How often do you wash your mountain bike?

Forums Mountain Bike Forum How often do you wash your mountain bike?

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    • #215219

      I’ll be the first to admit I don’t wash my mountain bike very often, so¬†I’m curious to know how often others rinse off their bikes. And how do you decide when it’s time for a wash?

    • #215228

      Ha! This time of year the April and May showers have turned the trails into soupy mud…I know, I know “don’t ride when it’s wet” – but in this region we don’t have much choice (least our MTB season be limited to just July and August)…..So I hose her down and oil her up after every ride. ūüėČ

      In July and August, when it finally does dry out, I’ll wash it once in awhile. –This is going to sound super geeky, and my non-cycling friends just don’t understand….but i can hear the difference between a dirty and a clean chain, when the chain makes that certain noise, I’ll wash her.

    • #215231

      This might be overkill but pretty much after every ride. I usually wipe all dirt and mud off the frame with a damp cloth or gently hit it with the hose (no high pressure, of course). When the frame is clean I might use degreaser to clean the chain and cassette. I also run the brake rotors through isoprobyl alcohol to remove pad residue or stray oils. ¬†I can’t stand the thought of having dirt get caked on to the bike, especially the moving parts. If you saw my house, this would be shocking, but I am very active in keeping the bike clean.


    • #215239

      Not often enough for sure.

      Since I have three bikes, if one is dirty and I don’t feel like washing it (or more practically, lubing/inspecting it), I just grab the next bike.

      Then at some point, all three bikes are in need of cleaning and maintenance and I go on a maintenance binge, breaking out the hose, bucket, lube, maintenance stand and tools and spend hours taking care of all three.

    • #215362

      If the trails are a little soft, then every ride.  If it is dry, then every few rides or once a week.

    • #215378

      I often do not wash the bikes after a dusty ride but then it’s not dusty very often.

      I do clean the suspension seals and lube after most rides.

    • #215379

      If I can’t see what color is my bike – it’s time to wash. Otherwise wiping off/brushing off some dust and cleaning chain after a ride. Or, like John, just grab another bike

    • #215453

      rinse when needed, wash never. I clean and lube moving parts regularly, and clean any area I am working on before hand, but I never wash the whole bike.

    • #215455

      I clean my bikes fairly often. Even after dry rides my bike will be gunked up from sweat and dust.

      Apart from the maintenance aspect, I just like how a clean bike looks! Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you.

    • #215490

      Whenever it gets really dirty.

      I know that sounds like a¬†lame duck response, but around here if conditions are dry, and I’m riding desert-y trails, I can often go quite a while between washes, as long as I keep my chain lubed. But if I’m doing a lot of riding in the high mountains in wet conditions and on poorly-draining trails, I could be washing the bike after every ride.

    • #215521

      I wash my¬†bike, clean the chain, isopropyl clean front and rear shocks, seat tube ¬†and rotors after every ride, basically every moving part. It has become a zen thing and the way I wind down after a ride. It is the¬†way I can check every part ¬†looking for anything that might be amiss. I fix any item that seems even the slightest out of place…I also re-center front and rear brakes . I have built an area outside my lab¬†just for cleaning and maintaining bikes including a hot water hose. Hot water makes what can be an unpleasant job into a relaxing one. This is doubly ¬†true during¬†the fall and winter. After the bike is cleaned and tuned I re-lube the chain and wipe the bike down with Maxima SC1 High Gloss Coating. The bike is back to silently¬†perfect and looks sharp. I probably spend 45 minutes after every ride maintaining the herd. I am hard on my gear but it is all well taken care of and lasts¬†a long time. From an engineering perspective the bike has always been a technical wonder and the modern mountain bike is no exception. Think about the tolerances in the pivot points alone… is just incredible. I admit it, I absolutely love taking care of my bikes. They are engineered works of art. Guilty as charged.

    • #215524

      I clean my bike after almost every ride.  My past history was a horseman, where I properly cooled out and brushed my mount(s) daily.  Tack was cleaned or inspected after each ride so with bikes it is just a continuation of that habit.  Furthermore, I am a terrible mechanic.  Cleaning and inspecting my bike regularly helps me avoid  problems that would be difficult to repair on the trail.

    • #215528

      I clean my chain, cassette, derailer, suspension and ect after each ride and make sure I get all of the send and build ups out if there but not too worried about dirt on the frame or tires.

    • #215542

      Only when its muddy. But for just small dirt or dust, never. Maybe rinse a bit every 100 ride or so ¬†ūüôā

    • #215618

      In the winter on the fat bike I wash it every time I use it, not because of the trails, but the ride home on the rack getting covered in slush filled with road salt.  I drive right to the local do it yourself car wash and hose it down on low pressure spray to get rid of the salt.  Warmer months my bikes only get washed when trails are softer.

    • #215626

      Good question Jeff! I am sure the answers you’re going to get are going to be quite varied.

      I wash my bike at least once a month, but I clean my drivetrain and cogs and re-lubricate everything every week. The suspension stanchion units I clean after every ride unless it is an especially short/clean one. After a muddy ride I will wipe down the chain and cogs just to keep everything running smooth and quiet. Yesterday I just did a full bike clean and degrease. I cleaned my pivots too.


    • #215678

      Whenever it needs it. When I ride dry conditions I usually just wipe it down. When I encounter muddy conditions it gets a deep clean.

    • #216258

      Here’s a good example when it’s time to wash

    • #216273

      I took steps when I first got my bike from the LBS to make life a little easier, I gave it a generous bath in silicone spray. It makes a big difference in what accumulates on the bike and it facilitates in removing all the dirt, mud, sand and gunk when sparaying it off at the water hose. I do spray it off after every ride. I clean it with soap, brush water and q-tips when I do the chain which is once a month. Q-tips can go where my pudgy fingers can’t.

    • #216280

      I take a shower with mine… but really.

      Washing is as needed.¬† Dusty, things get wiped down and chain cleaned.¬† If it requires a wash then yea…

      Jim Klass is my kinda guy.¬† Moving parts require more attention that structural.¬† I’m kinda like that, go through everything and check.¬† I ride hard and love to push limits, so taking really good care of my rig is in my best interest.¬† I also periodically check torques, even thought I use loctite.¬† Annually, I conduct an overhaul of the bike to include suspension.¬† Everything gets checked, and replaced as needed.¬† I’m big on keeping those bearings and other moving parts clean and smooth.¬† I can feel a difference if something isn’t moving as it should.¬† Besides, nothing feels better on your bike that fresh fluids and new seals on a worked over shock and fork!¬† You appreciate it much more too.


    • #216307

      Usually about once a month unless I have a good reason to wash it, i.e. covered in mud, muck, road grime, etc.  Generally clean & lube the chain 2X month or so.

    • #216374

      Every time I take it through a muddy trail; I spray the gears and moving parts that has mud and grime. I spray the rest of the bike when needed, ha!

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