Regularly cleaning your bike is one of the best things you can do to improve your bikes performance, as well as prolong the life of your components. There’s no better feeling than setting off on a clean, freshly serviced bike. We’re here to help you ensure you make the most from your machine: here’s our ultimate guide to cleaning your bike at home.
Effective cleaning starts with quality products and tools. Always ensure you are using bicycle specific cleaning products! If you do not have the luxury of a hose or jet wash, you’ll need a bucket of hot soapy water, and it’s a great idea to designate yourself a ‘clean’ sponge and a ‘dirty’ sponge. Jet wash users, avoid direct spray around delicate bearings.
- Firstly, spray your bicycle specific degreaser liberally onto the chain, cassette, chainrings and derailleurs. Turn the pedals backwards a few times to make sure the degreaser is coated evenly and leave this to soak for a few minutes.
- Whilst the degreaser is soaking in, using your ‘dirty’ sponge, start cleaning from the front of the bike. Ensure you’re thoroughly cleaning your grips and handlebars as well as making sure to reach behind cables and other easy to miss areas. Make sure you’ve wiped down the whole frame and all components, liberally using your hot soapy water.
- Now that the bike has had a surface rinse, it’s time to head back to the chain. Using your sponge and soapy water, hold the chain firmly on the underside close to the rear derailleur and turn the pedals backwards to rinse the chain. Make sure to thoroughly rinse the sides of the chain as well as the rollers. You can take this opportunity to clean the chainrings and derailleurs of excess dirt.
- Having cleaned your chain, it’s time to take your wheels out. Thoroughly rinse the rims, braking surface and sidewalls of your tyres and give your spokes and hubs a wipe. To clean your cassette, use a microfiber cloth between each cog and pull it backward and forwards to clean each cog. Whilst your wheels are out, clean the inside of your frame, paying particular attention to brakes and brake pads. Disc brake users must take precautions not to contaminate their pads here.
- Refit your wheels and fill up a bucket with warm clean water. Using your ‘clean’ sponge, rinse off all soap suds and excess surface dirt still present. Pay particular attention to your chain and other moving parts. If these are not entirely clean, repeat the degreasing process.
- Having rinsed your bike a second time, dry the frame and components paying particular attention to the chain and other moving parts. Apply your bicycle specific chain lubricant as well as water displacing spay to moving parts and springs in your derailleurs, brake callipers, cassette and to exposed cables. Having allowed the chain lubricant to soak in for at least 2 minutes, wipe off any excess using a microfiber cloth and do the same for excess water displaying spray.