Bike Cleaning Tips 101

Keeping your bike clean does not have to be a hassle. This article will cover a number of helpful tips to cleaning your bike.
So you have not cleaned your bike in a while you say? No worries, keep reading...we will have you up to speed with all of the latest tips in no time. Believe or not you don't necessarily need to have all of the tools the pro's use to clean your bike. A lot of around the house items when it comes to cleaning your bike will work in a pinch. However...for more information, product guidance etc. please check with your favorite local bike shop.
Suggested "around the house items" for cleaning your bike:
  • Dish Soap
  • Large Sponge
  • Simple Green
  • Clorox Wipes
  • Pledge
  • Citrus Cleaners
  • Laundry Soap
  • Windex
  • Car Polish
  • Tooth brush
  • Dish Scrub Brush
  • Bottle Brush
  • Good old bucket
  • Garden Hose
  • WD40
Store bought cleaning items / products (Suggested):
  • Bike Wash
  • Chain Lube
  • Bike Polish
  • Chain Cleaner
  • Set of bike brushes
  • Bike Degreaser
  • Bike Stand
Bike Cleaning 101:
  1. Using a hose (If available) very lightly spray the entire bike / DO NOT Spray directly into any of the critical gear or bearing areas ie: Headset / Bottom bracket / Suspension pivots etc. This will cause some serious damage and other issues. If no hose is available a large bucket with warm water and a cleaning solution will work just fine. (Pro Tip: For serious cleaning/maintenance is to keep separate bucket/brush systems keeping greasy water/brushes away from 'clean' brushes/wash water. It's easy to mistakenly scrub rim braking surfaces with a brush that you might have scrubbed the chain with....not good.) ~Michael Newberry
  2. Start from the top down: Meaning that you want to take the dirt / grime off the bike so that you are not having to clean your bike twice! Generally at this point you want make sure that your are generously sponging and cleaning the entire bike. Once this is finished gently rinse your bike off to remove the dirt and grime etc. If this first effort does not completely clean your bike then simply repeat the process. This not only loosens up the dirt and grime it will make then next phase a lot easier. (Pro tip: Using and old tooth brush or small brush will help get that hard to reach dirt / mud and grime.)
  3. Using a greaser type product now is a good time to clean the rear cassette and your chain. Some may cleaning the chain is the last thing you do...either way place it with in the cleaning phase as to be able to NOT have to mess up all of your hard work and effort to clean your bike in the first place. If you have one a chain cleaning device works really well. This is a multi step process of degreasing/cleaning chain then applying the appropriate lubricant desired. Make sure NO matter what after cleaning your bike to lubricate your chain. If left untouched it will begin to rust. When lubricating your chain simply back pedal your bike and very lightly apply your lubricant of choice. Remember a little dab will do you just fine. Using an old rag in hand you can remove the excess lubricant. It's also a good idea not to forget those jockey wheels on your rear derailleur as well.
  4. Once you have completed the above steps, make sure to thoroughly dry your bike off. This step sometimes is over looked believe it or not. To get the excess water off try lightly bouncing bike up and down on it's tires. Also if you have not thoroughly cleaned your bike off this is the point where you will be able to tell where you missed some spots. (Pro Tip: If you have disc brakes be sure to wipe the discs off till dry or as best you can, this not only will prevent rust, it should hopefully prevent squeaky disc brakes)
  5. Bike polish etc...Why would I do this in the first place? Well great question, other than one extra added step, polishing your bike will actually keep it cleaner longer! Some will argue this theory...but think about when you wax your vehicle. When it rains etc...the water beads off. Well not exactly sure this type of reaction will happen with your bike. We can tell you that this process will actually impede any of the dirt and grim from easily collecting on your bike. Hence your bike in theory will stay cleaner longer.
We hope these tips and suggestions help, in the mean time, happy trails & don't forget to take time to stop and enjoy the ride !!! Any other question, comments, ideas or suggestions please feel free to drop us a line: info@growlerbikes we would love to hear from you !!!

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