Keeping my bike clean.

DSC00937My bike gets really dirty, really fast. Especially on rainy days. And, since my bike is light-colored every bit of dirt, sand, grass and snail (yup, I find snail parts on my frame all the time) shows up beautifully. So I have gotten in the habit of washing my bike a lot. I wash her down every time after a rainy ride and a couple times a week otherwise.

I use the same basic routine shown in this GCN video although I don’t use WD40 as my lube. I must admit I am three times slower than Simon, but I am getting faster the more I do it.

I don’t have a hose outside so after I have scrubbed down my bike I run it up the stairs and stick in my bathtub to rinse it off. My mom did not believe that I gave my bike a shower in the shower until she came to the apartment one day and saw it for herself.

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Shower time!

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The last order of business is to wash off my own hands, because I always manage to get them filthy in the process.

I enjoy taking a few minutes to make my bike sparkle and it is a great feeling to have a clean bike to take on the road the next day. Besides, it is way more fun than giving my dogs a bath, my bike doesn’t stare at me with mournful, pitiful eyes and act like I have betrayed it. I think my Trek likes being clean.

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20 thoughts on “Keeping my bike clean.

  1. Great video Bri. Thanks for sharing. I think maybe the WD40 works for him because he’s washing his bike after every ride. I don’t know though. I need to be better about cleaning my bike.

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    • You are probably right, maybe I will try cleaning my bike after every ride in the future and see how it works…once I get the routine down to an actual 5 minutes!

      I was horrible about keeping my MTB clean during the winter, and the poor thing got really rusty so that scared me when I got my new bike, I want keep my bike looking and running nice for a good long time!

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  2. Awesome information. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t wash mine nearly enough. I think after watching this video this will encourage me to wash mine more frequently. Thanks for sharing. Loved the bike in the shower. That’s true love.

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      • I have thought about fenders, but I don’t think a rear fender would work with the current setup I have right now since I have a rear rack. Also, I have a slight (irrational) fear of fenders…what if something gets caught in them and then my wheel seizes up!?!? I know it is silly and I have no clue why, but I have trust issues with fenders.

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  3. Baby Wipes… Buy a box of baby wipes, 2 or 3 will wipe her down, and couple on the rims, then 2 or 3 more and clean the top layer of grim off the chain, and when needed you can wipe the lumps out of the cogs.

    Give the chain a fresh lube and your good to go. It is NOT good to deep clean all the chain all time as it removes the lube from inside the chain as well.

    Then, when the mood strikes, clean the chain well, and clean the whole bike. Get a can of spray motorcycle wax to make her shine.

    Make sure you are using bike lube for the chain, or something like Boeshield (it’s 18 bucks a can, it’s what they use in airplanes).

    And clean the gunk from the brake pads. They will last longer, and not eat your rims.

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  4. LOL 🙂 I’d be sot on the spot if I brought my bikes in the house to rinse them off in the shower.

    Good for you. It is important to keep your bike clean and lubed. It tides better and your drive train won’t wear as quickly. I too wash mine regularly. Not after every ride like Simon but sometimes the chain before every ride depending on the weather. I first rinse the bike with a hose to loosen any dirt, and I don’t use WD-40 on the chain. I do use if on the derrailieurs and brakes. I clean the chain with a bio-degradable degreaser and them lube with a light oil, carefully applying a single drip to each link.

    Nice post.

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    • My sister laughs at me for giving my bike a shower, for some reason it amuses her greatly 🙂 I don’t have your level of finesse when it comes to lubing my chain…I should work on that because extra lube gets messy!

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  5. Awww you wash your bike in the shower 😀 I really should wash my bike more often, but I just can’t bring myself to do it…I know that guy makes the 5 minute wash look so easy – and if you do that after every ride then it is an easier job… but that’s like *does the math* 35 minutes a week… or, a couple of hours vs. washing your bike once a month… although I’ve never timed how long it takes me. Being a touring bike with mudguards etc it’s a little more fiddly to clean.

    As for the chain, I use Teflon chain oil when it starts to sound rough/squeaky, always after a ride, never before (give it chance to soak rather than spray straight off) – I find a new chain can last for months before it needs oiling, but the grease that comes on it when it’s new wouldn’t last if I washed my bike like that guy. WD-40 to clean the derailleur, not much else – keeping it away from the rims and brake pads.

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    • And that is if you can actually do the routine in 5 minutes…it takes me closer to 15 right now, but I am hoping to get faster!

      Yeah, your mudguards must make cleaning more time consuming and tricky, but they also probably keep your bike cleaner in between washes anyway!

      Right now my lube is a wax-like substance that is supposed to self-clean the chain as it comes off and I have to reapply several times a week even if I don’t wash my bike. I might try a different lube when this bottle runs out-I am not sure I really like it.

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      • I just run it along the inside of the chain after a squeaky ride. During the winter I think I had to use it most days to ensure my chain wasn’t seized in the morning, but right now in the summer, once every few weeks I guess.

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