Top Ten Tips For Cleaning Your Bike
Before we present to you the ten best tips for cleaning your bike effectively, let us first see why cleaning your bike is important in the first place. Regardless of which type of bike you own, you must know that your bike is based on a system of moving parts. It is constantly exposed to grime, mud and debris. If left un-cleaned for long, these parts will deteriorate over time. If you use your bike for competitions you may end up with a broken bike rather than winning a title. Regular maintenance, depending on your usage is imperative for maintaining the performance of your bike as well as for expanding its life. If you have a mountain bike, racing bike, dirt bike, or any kind of bike, the below mentioned bike cleaning tips may come in handy.
1. Prepare A Cleaning Schedule
Regardless of your daily tasks, it is always better to make a schedule. How frequently should you clean your bike depends on how frequently you use it. If you use it regularly for commuting then washing it once a week and wiping it every two days will keep your bike in shape. This will ensure that it does not accumulate too much dust which otherwise would reduce the life of your bike.
The environment in which you constantly use your bike will also be a deciding factor in determining how frequently you may need to clean it. If you have a mountain bike or a dirt bike, then cleaning your bike regularly will top the list of mountain bike cleaning tips. The place you store or park your bike is also important. If it is too windy and your locality has a dust problem, you may want to cover your bike after you have used it, otherwise your cleaning schedule will be a busy one. You can use your daily planner to make a schedule and list of thinks of need for it.
2. Bike Cleaning Essentials
Get your hands on essentials such as a bucket, garden hose or a pressure washer. All of these can be used to give your bike a thorough bath. You will also need brushes including used toothbrushes for cleaning nooks and places where your hands can't reach. The toothbrush can also be used to clean your chain. A degreaser could come in handy for cleaning grease and oil. Get a mild liquid detergent, some rags and a microfiber cloth for the final touch. Make sure you use things that are not just friendly to your bike but also the environment. Don’t use strong chemicals, they will shorten your bike's life and may also create health issues for you.
3. Degreasing Your Bike
Use a good degreasing agent to clean all the grimy and greasy parts of your bike, like the chain. Do not use turpentine or kerosene, instead use an environment friendly solvent. Ensure proper disposal of solvents when you are done. A dirt bike would gather huge amounts of mud which would stick to the moving parts and corrode them quickly. Properly degreasing your bike ranks among the most important dirt bike cleaning tips. Wear proper safety and protection gear such as gloves, goggles, etc. when cleaning your bike.
4. Washing Your Bike
Once you have removed all the grease and grime, it is time to wash your bike. Some people may argue that water will reduce the life of moving parts such as bearings and bushes but that can be avoided. If you are using high pressure equipment, do not point it directly towards bearings and seals. If you are worried about using a high-pressure washer, use a small bucket to pour water over your bike or wash it with your garden hose. Just make sure you do not waste water.
5. Using Liquid Detergent
Fill a bucket with water and add a little bit of some mild liquid detergent. Soak a sponge in the soapy water and apply it to your bike thoroughly. Wait for 5 minutes and then wash your bike again with a pressure washer or as you prefer.
6. Dry Your Bike Properly
Once you are done washing your bike, grab a few rags and dry your bike properly. Don’t leave a drop of moisture. Drying your bike thoroughly will prevent corrosion of bike parts. You can also use a blower to dry your bike, as it is more effective and will save time as well. Do not leave your bike wet for long, this will result in rusting and corrosion of important body parts.
7. Lubricate After Washing
We already talked about degreasing the bike so that all mud and grime is eliminated. However, once you have washed and dried your bike, you should properly lubricate your chain and other moving parts. You can choose a wet or a dry lubricant depending on how you are using your bike. Wet lubricants should be used when you consistently use your bike in wet conditions, as they have a stronger adhesive force and will stick to the surface even when it is raining. At the same time, they tend to gather more dust than a dry lubricant. However, dry lubricant rinses off easily during rain. When using wet lubricants, make sure that you do not use more than necessary, instead wipe off excess lubricant so that it does not gather too much dust. Remember to use lubricants manufactured specifically for bikes.
8. Polish Your Bike
There are many types of polishes available in the market for different types of metals and other surfaces. You can use carnauba wax. Just apply the wax very thinly, you do not want to overdo this. Too much wax will gather dust and make your bike dirty quickly. Grab a clean piece of cloth and wipe off the wax properly.
9. Know When To Get Expert Help
Once in a while take your bike to the experts, such as a proper bike shop. They will remove the chain, remove the cassette and give your bike a thorough service. A monthly visit to the bike shop will also help you identify any parts that may need replacement or repair.
10. Use Good Quality Stuff
When giving the final touch to your bike, do not use an ordinary cloth, instead keep a microfiber cleaning cloth. They do not create scratches and will protect your paint job from regular cleaning and wiping.
A stitch in time saves nine. Consistent accumulation of dirt will increase the wear and tear of your bicycle which will eventually affect its performance and may even result in its breakdown. With proper cleaning schedule and cleaning equipment, you can build a long-lasting relationship with your bike. It will not only make an impression but also improve your bike's performance. This is especially important if you are a part of a cycling team and you are preparing for a sports event or competition or you are going on an outdoor adventure trip with your friends. A clean, well lubricated bicycle will ensure that you do climb that mountain without failing or your bike does not break down in the middle of the road, in the dead of the night. All you have to do is to regularly clean and maintain your bike by using the right products in the proper way.