In this series of bike maintenance articles, we share various tips with you to clean your bike and keep it in tip-top condition.
Bike maintenance is a simple task you can do by yourself at home with some simple equipment and accessories – it's also a lot easier and more fun than you might think!
In this article, find out more about how you can effectively prevent rust and corrosion with our cleaning tips!
Cleaning is the first step to maintaining your bike.
It's a lot easier to perform simple maintenance tasks on the bike without grime and dirt getting in the way.
Your components will also be working more smoothly and efficiently when they are free of dirt.
Lastly, riding a clean bike just feels better!
Time Required: 15mins
Before starting, let's check out the equipment and accessories we will need to perform this task:
1. Bike (obviously, you will need your bike!)
2. Bucket (any standard bucket or pail that can hold up to 3 - 5L of water)
3. Cloth Rag (no need for fancy microfiber washcloths, an old cotton t-shirt or towel works just fine). Bonus points awarded for recycling!
4. Brush Kit (a set of different brushes is recommended, as different parts of your bike will require a different brush shape and bristle type to clean efficiently)
5. Bike Cleaner Spray (we recommend an environmentally friendly solution that protects your bike frame and component)
Fill the bucket with water, soak a clean rag, and rinse your bike, making sure not to miss any spots.
Alternatively, if you have access to a hose, you can rinse the bike by spraying it.
Don't forget to rinse the underside of the bike frame, and underneath the saddle too.
We'll start with cleaning the drivetrain first. Why? Because cleaning the drivetrain can get messy especially with a very grimy one, so its better to get this out of the way first.
It would be a shame to clean your frame, only to have grime & dirt flick onto it when cleaning the drivetrain.
Its best to use our specially-made chain cleaning tool. Enclose it around the chain, pour in bike degreaser and rotate the crank at 60 rpms for around 30 seconds.
Open the tool, and rinse the chain thoroughly until it no longer feels greasy to the touch.
With your set of brushes, start scrubbing the drivetrain.
Cassette & chainrings:
Use the specially shaped brush (with the curved handle with teeth) to brush hard-to-reach areas.
Feel free to scrub vigorously – you will need to do so in order to free up the grime and dirt.
Use the curved handle with teeth to clean the gaps between the cassette sprockets.
Crankset & derailleurs:
Use the conical brush to clean the rest of the drivetrain
Other inaccessible areas:
With the conical brush, continue to scrub other parts of the bike like the chainstay-bottom bracket junction, underneath the saddle, tyres, etc
While the bike is still wet, start spraying bike cleaning solution onto the bike.
Hold the nozzle about 30cm away to get good surface coverage area without wasting too much solution.
You may spray more liberally on the drivetrain parts (rear derailleur, cassette, chain, crankset) as the grime and dirt on this area is a lot more stubborn.
Let the solution remain on the bike for about 5 minutes.
If you are using a hose, spray the bike with water to rinse off the lather.
If you are using a bucket of water, soak the rag with water and rinse the bike down.
When the rag is full of lather, squeeze it out, soak it with water again and continue to rinse the bike until it's free of any cleaning solution.
Once the bike is clean, you may let it air-dry.
If you can't wait, grab a dry rag and wipe it down.
Step back and admire your sparkling clean bike!
And that wraps up the first part of our series on how to maintain your bike. We hope you found this article useful, and stay tuned for the next part!