It doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time mountain biker or an expert racer, proper bike cleaning is vital to your ride that ensures that your bike performs efficiently and safely. You may find yourself asking the question, “How often should I clean my bike?” A good rule of thumb is to thoroughly keep it clean after every ride, however, constantly riding in mud and rain will cause your bike to need more attention. A proper bike cleaning should include the following steps:
Use Pressure Washer
Though it may take longer, the most effective way to clean your mountain bike is with a high-pressure washer. Begin by removing all mud and dirt from your frame then rinse thoroughly. You should apply some detergent while you wash your bike with the pressure washer, this will ensure that there are no greasy stains left behind on your bike. While different models are available on the market today, when looking for the right one for cleaning your bike, you should opt out for high water pressure, adjustable nozzle settings, and a long hose.
Clean the Chain and Gears
Most mountain bikers neglect to clean their bicycle’s chain and gears, which can result in faster gear wear and limit shifting performance. Begin by spraying degreaser on your bike’s chain and rotating the pedals backward so that the rear wheel rotates as well. This should cause the dirt to come off of your bike’s chain and onto the rear wheel. Once you have applied degreaser to both sides of your drive train, carefully hose it off with water from an inch away from your bike’s drive train. Ensure that every part of your drive train is exposed to water, then let it dry completely before reapplying lubricant for best results.
Use The Right Cleaning Product
Several cleaning products on the market can be used to clean your mountain bike. However, many experts recommend using biodegradable cleaners from reputable manufacturers because these products are less harmful to the environment and safe for your skin. For the best results, opt-out for a citrus degreaser or one that is made specifically for mountain bikes and components. Also, if your drive-train is made of aluminum or carbon fiber, it’s best to skip degreasers that contain petroleum.
Inspect and Lubricate the Bike
After you have cleaned your bike, each part must be properly inspected for any additional damage before putting it back together again. Carefully look at moving parts such as chains, brake levers, and derailleurs to ensure that none of these components are cracked or severely worn out. Also, inspect your brake pads and ensure that they have a smooth surface before putting the bike back together. Finally, lubricate your bike’s chain to protect it from rust and extend its life by using silicone-based grease.
Mountain biking is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by all skill levels. However, you must remember that to have fun when riding your bike, you need to keep it clean to perform at its best. If you use this guide for cleaning your mountain bike, you will surely have a great time on the trails while keeping your bike in top condition.