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7 Steps to a Clean Bike

Not only does a clean bike look great, but it also performs better, lasts longer, and is easier to maintain

Perhaps you haven’t cleaned your bike all triathlon season. Maybe you just went on a long ride and it rained on you. It might be the end of your season and you’re putting your bike away for a few months. Whatever the case, it’s time to clean your bike! Follow the 7 steps below and your bike will be clean in no time. Take care of the bike that takes care of you. Remember, a clean bike is a happy bike.

Supplies

  1. An old shirt or a few rags
  2. Dish soap
  3. Small bucket
  4. Water hose
  5. Bicycle lubricant

Guideline for a clean bike

Step 1:

Set the nozzle on the hose to a light spray and spray down the entire bicycle. You do not want the pressure of the water to be too powerful. It could remove grease in areas that will be difficult for you to replace.

Step 2:

Tear the shirt into a few pieces and place in the bucket with a cap full of dish soap. Fill the bucket halfway with water and mix the water and soap around with the rags. Take one rag from the bucket and scrub the entire bike. Get the tires, frame, spokes, rims, hubs, drivetrain, and any other part of the bike that seems dirty. Check out this bicycle cleaning kit, it can make it easier to get to some of those hard to reach spots.

Step 3:

Take the water hose again and spray your bike off one more time. This should remove the remaining grime that has been loosened up by the scrubbing.

Step 4:

Take one of the remaining rags and dry the bicycle off. You can allow it to drip dry for a few minutes to make this easier.

Step 5:

Now that your bicycle is clean and dry, it is time to re-lube the drivetrain and other moving parts. Take your bike lube and cover the entire chain. Drip a few drops on the cassette of the bicycle. Now drip a few drops on each side of your wheels were your skewers go through the hub. Finally, drip a few drops on the brake calipers where the center bolt passes through and connects to the frame. This blog post provides more specifics on cleaning a drivetrain.

Step 6:

Now put your helmet on and take your bike for a little spin. Make sure you shift into every possible gear on your bike to spread out the lube. If you do not want to ride, just lift your rear wheel off the ground and shift the bicycle into every gear that way.

Step 7:

Last but not least, wipe the chain and drivetrain down one more time with a clean, dry rag to remove excess lube.

Happy cleaning!

Bike Spring Cleaning

Taking time to wash your bike is just as important as checking all parts

Spring cleaning doesn’t just pertain to household duties. So brush the cobwebs off your bike, wash your bike, and get it in proper gear for the spring triathlon season. Ensure your bike is ready to go, especially if you’re racing Rookie Tri on Sunday, May 6th!

Whether your bike is aluminum, steel, titanium, or composite, an important aspect of any frame is keeping it clean. Steel rusts, aluminum corrodes, titanium and composite bikes just look cruddy.

The paint on a steel or aluminum frame is porous and penetrated easily by elements that will rust the tubes from underneath the paint. Grease and solvents can degrade the glued joints of some older composite bikes with aluminum lugs.

Check inside your frame for water. It’s more common than you think for water to seep in down between seat posts and seat tubes. Especially if you ride in the rain or carry your bike on top of the car in the rain. Water in a steel frame shortens its life significantly.

Remember that a clean, dry bike is a happy bike!

Stop by your local bike shop if you need help cleaning your bike or learning about your bike’s frame.