Chick’s dig a guy that rides…a sweet bike!
Riding a bike is a great way to stay fit, explore new surroundings and yes, women do appreciate a man that will take them on a nice ride.
We’re not talking about any old bike you can buy at Walmart either. A nice bike will cost you a pretty penny so you might as well know how to properly care for it right?
A bike caked in dust and mud doesn’t necessarily scream sexy. Not to mention neglecting your bike’s hygiene can cause some serious damage to your noble steed. Things such as sweat on the carbon fiber frame can destroy clear coat.
If you let grit build up on your drivetrain it can lead to issues with the most expensive components like the chain and cassette. Leftover dirt on your carbon rims after a sick ride through the rain will cut deep grooves the next time you use the brakes.
Overall, treat it like your car and give it a good bath once in a while!
Here are some simple tips to remember when cleaning your bike after any big ride:
Stand the Bike Up
If you don’t have a stand then leaning it against a wall works. A Euro-Style stand is ideal because it allows you to spin the bike, but as long as the bike is in an upright position you can get in and scrub where you need to.
Take the Hose to it
Much like a car wash you want to make sure you hose the bike really well. It’s not wise to use anything like an industrial grade power washer because although that may seem more effective it could actually cause damage to the bearings and frame. Once everything is nice and hosed off, use a brush to apply some soapy water and focus on removing any dirt or sludge from the frame, wheels, and all of those expensive components we talked about.
If you plan on taking a ride as soon as the cleaning is over then just avoid going near the handlebars and saddle with soap or water. If grit seems a little tougher on the chain and gears then just grab a stiffer brush for more of a deep cleaning. Once you feel good about the work you’ve done be sure to hose off any lingering soapy areas and then dry everything off, but be sure to use a separate rag for drying off the drivetrain.
If You’re in the City
It makes it a little more difficult to have access to hosing your bike off. As an alternative you can invest in some WD-40 Bike’s Foaming Bike Wash, and grab a brush and a couple of rags. It’s a bit less messy, but the washing process is similar. This method does involve higher costs as well, but that’s something a city dweller should be used to anyway.
Keep the Drivetrain as the focus – Now that the grit and grime has been washed away it’s time to do some extra maintenance. It’s extremely important to do a deep clean and lubricate the chain if you want to keep your bike around long term. It will also keep it running as quietly and as smoothly as possible.
The quick and easy way to clean a chain is with a powerful degreaser. Some recommended brands are Finish Line’s Speed Degreaser, or if you need something with less mess, a solution like Park Tools’ Chain Gang works well too. No matter which route you go the chain should have no grit or grease in the end. The last step is to use a quality chain lube like Dumonde Tech or WD-40 Bike. Once the lube is applied be sure to wipe off any excess!
Take a step back and look at your shining beauty. Bask in the glory of all that you have accomplished and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
We forgot one last step: Call up the guys and go grab a cold one.