Cleaning the MTB may not be one of the most fun activities, but it is essential. In this article, we will show you how to clean your bike in 7 simple steps.
- 1 Why It Is Important to Clean the MTB
- 2 What You Need for Cleaning the MTB
- 3 How To Clean Your Bike in 7 Simple Steps
- 4 3 tips to follow on how to clean your bike
- 5 How to clean your bike FAQs
- 6 Final Words
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Why It Is Important to Clean the MTB
Whatever your MTB specialty is, the mountain bike will show signs of dust, debris, and mug after long rides. After all, even muddy has its reason, but we advise you to run for cover as soon as possible as leaving it in that state will not do your bike any good. That’s why we will explain how to clean your bike in 7 simple steps in this article.
It will not be essential to wash it at every exit, especially in the summer. When mud is scarce, the classic automatic car wash could also be fine, at least to remove the bulk of the mud. However, manual cleaning of your MTB, at least when dirt and dust have accumulated, is highly recommended.
First, many of the components are subject to wear if damaged by dust, rust, and humidity. Second, when the MTB is clean, it is easier to spot any problems. Besides, a cleaned bike allows you to pedal without unnecessary friction and therefore with less effort.
If you are taking care of it personally, then arm yourself with a little patience, take a good half hour, choose a place where you can use a cane and detergents without bothering no one, and make sure you have enough room for maneuver.
What You Need for Cleaning the MTB
With a simple ordinary cleaning, after a dry ride, you just need to clean the MTB from dust with a soft dry cloth and a brush. To clean a very dirty MTB instead, here is what you will need”
- A rod and dispenser water at cold, low pressure. Avoid jets that are too strong as they could damage the components.
- A kit of specific detergents for MTB: a degreaser, for the most critical areas, a less aggressive detergent soap for the most delicate parts, such as the frame, a lubricant to grease the chain at the end of the wash.
- A bucket to dilute the detergent soap.
- A kit of sponges and brushes. On the market, there are complete and specific sets, but you can organize yourself with what you have at home. All you need is a soft sponge, a couple of brushes (one medium and one small, an old toothbrush is fine too), a brush (the one for the floors, obviously without a handle) or a hard bristle brush for circles.
- A chain cleaner kit, useful, economical, and practical but not essential (the toothbrush as an alternative for teeth will be fine).
How To Clean Your Bike in 7 Simple Steps
A clean and well-maintained bike gives you a great ride and can extend the life of your bike. If not cleaned often, any accumulation of dust will speed up the wear of moving parts. So, how can we clean quickly and efficiently? Here are 7 simple steps.
- Step 1: Use a professional chain cleaner to clean the chain. If you do not have one, do not worry. Just apply some degreaser on the brush to clean the chain. Be careful not to use a clean chain brush to clean other parts, especially the brakes. Chain contaminants can damage the performance of other parts.
- Step 2: The second step is to clean the brake disc or surface. It is best to clean the disc or the braking surface of the wheel. Even if you clean the chain carefully, the dust will stick to the brake part that could cause the braking force of the wheelset to drop. What we should do is spray some degreaser on the paper towel and then clean the braking part.
- Step 3: The third step is to rinse with a detergent. Sponge the bike with water and wash it until it removes the accumulated dirt. However, it should be noted that when using the water gun. Using low water speed can protect the car paint. You can also use a detergent for a deep clean.
- Step 4: The fourth step is to clean with a brush. Clean the surface of your car with a soft brush. When cleaning, pay special attention to the moving parts of the cleaning and clean. And the bicycle under the area must also be cleaned.
- Step 5: The fifth step is rinsing. Rinse the machine with running water. Rotate the wheels to make sure they get rid of any detergent left on the tread. If there is any dirt left on the wheels, continue brushing with a brush and then rinse.
- Step 6: The sixth step is drying – clean with a clean rag, you can also wax the body. So, your car looks brand new. Just be careful not to stain the brake system with wax.
- Step 7: The seventh step is lubrication. Apply lubricating oil to the moving parts of the bicycle, such as chains and feet. The lubricant can better extend the life of the parts, but the lubricant should avoid contact with the brake parts.
3 tips to follow on how to clean your bike
Use trusted detergents
To clean the MTB, it is essential to use only special detergents. You should avoid chemical residues remaining in contact with the components. And you can use solvents such as petrol or diesel, but we strongly advise against it. They are too aggressive to damage seals and details.
Avoid using pressure washers
The best thing to do to clean the MTB is to use only low-pressure water. Pressure washers have a jet that is too powerful that could damage the most delicate parts. If you have no alternative, at least make sure that the pressure is at a minimum. And you should not stand too close to the bike.
Remember that, after washing, the MTB must always be dried carefully. It will prevent moisture or any rust from damaging the components.
How to clean your bike FAQs
Oil the chain or apply wax?
It is essential to apply preservative products to the chain after each intensive cleaning action. You have two options:
Oil the chain: You can choose liquid types of oil. Dust and dirt stick less to the more liquid oil. With this type of oil, you may accidentally wash away the chain grease as well. Then, restoring the removed fat is almost impossible. The denser oil will attract more dirt to itself and adhere better to the chain.
Apply wax to the chain: Wax is a dirt and water repellent and thus keeps the chain clean for longer. It also does not make your clothes dirty. However, the wax must be applied every 80-12 km. It is more often than oil that must be applied every 120-300 km.
Where can I clean my bicycle?
The best place to clean your bike is on the asphalt in a courtyard or entrance. Before applying oil or grease to wear parts, place your bike on a piece of cardboard or tarp to protect the floor below. If you have a large enough bathtub, you can use that to clean your bike. There are bicycle-specific stands that allow you to raise your bike to shoulder height and thus clean the hard-to-reach parts more easily.
How to use lubricant?
The lubricant is an integral part of the bike wash. Properly, lubricating the transmission means it will last longer and achieve greater smoothness. In this case, the most common mistake is to use the famous WD-40. WD-40, in its original version, is not a lubricant, but a release agent. It is not persistent and evaporates extremely quickly, leaving the transmission practically dry. It also risks damaging the seals and all rubber parts.
The fact remains that frequent washing of the bicycle brings the advantages such as better smoothness, wear prevention, better observation of the state of the vehicle, and ease of maintenance. If you want to learn how to clean your bike and wash it in the best way, please consider the supervision of an expert instructor in workshops.