Why Ride A Clean Bike
For each of us cycling plays a different role in our lives, for some it is total immersion in cycling culture, for others it can be simply a convenient form of transport or occasional social outing. Each has a different purpose, and with it, a different set of demands on rider and equipment. Regardless of the bike, they all share one thing in common, none of them are actually designed to be ridden and stored dirty.
The mechanical nature of a bicycle is such that it needs a level of regular maintenance, removal of road or trail grime, appropriate bike degreasers, washes and lubes. Unlike most other on or off road machinery, that is designed to resist the elements over extended periods of time, the bicycle has its transmission and braking surfaces exposed. A bicycle ridden in the rain on a journey is very different to a car, both may end up in the garage at the end of the journey, but the bicycle ultimately should be at a minimum degreased, washed and re-lubed, ready for the next outing.
The modern bicycle is a mix of performance materials such as carbon, thinner steels, alloys, combined with technical advancements in precision gear changing and braking. A cog or gear on today’s bicycle is much thinner, and often of a lighter alloy, than anything found on a car or motor cycle. The bicycle braking surfaces are no longer heavy steel, but lightweight rim alloys or disc rotors. Although bikes look robust, most are in fact not designed for prolonged periods of no preventative maintenance.
To maximise performance of these parts they need to be dirt free and appropriately lubed. Particles of dirt act as a fine sandpaper, stripping the outer protective layers and eroding surfaces. Within a short space of time, a poorly maintained bike will suffer in braking and gear changing performance.