With the wetter weather your mountain bike rides on off road and on trails are becoming muddier than ever. Cleaning your bike, just for it to get muddy again may not make a lot of sense but it’s certainly the best thing to do, if you want your mountain bike to stay in a good condition and run smoothly.
Get prepared for a dirty job with the correct cleaning supplies
To clean your bike, there are a few supplies that you will need:
- 1 bucket
- Hot water
- Washing up liquid
- Sponges, brushes and cloths
- Chain scrubber
- Chain lubricant
- Degreasing solvent
- Repair stand (if you have one, makes cleaning the bike much easier)
The first thing you should do is remove items such as leaves that may have gotten caught in your bike. Wipe down the entire bike with soapy water and apply a degreaser to the drivetrain. Gently use your sponges, brushes and cloths to get rid of any mud and grit. Scrubbing too hard could damage your bikes paintwork. If you have a repair stand, use this to remove the wheels and clean these separately.
Use a toothbrush to scrub the chain and rear cassette, use a rag to wipe the chain clean and remove any excess dirt. Once you have done this backpedal the chain through a rag covered in degreaser.
Wash the rest of your bike with a soap and water mix and rinse it down with an ordinary garden hose. Do not use a high pressure hose or power washer on your bike, as water may push itself past the bearing seal and this may cause corrosion.
When your bike has dried, you will need to lubricate the chain, cables, levers, shifters, derail pulleys and pivot points. Never use an ordinary household lubricant on your bike, you should always use a lubricant purposely made for bike chains. In autumn weather a wet condition lubricant would be the best choice for your bike, due to the amount of rainfall that usually occurs. Make sure any excess lubricant is wiped off the bike as this can attract dirt.
While you are cleaning your bike, it’s a good idea to check for signs of damage on wheel rims, spokes, spoke holes and tyres. Now is a good time to give your bike a general inspection and feel free to give the bike frame a good buff, to get it shining. Once you’ve cleaned your bike, you’ll be surprised at how good it feels to get back on it, not only will it look great, it will certainly feel it too.
You will need to have a decent amount of outdoor space to clean your bike and doing this inside obviously isn’t an option, unless you like mud coloured carpets! Having somewhere to store all of these bike cleaning and maintenance items is also a good idea. A garage is a good place to store all of your bike maintenance equipment, accessories and of course your bikes. If you don’t have a garage, there are a variety of garden bike sheds and cycle storage units available on the market. The bike maintenance garage by Asgard has been designed to do just that! This is a large cycle garage that can hold up to 6 bikes, with shelves and hooks to maximise storage space and it is large enough to carry out necessary bike maintenance. The cycle garage is made from strong weatherproof steel, so your stored items will be safe and dry. Having all of your bike items stored under one roof is a lot less hassle than traipsing in and out of the house every other minute for items you’ve forgotten.