There’s nothing better than a fresh morning, a hot coffee, porridge made by Mrs Hamish Mcduggle herself and topped off with a freshly oiled and gleaming bike ready to sore through the trails majestically like a goat. But ahh thus in the real world life tends to be a little more bland… burnt toast, cold coffee and a bike looking like it’s been cleaned by a blind zoo keeper. So this short blogs aims to help you clean your bike without eating into your time and your pocket, thus keeping that beautiful steed running like new!
DIRT IS GOOOOOD…
Bike are supposed to be used so don’t run for the nearest Muckoff every time you get a smidgen of dirt on it. But then again if it’s dirty and it’s noisy get it in the tub…
HOSE AND BRUSHES
I’ve had a lot of people say “ohhh don’t use high pressure hoses it will destroy the seals”, well they are right if you stand one inch away and put the hose inside the headset, but if you are sensible there’s nothing wrong with them just be careful. A normal garden hose does the job but again don’t get too close to prevent damage to bearings and removing grease and seals. As for brushes, you’ll see lots of super doper devises that wash and wiggle and cost a fortune but just get a couple of brushes in different sizes for the chain and the frame.
So give the frame a quick once over then make a start on the drive chain. My advice is this is the only time it’s worth buying a good de-greasing product as it makes the world of difference, just make sure you use the right protective clothing and always read the instructions. Make sure all the grime and used grease is out the chain and the cassette is clean, try to take a few extra minutes on this part of the process as it’s the key part of the cleaning and makes a big difference. Also I use a flat head screwdriver to clean the jokey wheels and then give them a quick brush over also.
REALLY!? If you are cleaning you must be ironing your pants as well, so you have too much time on your hands.
Once you have given all this a good clean, turn the bike upside down and then turn it over and give it a good bounce up and down. Just to get any resting water in seals etc. Dry off the drive train and the cockpit, skipping everything else if you wish to save time. Get a clean cloth and give the rotas a dry off and a quick buff with some pure alcohol this will stop the pads getting contaminated from grease and grime and eliminating that lovely screeching sound.
Final step in the process is to give the bike its amber nectar . Depending on the conditions and where you live chain lube varies but a good run of the mill off the shelf brand will do for most weekend warriors. Try not to over-lube the chain ensuring you remove any excess after a few turns as this will just bung up over the day.
HIT THE TRAILS
All this should take about ten minutes so go get dirty again and repeat, until you’re good enough for someone to do it for you!