How to Tips for Bike Cleaning

How often should I clean my bike?

Rather than take an approach based on time, it simply is when your bike needs it, and when does your bike need it? Usually when you have ridden in the wet, any time you ride trails, when dust and road grime have built up, or when your chain has accumulated grit and grime. The cleaner you keep the moving parts of your drive chain, the easier the bike is to ride and the less long term maintenance you will be required to do. And of course, riding a clean bike feels faster.

If I wash my bike often is using water OK?

Cleaning your bike on a regular basis using water is no problem, as long as you keep the water pressure down. The excitement of high pressure hosing will soon make way for maintenance headaches, as the high water pressure forces its way into bearings and seals. Bikes are designed to get wet, but not to be blasted, so as long as you keep the pressure down on the hose. Let the PEDALIT cleaning products do their work, and use a watering can or low pressure hose to wash off.

Why use specialist bike cleaning products?

Specialist bike products are formulated to be tough on dirt and grime, but careful on all your various high performance materials and surfaces. What you are more than likely to grab from the garage or kitchen is either too aggressive, such as caustic or petroleum based or home grade cleaners that simply won’t remove what you require. Aggressive cleaners attack surfaces, which immediately after cleaned, can make them look shinny and clear of dirt, but soon tarnish and are a sign of future issues.

Why use specialist brushes?

PEDALIT bike brushes come in 3 sizes, each designed for a specific purpose, with a bristle hardness to match. They do the job they are meant to, and are part of your cleaning kit that doesn’t disappear off to do other jobs and never there when you need them!

How long should a bike take to clean?

Check out our guide, but if you stay on top of the dirt and grime, 10 minutes.

What are the basics I need to wash a bike?

1. Resurrection Bike Degreaser - This will remove all the grease, dirt and grime from your bike

2. Splendor Bike Wash -  This will be your overall bike wash after you have degreased the bike

3. Glory Bike Shine -  This will polish and protect your bike

4. FKB Legend Lube  - This will be your chain lube, follow instructions!

5. FKB Race Lube - To lube all other moving parts

Tools for the Job

1. Brushes, sponge and chain tool

2. Soft cloths 

How do I clean handle bar tape and brake hoods?

RESURRECTION is the perfect product for handle bar tape and hoods. As a food safe biodegradable degreaser spray on, gently scrub with a clean brush, and rinse. Trust where you put your hands to RESURRECTION.

What basic bike checks and maintenance should I do?

If you are not confident with any of these adjustments, make sure you get to the local bike shop before your next ride and have them take a look!

  1. As you re-lube your drive chain, run through the gears to ensure they don’t need adjustment. Make sure your highest and lowest gears are free of spokes and the bike frame. Also ensure they are sitting quietly on each sprocket and not trying to change up or down sprockets. Make the small adjustments. If there is a lag or stiff shifters when you change gears up or down, there may be cable tension issues.

  2. Have a quick look at your brake pads and ensure they are free of grit and road debris. Also ensure your brake levers are smooth and spring back freely. If your cable ends are frayed or the outer housings are cracked, consider replacement. Potential cable issues are best sorted out in the workshop, not on the road.

  3. Have a close look at your tyres. Spin each wheel, the tyre should maintain its shape as it spins without bumps or bulges. If not, then they need to be changed as they are no longer capable of consistently holding high pressure and will fail in the next couple of rides. If this happens on the road or trail, a tube won’t get you home. Also check for any obvious cuts or foreign objects in the tyres, if so tweezers are handy to remove. Make sure you are happy with the amount of tread and ensure the casing is not showing through at all. If so, it's time to change those tyres.

  4. Lift the bike and gently drop from a couple of centimetres above the ground, any rattles? Maybe a loose bottle cage or loose bolt? Make sure all are tight before you hit the road. Be aware of the tension required as over tightening can result in equipment failure.

If you keep your bike clean and maintained this whole process should take no more than 10 minutes.

But there are many added bonuses of riding a clean and well maintained bike! It just feels great when your bike looks awesome and runs like a dream. We, like most people, have to find time to get out on the road or trail, and with our bikes in the office, there is nothing like a shining bike to get you motivated to sneak in that time and enjoy the ride.