top of page

Cleaning your Bike is more important than ever.

A world shortage of parts is already starting to show.

The upsurge in cycling since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down, with a huge demand being seen for bikes, parts and apparel.

Velorunner has ordered more bikes than ever before but already in January, bike sales are extremely high and despite the bad weather our workshop is busier that its ever been.

Its becoming extremely difficult for us to get your parts, with group sets for Shimano, Sram and Capagnola being in very short supply and can meen a wait of months

You'll often hear cyclists (and some bike shops) talking about how the chain has stretched, well chains don't stretch they just wear and when you add salt, mud and grime in the mix, they wear really quick. You can literally destroy a chain over a few rides, and if you keep using it, you could destroy the group-set set as well.

A bike works smoothly, lasts longer and looks better when it’s clean.

So here’s how to clean your road or mountain bike in seven simple steps.

Bike wash essentials

  • Water source: a bucket or garden hose. A jet wash/pressure washer can be used, and while the jury is out on whether it does force dirt past seals and reduce bearing or bushing life, it’s definitely best not to point it directly at bearing or suspension seals.

  • Workstand (optional, but if you’ve spent this much on your bike you really should have one)

  • Brushes. Several brands offer a ‘bike wash brush kit’ with brushes for the various applications, but if you don’t have those, a couple of toothbrushes and an old dustpan brush will do

  • Chain cleaning device or a specific stiff-bristled toothbrush if you don’t have one

  • Degreaser

  • Bike wash fluid (preferably environmentally sound)

  • Chain lubes (one does not fit all)

  • Paper towel or rags

  • Microfibre towel

How to clean a bike in 7 simple steps

Step 1: Always Clean the drivetrain after every ride.

If you have a chain cleaning device, use it to clean the chain. If not, you’ll simply have to apply the degreaser and use a brush. You’ll need the brush for the cassette and derailleur(s) in any case.

Make sure you have a specific brush for the Drivetrain, and don’t use it on any other part of the bike, particularly the brakes – contaminating your braking surface with chain filth will ruin performance and will result in you replacing the pads or or your discs.

You will need to use something to dislodge stubborn grime from places such as jockey wheels, some brushes have a hooked handle for exactly this. A flat-headed screwdriver will work equally well.

Step 2: Clean discs or braking surface Rim Brakes

It doesn’t matter how careful you are cleaning the chain, there’s always a chance muck oil or grease has found its way onto your rotors. You will also pick up oil from the road as well. Spray with Muckoff or Fenwicks disc spray cleaner into a clean paper towel and wipe around the rotors. Similary use a degreaser on rims if you ride on rim brakes.

Step 3: Rinse and apply detergent

Use your hose/ bucket and sponge, to wet the bike and remove the majority of the mud and grime that has built up.

If using a jet wash, stand well back and turn the intensity down to protect bearings etc.

Spray detergent along the main tubes and the areas most affected by dirt.

Step 4: Brush clean

After a few cleans, you’ll develop your own routine – front to back or top to bottom. Pay attention to moving parts and use a smaller brush to get into narrower spaces.

The brushes combined with the detergent will loosen most of the remaining dirt from the bike. Remember the undersides and awkward bits that also need attention. An old rag is very useful for threading behind tight areas such as the crankset and front derailleur.

Step 5: Rinse

Rinse any remaining muck off the bike. Use fresh water to rinse off the bike. Spin each wheel to rinse all the detergent out of the tread. Check all the dirt has been lifted off and revisit with the brush if any remains, then rinse again.

Step 6: Dry (Wax on Wax off)

Waxing your frame will protect your paint and stop so much dirt sticking next time.

If you have a workstand, now is a good time to move the bike into it. Use an old dishcloth or chamois leather if you have one to dry the bike.

Then, fastidiously avoiding braking surfaces, give it a polish with PTFE or silicone spray. Rub it in with a paper towel or soft cloth. Not only will this make your bike shine, it’ll also reduce the amount of muck that will stick to it on the next outing. If your bike if Mat make sure you use a Matt specific spray finish

Step 7: Lube

Lube your chain, but pay attention to the lube’s instructions.

Apply a Dry or Wet Lube (dry for dry weather, wet for wet) to the chain while turning the pedals SLOWLY. Pay attention to manufacturer recommendations because it’s very easy to overdo it with lube. One drop per link. Leave to soak in (two put a rag underneath to catch any drips) if needed wipe away any excess.

If the bike is not in a work-stand, you’ll need to turn the pedals backwards. Use a moisture dispersant lube on your derailleur pivots, taking extreme care to avoid your braking surfaces.

Beyond this you should drop the bike down us once or twice a year so we strip it down and, change cables and deep clean those harder to reach parts.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page