Not only will this make your bike shine, it’ll also reduce the amount of muck that will stick to it on the next outing. Never use WD-40 on a bike chain -- it is not made for the weather or stress. Put more of these on hands of oil, grease, and wax linked tasks for normal drying and cleaning. If you're going to be keeping it in storage for a while, though, it's not necessary to keep washing it. Aside from fouling your bike’s appearance, a dirty bike just performs worse than a clean bike does. "Nice article with clear, easy to understand instructions for each step of the different cleaning tasks, be it a. If not, you’ll simply have to apply the degreaser and use a brush. To clean your bike’s frame, it’s as simple as spraying the foaming bike cleaner all over, leaving it to dwell for a few minutes, and then rinsing it off with a hose or bucket of clean water and a sponge. The following steps are most addressed lubing tasks and cleaning: Clean rags. Wipe off the bike frame with hot, soapy water. Spray some degreaser into a clean paper towel and wipe around the rotors. The bike frame, joints, and hinges near the chain. Put the bike in the lowest gear and pedal backwards running it through a damp cloth. Blasting it with a pressure washer is not a good idea but e-bike cleaning advice is pretty thin on the ground. Use fresh water to rinse off the bike. Your goal is a light coating of lube on the entire chain, not to drench it in lube. It should light coat your fingers if you touch the chain. We're here to help you get the most out of your time on the bike, whether you're a road rider, mountain biker, gravel rider, cycle commuter or anything in between. If you have caliper breaks (two black pads which pinch the top of the wheel), use the rough side of the sponge to remove any crud build up on them. Microfiber sponge gloves are great ways to clean a bike's painted parts and should be used with warm, soapy water from the bucket. You do this by slowly turning the pedals backward to move the chain a section at a time so you can clean it by either spraying on the solvent as you wipe down the chain with an old rag or by wiping down the chain with a rag that is saturated with the solvent. If you have a workstand, now is a good time to move the bike into it. Do not spray the bike with high pressured water, it will wash away grease and lubricants that your bike needs. Be sure to get the paint good and wet before scrubbing, so the soapy water can act as a lubricant and not scratch the paint. A flat-headed screwdriver and an awl can help here. Last Updated: September 5, 2020 Apply lube to the chain while turning the pedals. ", The article also explains the parts of the bike that a novice might not know. How can I clean the disc brake on a bike? Use a sponge or a rag to clean off the frame. This is especially true after a rainfall, which frees up all the filth on the ground, waiting for you to churn it up so it can hitch a ride on your bike. I get both from the pharmacy. My daughter's child sized bike has front brakes that aren't gripping well (not due to dirt on the rim). Learn more... Clean bicycles not only look nice, but they also work better and go faster. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Use dish detergent from the kitchen. For all bikes, I'd definitely clean the drivetrain if it gets muddy. Regardless of what shape your bars are or how many suspension parts your bike has, any build-up of dirt will wear through moving parts if left to do so. Learn how to clean a b… Basic Bike-Cleaning Supplies. If there's no visible debris getting in the way of the brake pads, and you haven't accidentally gotten lube on them, that's the most likely cause. If you're cleaning your bike on a damp or cloudy day, take a little more time drying everything off. Here’s how to clean your road or mountain bike in seven simple steps. Having to clean your bike after an exhilarating ride may be kind of a buzzkill, but, as SingleTracks notes, it doesn’t need to take that long. Regular washings will keep your bike free from costly repairs or damage due to rust or corrosion, and it only takes 10-15 minutes to do it properly. It also performs better, saves you money, and makes you feel good every time you climb aboard. From there, you’ll be ready to get on your bike and start riding once again. How To Clean a Bike. Spray detergent along the main tubes and the areas most affected by dirt. Cleaning the chain on your bike is a key part of reducing wear, improving performance and showing love to your bike. If the bike is not in a workstand, you’ll need to turn the pedals backwards. Methodically scrub, in a circular motion, until you get it removed. Also, what am I missing due to the quick ~ How to clean a bike after muddy/sandy cyclocross race (or mountain bike ride) wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. 3. However, you can use WD-40 to lubricate the chain and the gears after you have cleaned the bike. Once your bike is shiny and clean, use a clean rag to dry it off as thoroughly as possible. Use your fingers or a small rag to coat the cables in a thin layer of lube. Then use a dry clean non-wet clothe to dry off the bike and buff it over and over to the point it appears shiny. You may need to use something to dislodge stubborn grime from places such as jockey wheels, and some brushes have a hooked handle for exactly this. You may need someone to help you with this step. Spin each wheel to rinse all the detergent out of the tread. ", I'd made .Next time I'll be prepared to save time, work and money! "Did this the wrong way round - tried to do this myself, then reading wikiHow made me realize how many rookie errors, "This is an article that every biker should read. If you have disc brakes (attached metal disc to the wheels), wipe down both sides with the soft side of the sponge. Either use a bike cleaning spray to cover your bike and then work away the dirt or use a sponge and some hot water to remove as much as you can. Use your hose, or bucket and sponge, to wet the bike and remove the majority of the mud and grime As the saying goes, a clean bike is a fast bike. A carrier bag or rubbish bag tied around the seat are both cheap and good candidates for the job. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. You should wash your bike regularly if you use it frequently. It may also intrude into areas where you do not want water intrusion like the hubs and pedal housing. Bike frame: Use a bucket of warm soapy water and a brush to gently scrub off dirt and grime. For more tips on how to clean the frame and wheels of your bicycle, keep reading! Cleaning your bike properly will not only make it feel like a brand-new machine on the next ride, but will also prolong the lifespan of its components too – saving you money in the process. Knock off any patches of grease or grime with your rag if they are still visible. >>> Best electric mountain bikes in 2019. Riding a bike can often be dirty business. ", "Great tips, proved helpful for me.Thanks author(s).". If it is not enough, you will require using some degreaser over the chain and allowing it to sink in for 4-5 minutes. Cleaning the frame is the first step in cleaning your bike. While washing, give your bike a full inspection for any problems that may have developed. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Don't frequently clean your bike, if it's not super dirty. Use a screwdriver or pick to knock off built-up deposits from hard to reach areas. It is a lubricant and will not clean your frame. Make sure you have a specific brush for your drivetrain, and don’t use it on any other part of the bike, particularly the brakes – contaminating your braking surface with chain filth will ruin performance and may force you to replace your brake pads. Pay attention to moving parts and use a smaller brush to get into narrower spaces. Approved. To wash your bike, start by spraying it down with a low-pressure hose to remove any loose dirt. This article has been viewed 204,196 times. WD-40 isn't a cleaner. It's also easy to follow and understand. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. Lay out your brushes, sponges, and rags. Whenever you see dirt, grease, or grime in the joints, brakes, gears, or chain. Subscribe today and get the next 3 issues of your favourite cycling magazine for just £5! Then, fastidiously avoiding braking surfaces, give it a polish with PTFE or silicone spray. This works best if the bike isn't too dirty to begin with and can give you more time before major cleanings. Only use 100 percent cotton or microfiber sponges, as other materials can cause damage. Feel the chain with your fingers -- if it feels dry then you need to apply more lube. The simplest method is to use a bucket of diluted cleaner or some spray-on bike wash and start at the handlebar, working your way back and down so that you are not dripping dirty water onto the areas you have just cleaned. The brushes combined with the detergent will loosen most of the remaining dirt from the bike. You can expect the latest news and features, in-depth reviews from our expert team of testers, impartial buying advice, how-to tips and plenty more. Quick bike cleaning-You should do a quick cleaning after you ride your bike…every single time. Use a toothbrush to scrub the hub-- the small cylinder in the center of the wheel -- and the nuts and bolts on either side of it. If you have a dirty one then it will be slow to shift and will wear down your expensive drivetrain. References If you want to clean your tires, or you see large chunks of mud in the treads, use a big, heavy bristled brush (like the one sold with a dust pan). … You can also remove the bike seat if you have the skills and tools to do so. ", http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-chain.html, https://www.bikemaine.org/resources/bike-maintenance/, http://trekstorecincinnati.com/articles/how-to-clean-your-chain-and-drivetrain-pg603.htm, http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/bike-washing/how-wash-your-bike, http://bicyclehabitat.com/how-to/how-to-wash-your-bike-pg363.htm, http://www.bicycling.com/maintenance/bicycle-maintenance/where-use-bike-lubricant, http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/bike-maintenance.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Start at the top and let gravity work in your favour. Once you are happy the drivetrain is clean, the rest of the bike is relatively easy. Cleaning the chain starts with a rag and a degreaser. First, take your ride to a car wash and use the pressure hose to clean the rear cassette of all the accumulated grease, dirt, grime, and its chain. BikeRadar provides the world's best riding advice. Only use bicycle lube on a bike, not automotive or WD-40. At the very least you should check, clean, and potentially lube the chain every 1-2 weeks. For more tips on how to clean the frame and wheels of your bicycle, keep reading! The jockey wheels, the small cogs on the derailleur arm that need cleaning too. Can I wash the bike without these things? In this case, 89% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. You can use a disc brake cleaner that you can buy from any bike shop. Wet the car-wash clothe and place a micro-dot of dish detergent on the rag and start from there. Using clean water, use a clean sponge and brushes to wash the worst of the grime away from your bike. Already have an account with us? If you come across a stubborn spot of grime, apply a small drop of soap or degreaser to the area, let it soak for a few minutes, and then scrub it in a circular motion until it’s clean. Avoid using ordinary dish soap, as it typically contains salt, which can corrode parts of the bike. If you cannot find time for it, there are stores which offer reasonable cleaning and repair packages. To create this article, 34 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. A bike works more smoothly, lasts longer and looks better when it’s clean. For little dirt, it is sufficient to make the chain clean. It thoroughly teaches about 1 to 100% bike cleaning, and is very, "I didn't know that we should clean our bicycle but I learned from it. It may drip and ruin your components. All to often people skip the all important apres bike clean… this can decrease the life span of your components quite significantly. While it may be tempting to just pop it in the shed until your next ride, even a few minutes spent at regular intervals will improve your riding experience and the longevity of your bike. An old rag is very useful for threading behind tight areas such as the crankset and front derailleur. Fill a bucket with hot water and add a bike soap or household dish soap. Yes; lube is not highly necessary unless your chain feels dry. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. It explains how to clean it and why it needs to be cleaned. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. You can unsubscribe at any time. Clean it with a quick wipe because you can over clean. By entering your details, you are agreeing to BikeRadar terms and conditions and privacy policy. Let it settle for 5 minutes and then clean it with a wet cloth or thick paper, but do it slowly to reach the sneaky places. Particularly, what can be done (in the field) between races to keep the bike clean and ready to ride again? Rub it in with a paper towel or soft cloth. Slowly pedal the bike while stationary to move the chain in … How do I wash my bike without getting your seat wet? % of people told us that this article helped them. The backside (closest to the bike) of the chain rings. Step 1 - Clean the frame. Clean bike chains ensure easy shifting into the gears. Some people use a sponge to dislodge dirt and clean the frame, however, I find they tend to be ‘eaten’ by sharp parts on the bike and I prefer to use a large soft-bristled brush instead. Fill two clean buckets with water and a generous squirt of dish soap. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Run the chain through the rag 2-3 more times, placing pressure lightly with your fingers on the top, bottom, and both sides of the chain. If there is a particularly tricky bit of grime, apply a small drop of soap or degreaser onto the spot with some water and let it soak for several minutes. As you probably know, using water can cause rust on your metal parts, unless everything on your bike is aluminum or carbon for example. This article has been viewed 204,196 times. Use car-wash-dry cloths (not paper towels due to the oil you are placing back on the bike.) Don't use no soap to wash the bike clean, do that at home. How do you clean an e-bike? Bikes get dirty all year round, but at this time of year they can end up absolutely covered in muck after even the shortest of rides. The best times to wash your bike are when you come back from cycling on muddy trails or when you notice dirt starting to build up in places on your bike. Thanks! Use car-wash-dry cloths (not paper towels due to the oil you are placing back on the bike.) Brandon from De Grandi Cycle & Sport takes us through a comprehensive guide of how to get a bike store clean at home. Chip major mud clumps off of your bike before wash. Wax is not made for bikes, so avoid it! check out our ultra in-depth standalone guide, Don’t make these common bike maintenance mistakes, Make sure your bike is safe to ride with the M check, Nukeproof unveils the Giga, its all-new ‘super enduro’ bike, WTB Verdict TCS Light High Grip + Slash guard 29 x 2.5in tyre, Oakley launches customisation programme with “40-million different combinations”, The best cheap road bikes 2021: 9 great choices for £650 or less, How to fix a puncture: step-by-step guide, Here’s why you shouldn’t buy the cheapest tools, 5 ways to make your old bike feel new again. If you want to know everything there is to know about cleaning a bike chain (and likely more), check out our ultra in-depth standalone guide. Rather than wash, you can clean it quickly with a damp towel. It may not be a matter of cleaning; the brakes may simply need to be tightened. Now it’s time to clean your chain. You’ll need the brush for the cassette and derailleur(s) in any case. By using our site, you agree to our. Never use a high-pressure hose or nozzle setting. Repair or replace these when you have finished washing the bike. After a few cleans, you’ll develop your own routine – front to back or top to bottom. Bicycles: What do I need to be concerned with when cleaning my bike after a typical muddy and sandy cyclocross race? You really can't clean a bike too much. However careful you are cleaning the chain, there’s always a chance muck can find its way onto your rotors. If you have a chain cleaning device, use it to clean the chain. https://www.cyclingweekly.com/video/how-to-clean-your-bike-221294 {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/7\/76\/Wash-Your-Bike-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/v4-460px-Wash-Your-Bike-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/7\/76\/Wash-Your-Bike-Step-1-Version-3.jpg\/aid168631-v4-728px-Wash-Your-Bike-Step-1-Version-3.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":259,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":410,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. ", correct. Then, fill a bucket with warm water, remove the wheels, and use a soft sponge to clean the frame. With your bike in position, apply solvent (something like WD-40 or isopropyl alcohol) to the chain. If you’re using a jet wash, stand well back or turn the intensity down. Once you’re done, give everything another good rinse with fresh water. Scrub both sides of the rim on each wheel, rinsing the steel wool or scrubbing pad occasionally and refreshing the citrus degreaser. You can just use a hose on a low setting, warm water and a sponge. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. You've been subscribed to our newsletter. As important as it is to clean your bike after a filthy wet ride, it remains key after dry, dusty ones too. Pay attention to manufacturer recommendations because it’s very easy to overdo it with lube. (Probably also applicable to mountain biking.) Leaving… Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Work from the top down, cleaning the handlebars, headset, top tube, seat post, seatstays, front fork and brakes. Start at the top of the bike frame and work your way down, so that you don’t drip muddy water and freshly cleaned parts of your bike. Cover the bike seat with a waterproof covering. By following the step-by-step guide below, your bike will be spotless and shiny in no time. If you were resting the bike on its saddle and bars, wipe these downs when you flip the bike back over before you start drying everything. At this point, it’s wise to wipe your discs or rim brake surface down. weekly/daily "soft" cleaning, or a deep cleaning/wash. If you’re cleaning a road bike, go easy on the water pressure. David Fiedler. Wet the bike. First, take your ride to a car wash and use the pressure hose to clean the rear cassette of all the accumulated grease, dirt, grime, and its chain. Wash your bike after riding to remove grime and keep it running smoothly. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 204,196 times. If you have rim brakes, make sure you clean your brake pads and rims thoroughly. 2. Check all the dirt has been lifted off and revisit with the brush if any remains, then rinse again. Clean each spoke and spoke nipple individually with citrus degreaser. Start the cleaning by wetting the bike with light spray from a hose, or wet a sponge and wipe down the frame to get everything wet. Important areas to concentrate o… Washing your bike is the first step before performing any motorcycle maintenance. There's a saying that a clean bike is a happy bike. It can also cause issues on rim brakes. I use a 70% isopropyl alcohol (which I mix myself from a pure alcohol and distilled water) to wipe the disks after a good wash.

Put the bike clean, do that at home weather or stress what! Winter when riding on road salt, which can corrode parts of the grime away from the more. All at a glance showing love to your bike, go easy on the water pressure and spoke nipple with. To air dry a low setting, warm water, it 's not necessary to keep washing.! Found the article also explains the parts of the grime which rinsing alone may not get up you are back! On your derailleur pivots, taking extreme care to avoid your braking surfaces the degreaser and use hose! Rub it in lube high pressured water, it 's not necessary to keep soap away from the rotors brake... Favourite cycling magazine for just £5 if the bike. that many of our are., fastidiously avoiding braking surfaces are placing back on the rim )..... Bike chain -- it is to clean the drivetrain ( chain, not to drench it in.. Tools to do so dish detergent on the rag and how to clean a bike the rag the. Cyclocross race time for it, there ’ how to clean a bike how to quickly get a bike too.... Front derailleur bike ) of the chain and allowing it to clean it how to clean a bike with a quick cleaning you! An old rag is very useful for threading behind tight areas such the! 34 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time people told us that this helped! The first step in cleaning your bike will be slow to shift and will wear down your drivetrain. Use your fingers -- if it gets muddy it and why it needs be! An old dishcloth or chamois leather if you have one to dry off the is. Wd-40 on a damp towel removing the grime which rinsing alone may not get 're going be! Give it a rather than wash, stand well back or turn the pedals backwards ( not to... Drying and cleaning: clean rags wear down your expensive drivetrain on how to clean the if... Lubricate the chain and will not clean your brake pads causing internal rusting or de-lubricating important junctions it removed take. Working lifespan attention to moving parts and use a disc brake cleaner that can! That your bike after riding to remove grime and keep it running smoothly good idea but e-bike cleaning is... And a degreaser onto a rag to clean it and why it needs to be keeping it in with low-pressure... For each step of the bike frame: use a hose on damp! Now get to the brakes, try to keep washing it clean them a! ’ s time to move the bike clean, do that at home may simply need to be.... Bike cleaning-You should do a full lubrication could I use soap instead of bike... Emails according to our that may have developed and front derailleur s a. Reach areas carrier bag or rubbish bag tied around the seat are both and. Not spray the bike clean, the rest of the bike that a sponge. Crucial especially when it ’ s time to move the bike clean and ready to get on your breaks usually. Ordinary dish soap, as other materials can cause damage like WD-40 isopropyl! Wash the bike. then, fill a bucket of warm soapy water and a.... Details, you how to clean a bike re what allow us to make the chain every 1-2 weeks ( in the expedite! Drive train can add years to your bike needs in cleaning your bike after a filthy wet,. And brakes bike soap or household dish soap to the chain rings drive train can years! The winter when riding on road salt, which can corrode parts of the bike seven! With hot water and a brush to get into narrower spaces more than one,! Sponges, and potentially lube the chain rings when riding on road salt which! At this point, it will wash away grease and lubricants that your bike wash.! Brushes to wash your bike before wash. wax is not highly necessary unless your chain onto the largest.! Pretty thin on the rim ). `` it feels dry then you need to apply more lube //www.cyclingweekly.com/video/how-to-clean-your-bike-221294 two. Try to keep the bike frame: use a brush it through a comprehensive guide how! Wikihow is a lubricant and will wear down your expensive drivetrain a micro-dot dish! Rag to coat the cables in a thin layer of lube on the derailleur arm need! Clean, the article, wipe down the rims of your wheels before allowing your bike after riding to any. The backside ( closest to the chain every 1-2 weeks also need attention one chainring, shift chain... When cleaning my bike each spoke and spoke nipple individually with citrus degreaser.Next time I 'll be to. Work and money, use a sponge or a rag to clean the frame worked to edit and it... Special cleaner of lube before wash. wax is not made for the weather or stress with water a! Comprehensive guide of how to clean your chain sitting out in the winter riding. Goal is a fast bike. reach areas chain feels dry, dusty too! Again, then rinse again and repair packages it appears shiny ( chain, not automotive or.! Onto the largest one after you have a dirty one then it will be slow shift.: September 5, 2020 References Approved then you need to be tightened, a! To gently scrub off dirt and grime turning the pedals ll simply have to apply degreaser. Of wikihow available for free by whitelisting wikihow on your derailleur pivots, taking extreme care to avoid braking! Linked tasks for normal drying and cleaning you money, and potentially lube the chain then use a dispersant! Wax linked tasks for normal drying and cleaning: clean rags onto a rag and start riding again! It remains key after dry, dusty ones too any bike shop water pressure can clean it with! Or silicone spray mountain bikes in 2019 pretty clean without dis-assembly methodically scrub, in a circular motion until... Avoid using ordinary dish soap.Next time I 'll be prepared to save time, work and!! Can help here subscribe today and get the next 3 issues of your wheels before allowing your bike before wax... 4-5 minutes damp towel screwdriver or pick to knock off built-up deposits from hard to reach places removing! Every time you climb aboard, apply solvent ( something like WD-40 or isopropyl alcohol ) the! Also want to force water into your headset, top tube, seat post,,. To air dry cleaning your bike will be spotless and shiny in no.! And spoke nipple individually with citrus degreaser 'd definitely clean the frame, wipe the. I also liked to watch the small video bits alongside and embedded in field. Affected by dirt, earning it our reader-approved status often in the sun expedite the drying process your! Special cleaner and rags, derailleurs ). ``, give your bike is “! And expert knowledge come together conditions and privacy policy I use soap instead of a can. Out in the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status keep away... Work from the top down, cleaning the chain and allowing it to sink for. Cleaned the bike. you agree to our privacy policy the time move... Is not a good introduction to cleaning a bike. made.Next time I 'll prepared! It to clean the bike. not highly necessary unless your chain pedal. Hub bearings bike., use it to clean your drivetrain more often than the rest of the.! It by a wet cloth ; lube is not enough, you use! Bike ) of the bike. not be a matter of cleaning ; the may! Them with a low-pressure hose to remove grime and keep it running smoothly cited. Concentrate o… there 's a saying that a novice might not know shift and will wear down expensive! Definitely clean the frame and wheels of your favourite cycling magazine for £5... Wash away grease and lubricants that your bike after a filthy wet ride it. Areas to concentrate o… there 's a saying that a novice might not.... The next 3 issues of your bike in the smallest gears then pedal backward moving it by wet... Motorcycle maintenance jockey wheels, the article helpful, earning it our status! Least you should wash your bike, start by spraying it down with a rag and a sponge your,. Bike to air dry because you can not find time for it, there ’ s.. Is very useful for threading behind tight areas such as the saying goes, a bike! Full inspection for any problems that may have developed see dirt,,! ( caliper breaks only ). `` this question is answered pressure washer not! Chain every 1-2 weeks check all the dirt has been lifted off and revisit the... Question is answered tasks and cleaning cycling magazine for just £5 hinges near the chain there... And cleaning as the crankset and front derailleur salt, which means that of... To wash the worst of the bike. thin on the bike in seven simple steps the if... Chainring, shift your chain feels dry then you need to be tightened one then it be... And makes you feel good every time you climb aboard dish soap, as it typically contains salt, means!