Washing Your Bike

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Washing Your Bike


Viewing 14 reply threads
  • Author
    • #87052

      Washing your bike is one of those controversial topics where everyone has a different method. These days most people run expensive forks and dual suspension bikes with lots of seals and bearings. This means there’s more oppourtunity for mud to seep in the seals during washing. Using a hose is okay, but NEVER use a pressure washer or high pressure hose nozzle. I learned that the hard way when I obliterated every bearing in my bike after using a pressure washer. Here’s how I clean my bike now.

      1. Brush off big clumps of mud from the bike. This can be done with a brush or a small piece of plastic

      2. Spray with bike cleaner. I use this:
      It works well. Some people prefer the pink stuff.

      3. Rub it in with a brush

      4. Rinse with a hose (no attachment)

      And voila, you have a spotless bike with bearings that are no worse for the wear.

    • #87053

      What are your thoughts on using something like Simple Green for your step #2? Two different cyclists in my neighborhood (both more experienced than me) have recommended it in place of a bike-specific product.

    • #87054

      i love simple green, I have used it on alot of different materials to clean and its safe.

    • #87055

      My system is as follows:

      First, I use Dawn dish soap. Works really well and is mild.

      1. Rinse bike well
      2. Wipe entire bike with soapy rag.
      3. Clean any tight areas cassette, derailleurs, etc, with the Park Tool cleaning,http://www.singletracks.com/mtbreviews/Park/Gear-Clean-Brush/1527.html
      4. Rinse well with hose.
      5. Dry
      That’s it. Sometimes I’ll clean it off at the trailhead so it’s dry from the ride home. I’ll pull the chain off and clean it every month or so. I use Krud Kutter to clean it and White Lightning Clean Ride lube once it’s dry. I clean after every ride.

    • #87056

      I like to combine a car washing with bike washing and use the mild auto wash detergent.

      I also at least spray the drive train with a citrus degreaser if not running thru a chain washing tool.

      I like to keep ’em clean!

    • #87057

      If my bike is really muddy, I might tend to let it dry on than brush it off and than just use a sponge.

      maybe I am just lazy and don’t want to pull out the hose?

      I second joetutt’s recommendation. At times I do not have time to clean the whole bike 😢 but I make sure the drive train is cleaned and lubed no matter what.

    • #87058

      I just ride through the automatic car wash. It cleans the bike, me, clothing, water bottles, etc…


    • #87059

      Why waste the time? Its just going to get dirty again!

    • #87060
      "propwash" wrote

      Why waste the time? Its just going to get dirty again!

      I second that!

      Although i have washed my bike before. I like to keep my drive train clean though. sometimes hard to do without doing a full wash.

    • #87061

      I always just used a hose and a towel to clean off my bike. I think i am going to change my cleaning methods to preserve the frame and other essential components.

    • #87062

      I keep my bikes clean.

      For one thing, there is never a shifting issue with everything nice and clean. The life of the components are extended due to no contamination on the seals and grit in bearing and what not.

      Also when things do go wrong at the very least it makes for easy clean up on your hands when you do have to get down and dirty on the trails to do a repair on the field..

      S$%& happens you just have to be ready for it.

    • #87063

      Unfortunately, my bike comes with me to the beach, and we all know that salt spray is evil.

      I simply wash mine with car-wash soap, rinse, dry, and always re-lube the moving components right away.

    • #87064

      If i’m gonna spend upwards of $2,000 or more i can’t leave it dirty. Clean & lube after every ride.

    • #87065


      I like a clean bike but alas I’m lazy about cleaning it so I tought my 7 year old son how to wash it and now he earns $5 every couple week and my bike is nice and shinny.

    • #87066

      I use all methods,somtimes when I have the time I like to put the bike on the stand and start unbolting stuff and cleaning it as I go,regreasing and lock tighting stuff as I go etc..
      And somtimes I just clean the drive train either because of time constraints or I just like the way the bike feels with the right amount of dirt on it,like when we get done riding Fruita,the tires almost turn white from the dirt up there and it really looks cool when that white dust comes billowing off the bike and rider as you go flying down the trail.. 😎
      And somtimes I like to give the bike a good cleaning on the stand,wether it’s with the wheels on or the wheels off the bike.
      And somtimes I like to go to the car wash and just give it a quick rinse while NOT depressing the trigger on the wash wand,just let it rinse it off. 😉

      I would hate to think that I’m stuck with one method when I could be using all the different methods for different situations due to time constraints or when I have all the time in the world…….

      As far as produts,dish washing detergent never hurt anything.The one thing I did spend money on to make for a good bike cleaning is a complete set of brushes to wash all the different parts of the bike,I find that makes feel comfortable about how I take care of my bike.

Viewing 14 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.