The bicycle riding experience becomes the best when the bicycle is clean and runs smoothly. For a smooth and comfortable ride, a washed and cleaned bicycle is mandatory. When the wheels are clean, the friction is balanced, and the interruption is less. Similarly, the cycle chain functions best when it is not greasy or dirty.
However, many people panic about cleaning their bicycles. Either they are reluctant to do the task or don’t know the right way to do it. Lack of knowledge becomes a huge issue here. This is why you need to learn how to clean a bicycle.
Don’t worry. I am here to explain the proper ways and steps to clean a bicycle. Hence, stay with me if you want to learn the best way of bicycle cleaning:
8 Simple Steps To Clean A Bicycle: The Best Way To Do That
Let me explain to you the 8 simple steps of cleaning a bicycle with the description:
Step 1: Clean The Chain And Drivetrain:
The chain and its drivetrain are the most affected areas by pollution and grease. As these are the dirtiest areas, let us start with them first.
The best way to clean the chain is to use a chain cleaning kit or device designed for cleaning cycle chains. First, let the cycle stand on the work stand properly. Then, apply a degreaser to the chain so that the stuck dirt comes out easily. Either use a chain cleaner or a toothbrush to clean the holes in the chain and the tiny sprockets.
Similarly, clean the entire drivetrain thoroughly by spraying some degreaser and rubbing each corner with a toothbrush. Rub harshly to let the dirt loosen out. However, for the best result, you can apply the degreaser and leave it there for a few minutes so the filth can come out. Afterward, the filth will be cleaned easily when you brush the drivetrain.
Remember not to use the brush for cleaning the drivetrain or any other bicycle parts. Your brush would be greasy and dirty after cleaning the drivetrain. This dirt will contaminate the other parts if you use the same one for other bicycle parts.
Step 2: Clean The Brake In The Front Wheel:
Cleaning the brake is essential as it reduces the risk of accidents and makes the ride easier and smooth. Now, how to clean the brake place in the front wheel?
You must apply degreaser on a paper towel or a microfiber cloth, whichever you prefer. Then use the cloth or towel to gently wipe off the brake and rotors. Try hard not to contaminate the grease on the wheels. Be careful during the procedure.
This is why using small paper towels is the most effective way. You would take small paper towels, clean each portion of the rotor and brake, throw them immediately, and then start with a new towel. You can surely use a microfiber cloth too.
Done with cleaning the brake and the rotors? Let’s move to the next step.
Step 3: Wash Off And Apply Cleaner:
Now is the turn to rinse off the areas that you have cleaned. So far, you have rubbed the drivetrain, chain, rotors, and front brake.
You can either use a hose or a bucket full of water. Using a hose is the best idea as the water comes out in a particular manner, and the water pressure is minimal. Thoroughly wash off the grease and dirt that have remained in the areas.
After you rinse off the areas, you must clean the cycle frame. You have to spray the bike washing liquid all over the cycle body. If you don’t have the bike washing liquid, you can use a dishwashing liquid or liquid soap. Make a foam with the liquid soap and spray the solution all over the cycle. Spray a little more to the dirtiest areas.
Step 4: Scrub With A Brush:
After applying the cleaner all over the bicycle, you must use a dustpan brush to gently rub over the cycle body. A dustpan brush has soft bristles that won’t leave any scratches. This is why I prefer using it for cleaning the cycle body and tires.
You must use a bottle brush to clean the areas below the seat and the wheels. These areas can’t be cleaned fully with a dustpan brush. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the tiny corners and parts.
You may use an old rag for cleaning conveniently. However, using a brush always gives the best results.
Step 5: Wash Off The Cycle Body:
After cleaning the cycle body thoroughly, you can expect that all the dirt and pollution have come out effectively. When you are done, rinse the cycle body carefully with plain water. Use a hose or a bucket of water. Avoid using jet wash as the high water pressure can damage tires.
Use a hose or mug to let the remaining dirt and soapy water disappear from the cycle body. This step is important as all dirt and grease should go away now.
Step 6: Wipe Off And Dry The Cycle:
Now is the turn to wipe off the water from the cycle body. You can use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe the entire cycle. The best material to wipe the cycle body is chamois leather. It is very soft on the body and helps the cycle dry quickly. You can use a dishcloth as well.
Remember to keep the cycle on the work stand so that the wheels and tires can dry out too.
Step 7: Polish The Cycle Body:
Polishing the cycle body is necessary to bring back the shine and finish and improve the cycle’s condition and longevity. You can use silicone spray and a soft cloth to polish the entire cycle body effectively. You may find other cycle polishing solutions in the market too.
The benefit is not only the look but also the protection of the bike. Your cycle attracts less grease and muck when it stays polished and shiny.
Step 8: Lube The Chain:
Lubing the chain is necessary so that the chain can move smoothly. Use a moisture-dispersant lube or any other lube that matches your chain. But be cautious that the lube doesn’t spread over the brake or tires. It would damage the tires and brakes and can be risky.
Choose the lube carefully and decide the portion to be applied. After applying, run the chain over the sprockets to evenly spread the lube all over the chain.
Tools You Require To Clean A Bicycle:
Before you learn how to clean a bicycle, you must gather all the necessary materials. Here is a list of those tools that you require to clean a bicycle properly:
- A hose or bucket for water,
- A work stand,
- Bottle brush,
- Dustpan brush,
- Liquid soap/ Dishwashing liquid/ Bike washing liquid (whichever is available),
- Chain lube or lubricant,
- Rag/ microfiber cloth/ Paper towel,
- Chamois Leather,
- Chain cleaning device (optional).
If you don’t have a chain cleaner, you can use the brushes mentioned above. So, if you have accumulated all the materials, it’s time to work on bicycle cleaning.
How To Clean A Bicycle Tire?
You may be unable to clean the entire cycle every day or after a rainy ride. But you must clean your bicycle tires regularly, especially when they become muddy and soiled. Otherwise, the friction is hampered, and you won’t get a smooth ride. It is risky as well.
But how can you clean bicycle tires every day? It may sound troublesome, but it is not so difficult to do if you keep a hose or a water source where you park your bicycles.
It is better if you have a hose as it makes it easier to clean the tires. Otherwise, make soapy water in a bucket by mixing liquid soap or dishwashing liquid and water. Using warm water to let stubborn mud or dirt come out fast is better.
Spread the soapy water over the tires and use a dustpan brush to scrub the tires and wheels. You can also use a toothbrush to clean the tires deeply. After rubbing and scrubbing the tires, simply rinse them off the tires with plain water. Let the mud and dirt go away, and dry them well before using.
Remember that this cleaning procedure should not affect the chain or brake. Try not to spread the soapy water on the chain. If you see any, immediately clean the chain to avoid rusting.
How To Clean A Bicycle Chain? (2 Easy Methods)
Cleaning bicycle chains is necessary as it catches dust and pollution quickly due to the lubricant and grease on the chains. When dust and pollution settle on the chain, the chain won’t move uninterruptedly over the sprockets. It would get stuck, or the chain would frequently fall off the path. It makes your ride risky and threatening, and comfortable.
Now, how can you clean a bicycle chain? It is quite easy to clean bicycle chains. You need to know the correct procedure to clean the bicycle chains. I would like to mention two methods of cleaning bicycle chains. You can use whichever is easier for you.
1. Use Dishwashing Liquid:
Using dishwashing soap is a home remedy you may do anytime you feel your bicycle chains have become filthy. If you require an immediate solution, this can be a good option.
Take a bucket full of warm water. Mix some drops of dishwashing soap or liquid soap to make a soft foam. Spread the foam all over the chain. Now use a microfiber cloth to clean the chain with your hands. However, this may not give you the best results.
You should use a toothbrush or chain cleaning brush to remove the dirt and grease from the chain. Make sure to clean each corner of the chain along with the sprockets.
After cleaning the chain, rinse off the chain thoroughly. After rinsing the soapy water, you must wipe off the chain with a microfiber cloth or rag. Dry out the chain completely and then apply a high-quality lube all over the chain. Move the chain over the path so that the lube spreads all over the chain.
And you are all ready to start cycling again!
2. Use Degreaser:
The easiest way to clean a bicycle chain is to spray degreaser all over the chain. Degreaser easily takes the dirt and pollution out of the chain. You don’t need to struggle much to clean the chains.
Simply spray the degreaser and then use a toothbrush to scrub all over the chain. After you see that all the oil and pollution have come out, thoroughly rinse off the chain with plain water.
Afterward, dry the chain with a soft microfiber cloth or rag. After drying out the chain, don’t forget to apply lube all over it so it can move smoothly over the path.
And it is done! You can use any method of cleaning and lubing the chain, whichever you like.
How Often Should You Clean A Bicycle?
You have learned how to clean a bicycle. But how frequently should you clean a bicycle? It is a legitimate question. If you don’t wash your bicycle regularly, you will struggle further to clean the bicycle, and your bicycle condition will deteriorate. This is why cleaning after a certain period is necessary.
Ideally, you should clean your bicycle after 20 to 25 rides. It is enough if you are in dry weather or during winter. You can simply wash your bicycle with water after 10 rides. After 25 rides, you should thoroughly clean your bicycle.
But during the monsoon, your tires would be muddy and soiled frequently. You should clean after 4-6 rides to keep the bicycle tires and chains clean and smooth.
I have mentioned ways to clean a bicycle at home conveniently. You should have certain equipment and agents to effectively clean your entire bicycle and restore the shine and condition of the bicycle. Thus you must clean your bicycle to maintain its quality, enhance the riding experience, and increase longevity.
So, when are you going to wash your bicycle?