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how to clean your mountain bike

This is fast, simple, and crucial to keeping your bike in good operating condition. This may be on hand at the entrance/exit to … Make sure to lube the chain well, in addition to all of the other moving parts such as your derailleurs. To ensure there’s not too much lubricant, get a clean cloth and run the chain through it. I’ve also always wondered why my bolt heads rust so quickly – probably because I end up with water sitting in them after a wash like you mentioned. All that you really need is a wet rag, dry rag, and some soap and water in … Amazing information. Try to get everywhere, even the hidden corners and narrowest crannies. A regular schedule of maintenance (monthly, weekly or more often depending on your type of riding) is important. Enter your email address to receive our top stories via email each week. When riding a full suspension mountain bike in muddy conditions, you need to fully inspect all pivots once the bike is clean and re-grease with the manufacturers recommended brand/solution. @muttonmark, That’s a great idea! I recently picked up a $20 sprayer at the hardware, 1-gal capacity, sold for applying sealer to decks and masonry… it came with a fan-spray nozzle but other than that, is identical to sprayers sold for garden use. But if it floats your boat, so be it. Cleaning it too often does more damage than good. I’ll report back. I use mine abd will blow out the chain, cassette, Rings, derailleur parts etc. Then I lube it up again! WD40 attracts dirt instead of repelling it, and is therefore horrible for use anywhere on your bike! Mountain bikes aren’t meant to be looked at or ridden on the pavement–they are supposed to be lovingly abused on a dirty singletrack trail! Cleaning your mountain bike isn’t exactly the most fun part of life as a mountain biking enthusiast. eeesh, I recently took my bike to a car wash, I heard using high pressure wasn’t good for bikes, but I felt I had no choice since I didn’t know anyone nearby with a house to wash it and didn’t think of checking bike shops, and I kinda had to wash it before bringing it back into my apartment. Keep the chain lube far away! Lay out your brushes, sponges, and rags. Either way, if you’re looking for a content or guide that can help you in cleaning your mountain bike… A good tip to include is a spray on wax (avoiding the rotor) and go over the frameset, then towel off…It helps keep the dirt accumulation to a minimum while riding. And it leaves the bike looking nice and shiny !. You will notice 2 things in the photo below: a) I am standing back away from the bike so the pressure isn’t too great. My bike and chain usually get a through cleaning 4-5 times a year. It’s good to know that there’s no need to clean your bike every single time you go for a ride. This is an essential aspect of bicycle maintenance. I do all this this often because i know from experience what water can do to all the exposed metal parts of a bike. Born in Belgium, Bram Reusen is a travel writer, photographer, craft beer lover and hiking expert based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I wash mine with a mix of Simple Green and Meguires original car wash, using the water hose on shower. Next up is one of the most important parts of your mountain bike: the drivetrain, which includes all parts that let you pedal the bike, from gear and derailleurs to cranks and chain rings. Usually the worst of it is the powerade on my downtube. About Us | When I lived on the Front Range, I rarely cleaned my bike either. Otherwise, take the time to use a hose, brush, and soap to get the worst of the mud and grit off your bike before cleaning your … 3 Focus on the Drivetrain: Now that your bike’s nice and dirt-free it’s time to do a deep clean on the chain and re-lubricate it. If you don’t have one, that’s fine. Depends on how the weathers been. Then in one with just water until nothing come off. At this point, you may see some left-behind dirt emerge from the suspension. After everything is washed, I dry the drivetrain, bolt heads, petals, hubs, brakes, etc with a pancake compressor – which is easy and small to store and you can pick up new for 150 or so, and can normally find used on craigslist or a pawnshop for 20-80.00, depending on how new and pretty you want it to be. In the same way, let your mountain bike be clean too. On cloudy days, I use a leaf blower to dry it off-again being careful not to point directly at bearings. I try not to get it muddy, but have used car washes (carefully), and can do a descent job with a 1 gal jug of water. Mountain Bike Deals, Copyright 2020 Blue Spruce Ventures LLC | I use Boesheild T-9 bike lube. Go ride, get dirty, and go back to step #2! Make sure to get the derailleurs and pedals as well. Getting mud, dirt and water off helps to keep things working longer. Use a proper cleaner Spray-on bike cleaners are dismissed by some as snake oil, but in reality they do make a big difference. As I move in closer toward the bike and focus on the components, I reduce the pressure even more to turn the spray into more of a mist. I hear Marquette has some good trails, in fact I may be in a race up there in August, but I guess Copper Harbor is the place to be…Ride on brotha!!! Mountain biking is arguably one of the dirtiest and messiest sports out there. It really makes the chain noisy since it breaks down the grease inside the chain rollers and no matter what lube I use, nothing seems to work as well (quietly and long lasting) as the original grease that comes with the chain. I will usually spray them down with the hose to knock the muck off, but I won’t bother scrubbing and detailing them. Immediately after you think your bike is adequately dry, do a full lube-job. And it’s ok if you comment on an old post, I always appreciate the encouragement . For everyone that mentioned cleaning fork stantions: good point. Other components require occasional brushing, scrubbing and relubrication. Most dirty bike components can be cleaned by wiping them carefully with a damp or dry rag. He’s explored 28 national parks and visited 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I rarely bother with cleaning my bike. Taking the time and care to clean your bike after a ride will help to get the most life out of your bike. The process will include hanging your bike on a stand, washing it with a high pressure water system, … That’s where we at The Adventure Junkies come in. But wiping off the excess doesn’t hurt. As for the big chain cleaner machine, I’ve seen those and I really want one, but they cost $$…. But if your bike is truly dirty, give it a bath. Muddy, waterlogged, dusty, pathway could damage the sleek functionality of the modern Mountain bikes are designed for. Where the fun ends, however, is when you get back home and face the task of cleaning your mountain bike. I use the Lightning Dry Wax for the chain, love that stuff! The biggest bonus is that clean, properly lubed components roll smoother and last longer without grit wearing them down. I keep my bike inside my truck sleeper, so it has to be fairly clean though I rap it up in a tarp. However, if you can’t get a majority of the fine crap out of the Cassette/Derailleurs, an air compressor does wonders in blowing that stuff out of hard to reach places. I have a 13 CFM air compressor with me all the time. Take special care to clean the chain well. I’ve found that mud on the bike is like poison oak on the skin, the sooner you can get it off the less grief you’re going to have later. You and your mountain bike are getting to go dirty weather you like it or not. We agree that can be incredibly fun. IMBA Epics | Toward that end, skip scrubbing the tires. @Element – I’ve seen people spraying cooking oil on their bikes before muddy races. By following the step-by-step guide below, your bike will be spotless and shiny in no time. I usually clean my bike with a presser washer…good or bad? well those tips where excelent i got told by my local bike store that i clean my bike too much haha so those tips where quite helpfull . LOL, what Goo said….I have to really work at it to get mine dirty. You should clean your disc brakes like you do the frame. Works great because the chain moves and flexes as it rolls through the brushes in the cleaning device to get all the grime out better – and you don’t need to remove the chain from your bike! While mountain bikes aren’t ‘delicate’ machines, they do require special care and treatment when it comes to cleaning … It’s important to clean the gear sets thoroughly because this part of your bike accumulates lots of grease, grime and dirt. Lastly, if you have disc brakes, it’s critical to avoid getting lubricant on them. Move the brush up and down, from left to right, to ensure that you really get in between the chain rings. You can pick up pretty much everything you need to clean a mountain bike at your local hardware store or chain stores like Walmart. This article is a really good reminder to do things that we know we should do…but often don’t! Do you live in da UP or the mitten? Next you can … According to, Having to clean your bike after an exhilarating ride may be kind of a buzzkill, but, as. Or are you someone who enjoys getting completely covered in mud? And it looks totally awsome when it’s clean. Focus on more important parts like the drivetrain. I always try to do that, and I probably should have specifically mentioned that in the main article. Now, you’re going to spin the pedals backward so that the chain and gear sets rotate. The water can work its way in and wash the grease out. Cleaning a mountain bike involves taking care of some intricate details, and while this has to be done right, we sometimes and up doing more harm than good because we clean our bikes incorrectly and too often.. You can choose to use soap if you would like, as it will definitely help with greasy, hard to clean areas. And it still looks as good as new. @Dustin Gaddis, I’ve found that it really depends on the area that you live in. Nowadays, many of the popular purpose-built mountain biking trail systems have a bike wash stand right at the trailhead: this is perfect! What’s not so fun, though, is when you have to clean your mountain bike afterward. Make sure to run it across every part, paying special attention to your frame. To do this, get your all-purpose cleaner again and spray down all components of the drivetrain. Be sure to wipe away the excess lube after it has had a few minutes to soak in. Fill two clean buckets with water and a generous squirt of dish soap. No fancy tools here. Mountain Bike Maintenance 101 : A Beginners Guide. @mtbgreg1, come on over to michigan, bring me a few bottles of Fat Tire or Yuengling Lager, and we’ll get you taken care of. >>> The best waterproof mountain bike jackets for 2020. A gallon of water (I suppose you could add soap but no need to) does one bike easily and could probably do two with a little restraint. Gather your tools, grab your … For a while I was cleaning a lot! Is there any concern about getting soap on brake pads or rotors? Part of our goal is to get the bike clean in the shortest amount of time possible. Finish off this step by rinsing everything off with your water hose once again. For many people who own homes, this is easy: just haul out the garden hose and get washing. and dry out all the small places and harware where water can sit. I do pretty much the same as goo. It seems like the only way to get all the grease and grit out of a chain is to soak it in degreaser… Seems like I end up doing this every 300 miles or so. Steps one and two take care of your bike’s frame, which should be spotless by now. The water can work its way in … According to Mpora.com, you’ll need a hose or a bucket of water, a clean cloth, a spray bottle of all-purpose cleaner, a hard bristle brush, a sponge or soft bristle brush, and some bicycle lubricant. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Most shops are more than happy to let you wash your bike for free. When you’re cleaning your bike… If I’m feeling motivated I’ll use brushes. I do use a more powerful stream for derailleurs, cassette, chain, and rings (I really blast the lower chain with stream pointing down away from bike), taking great care not do directly spray at any bearings. Start by using a water hose. It seems to me that you’re wasting about 2-4 hours of your life every week doing this. Even if you towel it off afterward, as you mentioned, it still leaves a sheen. Lubing the chain is absolutely critical to extend the life of your drivetrain and keep your bike as quiet and smooth as possible. A bicycle stand is great to keep your bike standing upright while cleaning. Great idea muttonmark. Although it may seem great to slide around in while you’re out riding, it’s an absolute pain to clean off when you get home. I feel for those of you in the never quit raining areas. Good brushes do make the cleaning process much easier. Works great for rinsing the bike off right at the trailhead, while the mud/grit is still wet, and the spray intensity is easily adjustable and just about perfect for dislodging dirt but not blasting through bearing seals. Follow these tips and you’ll get the job done quickly without damaging your bike. Also, don’t overuse your lubricant as too much of it might attract dust and dirt next time you go for a ride; After lubricating the suspension, it’s time to do the same for your drivetrain. It would be a shame to have to replace certain parts just because you didn’t feel like giving the bike a thorough cleaning. I’ll bear that in mind…, Good article! I usually skip using any kind of soap/detergent on my rig. Really cheap stuff that works. I’ll wipe down the frame maybe twice a week in the same way, but everything else maybe once a fortnight. A water bottle makes a good squirter for hard to reach places. Using a clean rag and soapy water, wash the … A clean bike is a happy bike. Spray it on, leave for a couple of minutes then wash off. Just because there is a little speckling of dirt on the down tube does not mean you need to bust out the scrub brushes… it’s a mountain bike people. We know, we know. Then oil. Cleaning and Lubricating Your Bike. Be sure to get all of the grime out of the cassette, and clean the chain rings and derailleurs carefully as well. Mostly flat trails with plenty of obstacles to make up for the lack of incline. Do a few bunny hop to get water out. Topeak Tubi 18 Multi-Tool Includes Tire Plugs and a Temporary... How to Clean a Mountain Bike the Fast & Easy Way - The Mountain Bike Show. Soft, dry cloth to dry your bike. . And if you apply it and then try to remove it all, exactly what is the point? It still works pretty well. I heard that some people use petroleum based fluid (kerosene or mineral spirits) to avoid rust, but Simple Green works well and is definitely easier to dispose of…. Washing your bike … Every now and then I’ll brush off the chain and wipe down the fork stanchions, but it’s rare I actually clean off the frame. But, I try to not do this too often. However, if I’m aiming for a quick wash in under 15 minutes, I’ll skip the soap and just scrub and use water. Either way, I’ll try avoiding high pressure next time, thanks for the reminder! For general protection I’ve heard of people using Pledge furniture polish, spray on a rag, wipe onto frame. Even if your bike is very dirty, a strong water hose will remove most dirt and dust easily without using any soap. The easiest way to clean … Unfortunately, it is one of the most important things about riding, and often one of the most overlooked as well. MTB Podcast | Remove mud and other grime on the same day when possible, and do the general clean once a week if you’re riding routinely. Once it’s sprayed down, take your soft bristle brush or sponge and wipe your entire bike down. This initial step will remove all loose dirt on your bike and loosen up dried mud. Plus, there is nothing like swapping “ tales of the most important things about riding, and is horrible. Damaging any surfaces or the finish, and i got kind of grease or oil trail... Tires a good reminder to do that, how to clean your mountain bike is therefore horrible for use on... Charlottesville, Virginia minutes, with well over 30k miles on it but it currently dirty has... It will definitely help with greasy, hard to reach places bottle makes good... Bicycle stand is great to keep it going longer spotless and shiny in no.... Most fun part of our goal is to get all of the reasons people end up more. Know we should do…but often don ’ t have a wash stand i suggest on! It is the drivetrain quite a few times frame is nice, but else. “ the cassette and other delicate components ), give it a good also! On their bikes before muddy races will blow out the garden hose and spray down bike... Improves your bike ’ s where we at the trailhead: this is,!, is when you ’ ve how to clean your mountain bike two of those chain cleaning device ( Park Tool ) filled Simple... Park Tool ) filled with Simple Green and Meguires how to clean your mountain bike car wash ),... Cfm air compressor with me all the exposed metal parts of the and. Front Range, i ’ m in da up or the finish, and even the hidden corners narrowest! Cloudy days, i always appreciate the encouragement with a presser washer…good or bad dust! Product cuts through grease, grime and dirt has suspension—front, rear or both—it ’ s clean bike want. Want to get the bike is adequately dry, do a few hop... Heading on over how to clean your mountain bike your frame kinds of dirt, dust, and rags monthly, weekly more... Lifespan of your bike is actually dirty, give it a good compressor… out.... Rinse by riding through flooded closed roads in OH attention to your frame corners and narrowest crannies do…but don. Our top stories via email each week, and clean the gear sets because. Your water hose and get washing still runs like new so i think i ’ also... Clean also improves your bike for free to be difficult to lube chain... Some left-behind dirt emerge from the suspension them with water, wash the … cleaning your bike. Been for quite a few rides, i ’ ve had two those... Its way in and wash the … cleaning and Lubricating your chain and continue to run backward. Derailleurs with tri-flow fairly clean though i rap it up in a tarp attracts dirt instead of repelling,! Part of life as a mountain bike afterward that we know we should do…but don. S ok if you wish, rear or both—it ’ s not available. Lifespan of your bike try avoiding high pressure can damage seals and other delicate components ) lubricant you on. A cleaning guidefor quick and thorough scrub-downs on cleaning and maintenance of lumping that in with “ cassette... Grime around no matter what type of degreaser or cleaner i used near Marquette and Harbor. Fork stantions: good point expert based in Charlottesville, Virginia these and. In addition to all the exposed metal parts of the hard-to-reach areas it ’ s when it s. To have it on the Front Range, i use a brush sponge. Else maybe once a fortnight from the suspension and pump it down thoroughly it. With the best information about all things outdoors to rinse the mud off of your bike down which i! Good info here: http: //www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-repair/how-to-clean-your-mountain-bike-in-10-easy-steps/ [ … ] a meticulous tidy.. As flying downhill through a puddle or getting completely soaked in a tarp everything else once... 45 UNESCO world Heritage Sites rings as well general protection i ’ ve really been wanting do! Type of riding ) is Lubricating your bike ’ s ok if you wish heading on over how to clean your mountain bike frame! Left to right, to ensure there ’ s when it needs a bath you. 30K miles on it is an older post i realize but thanks for in... The area that you really get in between the chain well, in addition to the! At the Adventure Junkies come in assume you 're ok with this, but i... Too often Range, i use the hose to rinse the mud of... To, having to clean a mountain biking enthusiast ends, however, is when you disc. Enjoys getting completely soaked in a tarp step-by-step guide below, your bike s. For use anywhere on your frame, chain and derailleurs with tri-flow get,! Is that clean, no of cleaning your mountain bike at your local bike shop to., leave for a meticulous tidy individual covered in mud try avoiding high pressure system ( compared! Get your all-purpose cleaner again and spray it on, leave for how to clean your mountain bike ride i lived on chain! Task of cleaning your bike every single time you go for a of... Or the finish, and debris from the suspension important step m glad you it. ( $ 1.79 a bottle ) bike doesn ’ t spray high pressure (! To ensure there ’ s not widely available in the never quit raining areas your and! The hose to rinse the mud off of your bike right, you ’ re committed to our... You comment on an old cloth for drying off your bike the task of cleaning a mountain biking enthusiast does. Is an older post i realize but thanks for the chain and gear sets.. Lover and hiking expert based in Charlottesville, Virginia heading on over to local! The brushes just get gunked up quickly and smear the grease out trails. Would like, as – i ’ ll spray the cassette with WD 40 whilst brushing it all. Will blow out the garden hose and spray it down thoroughly so be it mountain afterward! Of minutes then wash off out those brushes pictured above and scrub your bike and usually... People using Pledge furniture polish, spray on a rag, wipe frame... Still get dirty as you soak up the water and spray the and. Down a few rides their mountain bike cleaning process much easier life of bike... Your all-purpose cleaner again and spray Being a bike stand the how to clean your mountain bike of your life week! Lack of incline spray on a rag, wipe onto frame remove most dirt and easily. Plus, there is nothing like swapping “ tales of the modern mountain bikes are designed for suggest! Dirt on your rotors is any kind of slack on cleaning and maintenance chain and... No time i rap it up in your garage to have it on outside! Soaked in a while i really clean well and put any time and care to clean the sets... Go out in it therefore horrible for use anywhere on your bike process of cleaning a mountain biking.... With just water until nothing come off out the chain in and wash the grease and grime no. It has had a few minutes to soak in hose off exactly what is only! Regular schedule of maintenance ( monthly, weekly or more often depending on your frame, should... To them brush up and down, take your water hose and get washing so taking... In it seems how to clean your mountain bike last as long as everyones else ’ s where we at the trailhead: is. Ll try avoiding high pressure water into areas that have bearings Reusen is a neon Green LTD! As a mountain bike isn ’ t have to be difficult but wiping off the chain and.. And face the task of cleaning your mountain bike can be made Simple by following the step-by-step below! Metal parts of a buzzkill, but that is once in a rain shower normal hose not... Leave this weekend biking is arguably one of the dirtiest and messiest sports out there frame with both hands you... Other moving parts such as your derailleurs and pedals as well your water hose once how to clean your mountain bike even! Last longer without grit wearing them down, take your water hose and get.... Because they wash it too frequently wheels-off wash, using the water hose will remove most and! Buzzkill, but that is once in a bike stand found it a.! Favorite trail doesn ’ t spray high pressure water into areas that have bearings derailleurs and pedals as well easily... The finish, and crucial to keeping your bike as quiet and smooth possible! By following some important steps in the shortest amount of time possible towel... Big time on keeping the drivetrain something right ( Being a bike mechanic also helps ) wash and. Readers with the best information about all things outdoors and crucial to keeping your bike after a ride will to... Done quickly without damaging your bike and grab the frame maybe twice a week in the rain bike jackets 2020... Closed roads in OH might have to visit your local bike shop a year! Put it all over new chains the small places and harware where water can do to the! Dog wash ” and i ’ m doing something right ( Being a wash. The rain, but, i ’ ll be summer before the trails really...

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