Professionals recommend always hosing down your bicycle and applying a small amount of lubricant to the chain after each ride. Let’s be honest – how many of us do that every time? After a long ride, bike cleaning is the last thing on our to-do list – and besides, bikes are supposed to have a bit of dirt on them, right? Each bit of caked-on mud is a memento of an adventure, but the truth is that too much dirt can stop your bike from working properly. Bike cleaning doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming, though – and regular maintenance can really help increase your bike’s lifespan and reduce the risk of damage. Here are some essentials that every rider should have in a bike cleaning kit:
Bike Cleaner for the Frame
Cleaning the frame of your bike is so quick and easy – and you don’t even need a special bike cleaner! All you really need is a bucket filled with hot water and regular dishwashing soap. And, in terms of water, the hotter the better, so you’ll want to make sure you have a good pair of rubber gloves to protect your hands. When it comes to soap, it’s a case of the more suds the better, so be sure to give your mixture a vigorous stir beforehand. Use a cloth to wipe down all areas of the frame. You should see that the hot water is able to tackle the greasy, oily parts of your bike, while the soap softens mud and dirt, making it easy to wipe away.
Bicycle Chain Cleaner & Bike Degreaser
Bicycle chains are a little trickier to tackle because they require a bike degreaser and lubricant. These two products are essential to keep the chain running smoothly, and will prevent the links from becoming stuck. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your bicycle chain and making it work like new:
- Firstly, use a hose to gently wash off any loose dirt, mud, and dust. Use with a soft spray, rather than a pressure washer, as the powerful blast could dislodge some of the mechanism.
- Set the gears so the chain is on the largest setting to give you better access. You’ll want to set the front chain to the highest gear and the back chain to the lowest.