It is that time of year again and the bike trails and roads are calling people from across the country to explore. WELCOME BACK TO BIKE SEASON!!! While many of us are excited to get out and ride, what we do when we return home can cause the next experience to become more misery than pleasure and end up costing a lot of money in the future.
Do you wash your bike after every ride? Every other ride? Every week/month? Or, do you get home, strip off the riding kit and get on to something else?
No matter what your current routine is, it is a great idea to start washing your bike following an exhilarating experience and, when done properly, will only take about 10-15 minutes for the full job!
What you will need:
Dawn Dish Soap
Chain Lubricant (I recommend either T9 Beoshield or Rock N Roll Gold)
A sponge (preferably the large soft kind used for cars)
A nylon bristle brush
A bike stand if you have one (don’t worry if you do not, speak with Jordan Tuesday and Thursday nights if you are looking for one!)
1. With your bucket, soap, and water; create a soap dense mix. They use Dawn on oil spill animals (think baby ducks and seals), and if it safe for them, it is safe for your bike!
2. Gently spray down your bike to get it damp and remove larger dirt particles.
**** WARNING: DO NOT DIRECTLY SPRAY YOUR HUBS, BOTTOM BRACKET (WHERE CRANKS ATTACH TO BIKE) OR FORK OR HEADSET!!!****
3. Using the car sponge, wipe down your entire bike frame. This should remove most of the gunk and grime which has accumulated. Remember, work Top to bottom and front to back. Most of the grit accumulates at the rear of the bike and this will keep your sponge cleaner longer.
4. Grab your nylon bristle brush (can be purchased at City Market or Ace for less than $5.00.) With your chain shifted to the middle of the cassette and lots of soapy water on the brush, place it with light pressure on top of the cassette while spinning the cranks backwards. You should see a lot of the grease and grime come free from the cassette and the chain. Use the brush to clean the chain rings now inside and out.
5. Using the brush, scrub your wheels. Inspect for debris that may be puncturing the tires. (If you have a stand, remove tires and clean the inside of the frame areas with the sponge.)
6. Towel off your bike and make sure you get it as dry as possible. Remember, Top to bottom, front to back.
7. Apply lube to chain and let it sit until your next ride. Prior to the ride, have a rag to wipe the excess lube off. This will allow the lubricant to permeate the rollers of the chain and will allow for less friction, less, wear, saving you power and energy while riding AND MONEY ON REPAIRS!!!!
8. Stop in the gym Tuesday and Thursdays from 4-close with any questions.
Happy trails and remember, keep the rubber side down!