A simple, regular cleaning process will cut down on cleaning time, keep your components working smoothly and will get quicker with practice. Why not turn over a new leaf in 2017 and clean after EVERY ride using our simple cleaning procedure?
No specialist tools beyond a sponge (or cleaning brush), a hose and a rag are required. However, you can invest in a chain cleaner and a gear cleaning brush if you want to be posh. We do recommend some decent cleaning fluids like Muc-Off and a good quality degreaser. A bike stand is also a great idea.
Initial Rinse Down
Give the entire bike a rinse with a hose. This will remove surface dirt and clumps of muck and will soften things up before getting down to the detail.
Spray degreaser on the rear sprockets and chain as you rotate the peddles. Spray the rear mech, rear jockey wheels, front mech and chain rings.
Give your bike frame, handlebars, brakes and wheels an ample spray with a bike cleaning product such as Muc-Off. Spray everywhere but avoid areas where you have already applied degreaser.
Wait for two to three minutes for the Muc-off and degreaser to work (this is a good time to do some post ride stretching).
Scrub / rinse the front and rear mechs, sprockets, chain and chain rings
With the chain in one of the higher gears (the smaller sprockets on the rear), lightly scrub the rear sprockets with a brush working along the direction of the sprockets (a regular dish washing brush works well). Then rinse with the hose as you turn the pedals to rotate. Rinse the rear mech and jockey wheels. The degreaser will have done it's job during the two minute wait, so rinsing and a lite brush should be enough to remove grime from the sprockets and chain if you are doing this after every ride.
Rinse the front mech and chain rings with the hose and remove any dirt on the chain rings with a cloth.
Thoroughly clean and dry the chain with a rag.
Extra posh? Use a special gear cleaning brush
Clean the seat, handlebars, and frame with the sponge
Using a soft sponge, give the entire bike a light rub. The Muc-off will have done its work and dirt should be easy to remove. Be sure to reach the bottom bracket and under the seat. Pay some attention to exposed wire cables to remove any dirt that might impede their use.
Clean the wheels with the brush
If you are using a bike stand, then the wheels can be cleaned whilst on the bike. Otherwise, it's better to remove them for cleaning. With the cleaning brush clean the rims on both side and between the spokes. This is also a good time to check for lose spokes (or even a cracked rim).
Rinse the entire bike
Give the entire bike a rinse with the hose from the top down. Be sure to reach the bottom bracket area and under the seat. Give the brakes an extra rinse and give exposed wire cables a rinse / rub too to remove any dirt that might impede their use.
Dry the bike with a rag
Use a clean rag to gently wipe the saddle, seat post, frame, forks and brakes.
Lube the chain
Apply 'Dry Lube' or 'Wet Lube' to your chain. Don't use oil. Wet Lube will stick better to the chain in wet conditions, but can encourage grim to collect, so only use it when riding in damp or wet conditions.
Importantly, lube should be applied to both outer edges along the entire length of the chain. Don't overdo the lube - just turn the pedals and apply a small amount to each edge of the chain as it passes over the rear sproket (any excess lube will simply fall onto the rear cassette).
That's it. You're all done and ready for the next ride!
TOP TIPS FROM THE WILD ATLANTIC CYCLING TEAM
- Save money (and packaging) by buying Muc-Off and degreaser in larger quantities or in concentrated form and refill your spray bottles
- Use a natural based degreaser
- Have a roll of inexpensive clothes to hand and use fresh, clean ones for each clean (bargain / pound shops stock them cheaply)
- Wash your bike immediately after your ride - otherwise your plans to 'do it later' may not materialise
- Make the best use of the time by doing your post-ride stretching after appying the degreaser and Muc-Off as it needs time to take affect
- Keep an old pair of shoes and a water resistant jacket or overcoat close to where you do your cleaning to quickly change out of your bike shoes and to protect your nice kit from stains and splashes as you clean
- In keeping with Wild Atlantic Cycling’s eco-friendly ethos, please avoid the use of aerosol products.