Your bike is a big part of your life, it gives you a lot of joy and helps you stay in great shape while discovering interesting routes. Taking good care of it is essential. Cleaning your bike regularly is one of the best ways to do this. Dirty, rusty, scratched bikes look terrible. Cleaning it regularly will improve its performance, appearance and make it last longer.

Dirt on your bike is a real problem. Even if you clean your bike after every ride, the dirt will still get into moving parts, and will eventually wear them down. Cleaning your bike is important no matter the conditions.

Luckily, you don't have to spend hours cleaning your bike. Just follow the steps in this article and you'll be good to go.

The tools

To get started you will need to have the following tools handy:

  • Clean rags
  • Brushes
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Soap
  • Degreaser
  • Chain Lubricant

Fill two buckets of water and add some regular dish soap. Place your brushes, sponges, and rags in the buckets. Place your bike in a workstand if you have one, otherwise you can hang it from a suitable place such as a clothes line. This will bring it up off the ground and will make those hard-to-reach areas a lot easier to reach. Firstly, remove the wheels and the attached front fender and fork guard. Then you can insert a chain keeper, if available, into the front of the chainring. Now you're ready to clean each of your bike's components separately.

Drivetrain

Dip a stiff-bristled brush into one of your pre-filled buckets and scrub the chainrings. We recommend using a bottle brush or toothbrush to get into crevices around the teeth, pulleys, and rings. Then rinse with a gentle stream of water and repeat if you still see any lingering crud. Next, grab your rear wheel and drip dish soap onto the cassette, scrub, then rinse. Repeat if necessary.

Frame

You'll need to use a soft sponge and work your way around the frame, cleaning the entire surface. You'll want to start with a basic wipe and move on to a more thorough cleaning. Use a sponge and bucket of water (but no high-pressure washer) and then use a soft-bristled brush to give the bike a scrub. Remember that your bike is an expensive investment, so don't use cheap products that could damage it. Use the right tools for the right job.

Wheels

Use a large soft brush for tires and rims so you can easily get into every crevice with little effort. Use the same water bucket you used for your frame. Starting at the valve, scrub all the way around the wheel, hit the spokes and hub, and then flip the wheel to get the opposite side. To clean disc brakes, firstly wash the wheels thoroughly with soap and water. Apply brake cleaner to both sides of the disk using a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Wipe excess off the pads with a clean, dry towel.

Brakes

While 

it's true that rim brakes are a great braking system, you should still do the occasional maintenance on them. For example, it's very important to clean your rims and pads of debris that may have accumulated while riding.

For disc brakes, make sure the cleaning product you’re using is specifically designed for this type of brakes. You can always use a general isoproply alcohol solution to gently wipe down the rotos and spray into the brake pads.

Chain, cassette cogs, chainring & derailleurs

You may either remove the wheels from the frame or not when you clean the derailleurs and chain. Use a degreaser and a gear brush to clean your chain and cassette by giving them a gentle scrub. If you have a gear brush handy, this will be especially helpful for removing the small bits of debris that accumulate in your cassette cogs & chainrings. For really dirty chains, you may want to use a chain-cleaning device, which is more thorough and a lot less messy. Apply drops of lube slowly onto to the chain, getting some on each link. Make sure to dispose of the degreaser safely after finishing.

Lubing Up

Remember to give all your components a good dose of lubricant after they are dry and before reattaching them. This will ensure their longevity and prevent future damage. You want to use a wet lube when you're in a wet condition, such as when you're riding in the rain. The best quality lube however, is one that works well in dry conditions. It will keep your drivetrain clean and save you some power. The downside of dry lubes is that they can be easily washed off in wet conditions, leaving you with an unprotected chain.

Whatever bike you choose to ride, make sure to wipe it down regularly and clean it thoroughly. By wiping down the bike regularly and cleaning it thoroughly, you will be able to maximize your bike's potential, looks good and avoid any potential accidents. Cleaning a bike is an important part of keeping it in good condition. By regularly cleaning the bike, you will be able to maximize its potential, look good, and avoid any potential accidents.