Cleaning Your Bike

Keeping your bike clean and well lubed is one of the best ways to extend the life of its parts and keep everything running as smooth as the day it was purchased.

Degrease the bike

While bike lube is essential stuff it can pick up a lot of dirt and grime from the road. Regular cleaning of the chain and other moving parts to remove old lube and dirt is essential. You can clean your chain, cassette and chainrings with kerosene or a bicycle degreaser. Neither of these are overly harsh and if washed off wont harm your paint work.

The best way to clean your chain is with a chain cleaner device.

Chain cleaners can be filled with your favourite degreaser and clipped over the chain. You then turn the pedals backwards cycling the chain through the rollers in the chain cleaner. This will remove the old grime. 


It is also important to clean you cassette and chainrings. Use a cleaning brush and your degreaser to scrub any remaing oil or grime off your chainrings and cassette.

Cleaning

With your bike successfully degreased you need to give it a wash. Fill a bucket with water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. With a soft cloth wash the mud, dirt and spilled sports drink off the bike.

The dishwashing liquid is fine on most surfaces however disc brakes work best if kept free of any residue. To clean your disc simply spray with clean water from a water bottle. If further cleaning is required try rubbing alcohol or a brake cleaner.

Rinse off you bike and dry with a soft cloth. Some people may like to give their frame a bit of a polish with Mr Sheen furniture polish or a bike polish.

Lubing

Now that your bike is clean you need to relube. There are a variety of lubes on the market from your traditional oils to clean running wax lubes.

If applying an oil place a drop on the inside of each chain roller and pedal the bike backwards to help it soak in. With a rag wipe of any excess lube. The chain should be coated in oil NOT dripping with oil.

Wax lubes are applied in a heavier coating, backpedalled to help them soak in and then the excess is removed. A second coating may be required so check the instructuons on the back of the container. Wax lubes will generally stay cleaner then oils therfore requiring less regular degreasing.

At this point you may also wish to apply a small amount of lube to the derailleur pivots, pulley wheels and brake pivots to keep them running smoothly. Your chain lube is okay for this but there are some great spray greases available which do a better job.

Once you have given the bike a quick once over to make sure all bolts are tight and secure you are ready to go riding and get it dirty all over again.

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