Cleaning a mountain bike sounds daunting but it’s really not that hard. A mountain bike doesn’t have to sparkle in the sunlight; it’s just going to get dirty the next time the sun is out anyway. But daily cleaning routine can prevent problems down the road. Cleaning your mountain bike can keep your rig riding smoother for longer. Plus, a clean bike will last longer and enhance performance.
How to Clean a Mountain Bike Step By Step
Step 1: Prepare Your Bike Wash Area
Firstly, it is essential to find a good spot to clean your bike. Try to find someplace with good drainage. It is convenient to use a solid bike stand so that your bike is off the ground. In this way, dirt doesn’t splash back onto your bike. Ideally, your wash zone is out of the wind and rain. Make sure your area is sufficiently shiny and that you have enough space to work. If you think you need a pressure washer, you’re mistaken. These can finish up stripping important grease form bearings and damaging your suspension this isn’t something you want!
Step 2: Prepare Your Equipment
Gather your bike stand. Ideally, find one that turns 360 degree’s which allows you to stand still while turning the bike around. You will require a bucket, preferably one that is brightly colored which will show any oil or residue. At that point, get two brushes, one soft and one firm along with a hose connected to cold water and some cleaning products. These can just be a cheap washing up liquid. Avoid car products as these can be very strong and they also contain oils which can contaminate disc pads.
Step 3: Washing the Bike
The first thing that you should do when cleaning your mountain bike is to wash it with a hose. It is suggested for you to make use of a bike stand for this purpose, owing to how it will ensure that your mountain bike remains in position throughout the process. If you are using a high-pressure hose, you should exercise caution considering how standing too close to the bike with the high-pressure hose in position can actually damage the components of your bike. Washing your mountain bike with a hose and simple sponge will take care of the excess dirt and grit on your bike.
Step 4: Brushing
When you have washed the bike, it is time to bring the heavy artillery out. This means it is now time for you to employ brushes for the purpose of scrubbing the remaining dirt off of your bike. However, this step of the process will be left incomplete without the usage of a quality bike cleaner. The bike cleaner will ensure that you are not only able to get all of the dirt and oil off of your bike, however, leave your bike with a lustrous shine too.
Step 5: Rinse and Dry Off
When you have taken care of the important components of your bike, it is time for the easiest part of the entire cleaning process: rinsing it off. Rinsing the mountain bike with clean water won’t just remove any detergent that you might have used but remove the loosened dirt and grime too. After your mountain bike has been rinsed, you have to dry it also. It is advisable for you to use a clean, dry cloth to get dry your bike.
Step 6: Lubricate the Suspension
After your bike is all cleaned up through the usage of bike cleaner and another product it is advisable for you to lubricate the suspension. When it comes to lubricating the suspension, you should remove the mountain bike from the stand and apply the lubricant on the frontal area of the suspension. While you apply the lubricant, you have to ensure that no part of the lubricant trickles down into the brakes. A similar process is to be repeated for the rear shock absorber. The excess lubricant is to be cleared off with a cloth afterward.
Step 7: Lubricating and Oiling the Chain and Gears
After lubricating the suspension, it’s time to do a similar process for your drivetrain. Pedal back a couple of times to check if all water is gone. Put some oil on the chain and continue to run it backward. To make sure there’s not too much lubricant, get a clean cloth and run the chain through it. Remember that to lube your derailleurs and chainrings also.
Step 8: The Disc Brakes
Finally, if you have disc brakes, it’s critical to avoid getting lubricant on them. Lubed disc brakes need fixing. You should clean your disc brakes as you do the frame. Just hose them down, brush them down and dry with a cloth.
Now, we know there are eight steps in this guide, but this procedure shouldn’t really take too long especially once you’ve done it a couple of times. This is quick, simple, and crucial to keeping your bike in good working condition. Never spend so much time cleaning your bike that you’ll be anxious about getting it dirty again.