If there are, what are the reasons not to clean your mountain bike?

Singletracks Mountain Bike News, Reviews, MTB Trails and Community Protected: Forums Mountain Bike Forum If there are, what are the reasons not to clean your mountain bike?

Viewing 10 reply threads
  • Author
    • #290129

      I am doing a small research for a company and I am very interested if there are any reasons why you professionals would not clean your bike?
      Is it because of time taking, because it isn’t that easy or maybe because it is expensive?

    • #290135

      Because you earned that dirt.

      But you should clean your bike every once in a while, if only to inspect the frame for cracks.

    • #290136

      @Damianjoe20  First, I think you need to distinguish between cleaning your drivetrain vs cleaning your whole bike.

      As it relates to cleaning your whole bike I think the article below hits the main point:

      In general, you don’t need to wash your bike after every ride. In fact, it could be detrimental because you will continually expose your bottom bracket and hubs to water and soap, wearing them down faster. Where you live and ride dictates how often you should wash your bike–and this varies with seasons. If you typically ride in mud or wet conditions, you may need to wash it more often. Otherwise, a gentle wash once a week is sufficient to keep it clean for inspection, testing, and lubrication.


      Beyond that, there are practical considerations for not cleaning your whole bike:

      • You may not have access to water/cleaner between every ride especially if you’re traveling
      • It’s extremely difficult in winter as any water on the bike may well freeze
      • It’s not expensive but it does take time

      Additional info from a prior thread.



    • #290148

      It depends mainly on where you live and ride. During the summer, I might only wash my bike once or twice mainly because I ride in dry, dusty conditions. I do wipe-down the shock, fork, and seatpost stanchions after each ride along with frequent cleaning of the drivetrain. I agree with what Rmap01 quoted about not wanting to unnecessarily expose the bearings suspension pivots to water.

      When I lived in a much wetter environment, my bike was subjected to weekly full-teardown cleanings and lubes.

    • #290164

      vapidoscar “Because you earned the dirt.” Right on!

      Time is the biggest hindrance. It doesn’t take a ton of time and is not complicated but between working and having 4 kids I have to work to squeeze rides in and cleaning cuts into the precious little free time I have. I clean my bike to maintain it not to make it look pretty.

      • #290183

        Removing mud / leaves in the drivetrain will help the bike run trouble free.  Removing some mud on the down tube will not.

        After each ride I remove the dirt on the fork stanchions, shock and dropper then I lubricate it.  Same goes for the for the drivetrain.

        That being said, my wife found that I wash my bike more often than our car… which is true.

    • #290182

      Soap and water are not friends to the bearings on your bike.  The whole point of soap is that it dissolves grease.  I never use soap to clean my bike and I only use water sparingly.  I only spray my bike with water if it is totally mud covered.  Otherwise, I just wipe my bike with a dry or damp cloth and I don’t do that very often either.  If it’s been dry, I can go months without cleaning my bike and I ride almost every day.  Of course,  I maintain my chain every few rides.

    • #290196

      I power wash my chain and lightly wash the rest of the drive train with a brush and very light water. Rarely use any degreaser.

    • #290714

      In addition to that post, what about the chain? Sometimes I notice, that there is dust on it, but if I wash it after every riding it won’t be good for the lube on it.

    • #290758

      This is something most every biker has an opinion on… I’ve met way more people who wash their bikes than don’t, and I’ve asked multiple mechanics their feelings on it. Most everyone seems to agree that washing it isn’t a big deal.

      I think its better to avoid bad washing techniques than washing all together. My general approach is this….

      *Use water sparingly. Don’t power wash.

      *I use car soap diluted in water on the drivetrain and a dish brush to scrub

      * rinse soon after scrubbing and towel dry the frame & fork.

      *Let the drive train air dry then re-lube.

    • #290994

      I don’t like to clean my bikes when they’re running smooth, but I’m weird superstitious about stuff like that.

    • #291094

      I always clean my bike. And what is someone not?)

Viewing 10 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.