, bearings. The frame, whilst it’s nice to be sparkling, is not essential and not everyone has the time to polish it post-ride.
The easiest way to clean up your pride and joy is to get the right equipment. They don’t cost too much more than the standard stuff but wow they are worth the extra investment. Below I will list some of my favorite items go check them out?
The moment after you’ve arrived home is the best time to clean your bike. The mud and grime are still fresh on the bike. It doesn’t have time to stick onto your frame like glue. The first step is always to spray the bike quickly with water. Get the majority of the mud off and let the cleaning products work on the tough stuff. Then get your degreaser on the chain, cassette, chairing’s and derailleurs. Be careful not to get this on your disc rotors if you have them. Get a bucket of warm water and fairy liquid, take a soft-bristled brush or a sponge ( I would recommend the brush ), and apply the water liberally to the frame, wheels, suspension and where your bearings are. If you are in a rush the frame can be avoided at this stage however it doesn't take very long. Leave everything to soak for a few minutes. Now take your hard-bristled brush and scrub everywhere that you applied the degreaser. The harder you scrub the cleaner it will be so put that effort in. Now having cleaned everything grabs your hosepipe and washes everything off. It should all come off easily so you should need anything-high pressure however this won't hurt your bearings if you do. Trust me I’ve tried it hundreds of times.
Leave your frame to drip dry. Then grab a rag and dry that chain properly. Finally, add your lube and leave to sit. Just remember to quickly clean off the excess before your next ride.
By following these quick and easy steps your bike will be working for a lot longer and you won't be forking out for maintenance costs constantly throughout the year.