Best Practices for Washing Your Bicycle

Best Practices for Washing Your BicycleIt’s inevitable – even if you just leave it in storage, your bike is going to get dirty. And while wiping it down with a wet rag can solve a minor dirt problem, it’s wise to do a deep cleaning of your bike every once in a while. Here’s a short how-to on bike cleaning.

Cleaning That Bike

What you need: bucket, rags, a cleaning agent (diluted dish soap works well if you don’t have a dedicated bike wash product), clean water, degreaser or solvent and a soft, bristled brush.

  1. Remove the bike’s chain. Spray it with degreaser or solvent and scrub away any gunk you see. While there are devices available that allow you to clean the chain while it’s still attached to the bike, those aren’t necessary – some good old elbow grease will do the job just fine. Allow the chain to dry while you continue to the next steps.
  2. Give the bike a gentle once over with a low-pressure spray.
  3. Going from top to bottom and front to back, use your soft bristled brush and your bike wash to remove any caked-on dirt or grime. Make sure you scrub the braking surfaces of the tire rims.
  4. Time for a final rinse! Spray the bike down, taking care not to shoot any high-pressure water at the shock seals or the bearing packs.
  5. Bounce the bike against the ground a couple times to shake off remaining water. Then use your rags to wipe the frame and other parts dry, especially excess water near the shock seals.
  6. Reattach the chain and lubricate it. Lubricate the derailleur, cables, brake pivots and shifters as well.
  7. Give your bike a final inspection. You’re done!


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