Water, Mud, Puddles, Potholes, Dirt, Rain rides are fun and messy. Then comes the not so much fun part, cleaning.
Taking care of bike after a dirty, muddy ride? This can be easily done with mostly 15 minutes of work. Missing this will may become a serious problem wearing off your components. Spare some small time to take care of your bike and it will save you money and you have a clean bike to ride for the next time. You can do a deeper clean up when you feel it need a deep clean or after a once or twice in the rainy season. when it is just rain water only just wipe the drive train and lube it.
Just a common household hose with a sprinkler works. Do not use a Jet Spray/Power washer, a strong jet may remove the paint job, or it will wash away the lubricants filled in hubs/bearings. Start by wiping off the thick and bigger mud or dirt struck on your bike frame and components. You can use a big brush with medium level hardness so that it won’t scratch your bike frame. Now shower your bike thoroughly through frame, drivetrain, cockpit, seat post, wheels, fork, and bottom of the saddle, till most of the debris comes off. Remove the fenders if you have fenders with a removable mount. Avoid showering directly at hubs, headset or bottom bracket.
Take some warm water spray Muc-off bike Cleaner or you can even use a dishwashing liquid and take a sponge or a soft scrub. Scrub away all the dirt on the frame, seatpost fork and cockpit. The bottom of the saddle holds a pretty good amount of dirt and cleaning the seatpost is also very important, it will save your bike from getting the seatpost stuck to the frame.
Now take the brush and brush all your drivetrain. If you’re doing a deeper clean, take a really good time to clean your drivetrain, in between chainrings, cassette sprockets, pedals, and brakes. Inspect and brush the jockey wheels and cage and derailleurs as they hold a lot of dirt on them
Wash it again with water and apply Muc-off bio degreaser for a deeper clean. You can also use WD40 but Bio degreasers are safe to our planet. Let the degreaser sink in for minute. Now use brush drive train if needed. Be very careful if you’re having a bike with disc brakes.
Don’t spray degreaser towards the disc rotor, spray downwards or the other way which is not spraying towards the disc rotor. You should not clean disc rotors with degreaser. Cover the disc rotors with tissues or a rug for some safety.
Then brush again for a minute for or so. This takes away the little grime left inside the tricky areas.
Now remove the wheels and clean the rim and tires. Rims get pretty dirty after a ride and which is often not taken care of. Why do we need to clean a tire, you will know it when you ride with clean tires. and inspect the brake pads for any dirt or leaf or a piece of cloth and remove it and wash it with water. Wash your wheels
Wipe off the water with a dry towel or microfiber towel. Hold the chain with the towel and spin it. Wipe off all your components frame, fork, seatpost and cockpit. Use compressed air to clean up all the drive train and tricky parts. If you don’t have compressed air, use track pump. It will do the trick and wipe your wheels too and mount them.
Do not over lube or under lube. Add the right amount of lube and wipe off the excess and spin the drive train. If you have outer cables, Lube your brake cables and gear cables at the exposed places.
Again, do not lube your disc rotors. Use the recommended lube, Do not use coconut oil or two stroke oil or any random oil you find. The lube for the drive train should be less viscous and not dirt attracting. Most of the commonly used oils attract a huge amount of dirt and creates a black gunk of grease on your chain.
Keep the bike in a clean dry place. If the bike is going to be in a dusty or a place its vulnerable to get wet, there is no point in cleaning the bike.
Riding in the rain is a Yay for some riders and Nay for some riders. But anyways you must accept that the clean bike is the fastest bike. All done, now don’t forget to get a shower and wash your dirty jersey and helmet.