A clean bike is a happy bike. Here in this blog, we will be taking you through how to wash your bike properly step by step and highlighting some of the cleaning products we use to get the job done. The Worldwide Cyclery crew keeps our bikes looking brand new with cleaners, degreasers, brushes, chain lube and polish from brands like Maxima, Finish Line, Park Tool, and WD-40. Follow these steps and you will have your bike running smoothly and looking sharp.
Bike washing is easiest when you don't have to hold the bike up. So throw that thing in a stand and get started. Using a high pressure nozzle can help get more dirt off of the bike in those hard to reach areas and will make the following steps a little bit easier. Be thorough and make sure to get to places like along the tread of the tire and directly under the bottom bracket. Be careful not to spray high pressure water directly into bearings throughout the bike.
After all of the heavy mud and loose dirt has been knocked off the bike, wheels, and tires, spray the entire bike down with some Finish Line Super Bike Wash. This cleaner is safe to spray on all parts of the bike and will help remove any leftover dirt and grime. Five different cleaning agents inside the Finish Line Super Wash make getting a clean bike much easier. Let the cleaner soak for 30 seconds to allow it to breakdown and lift all of the dirt.
Now that all the dirt and grime is loosened up, it's time to grab your brushes. It is important here not to contaminate the brake system and the best way to prevent that is by cleaning the drivetrain last. There are a lot of different greases and lubes that keep our bikes running like they should. If you are using a brush on one of those areas, don't go straight to cleaning the brake calipers and rotors. With 5 different brushes, the Finish Line Easy Pro Brush Set has a different brush for each job. A large brush with soft bristles can be used on the frame without scratching your new bike. The tooth brush has harder bristles and is best for cleaning the chain and drivetrain. The smallest brush is perfect for getting into the smallest nooks and crannies. Apply more super bike wash when needed.
Next is to tackle the chain. The chain and drivetrain are the most important components on the bike to keep clean and lubed properly. The chain is a huge wear item on the bike and keeping it clean along with the cassette and chainring will help extend the life of your drivetrain. After applying some Chain Cleaner and Degreaser, use a hard brush to scrub the chain, cassette, derailleur pulleys, and chainring. Be sure not to overspray the degreaser if possible. For those looking for the ultimate chain cleaning tool, there is nothing better than Park Tool's Chain Gang Cleaning Kit. There is no better way to keep your chain clean and shifting properly.
We are almost there! Rinse the bike off and make sure you remove all of the remaining soap, dirt, and grime. One pro tip is spray the brake caliper off while the wheel is spinning to remove any grit that has collected up against the brake pads. Make sure to get to all of those hard to reach places with the hose.
Before using a towel to dry off, it's best to bounce the bike up and down a few times so most of the water falls to the ground. Then grab a towel and Finish Line Gear Floss Microfiber Rope to wipe down everything and get to those hard to reach places. Start with frame and move to the fork and other components. Make sure to stay away from the brake rotors so that they don't get contaminated. If you have access to an air compressor, using compressed air makes getting water out of places you can't get to with a rag nice and easy.
After drying off the entire bike, and most importantly, DRY YOUR CHAIN. A shop towel with do the trick. Make sure your chain is nice and dry to prevent rust and corrosion before you lube it.
In order to keep the drivetrain shifting properly and prevent rust and corrosion, it is important to keep the chain lubed, especially after a wash. Maxima Racing Oils makes some of the best bicycle chain lubes for both dry and wet conditions. The Maxima Chain Pro is there lightest chain lube and ideal for dry conditions. In our experience, this chain lube performs well in all conditions. The Maxima Synthetic Chain Guard is suited for wet conditions. All Maxima chain lubes penetrate deep into each link, keeping the drivetrain quite and shifting flawlessly. Don't forget to lube your chain and wipe off the excess before hanging your bike up in the garage.
You're almost there. For the ultimate finish, shine your frame with some Finish Line Showroom Polish or Maxima SC1 silicone spray. The Showroom Polish will help repel water and keep mud from sticking to the bike. This will have your bike looking brand new! Be sure not to overspray any polish or silicone spray onto the brakes. See you on the trails.