Is your bike clean?

Is your bike clean?

One component of triathlon or cycling that often gets neglected is cleaning your bike after a ride. When your bike is out on the roads with all the dirt, dust, and grime, it’s inevitable that the “gunk” gets caught in the moving parts. That stuff collects in the bike’s moving parts and the bike performance suffers and you can wear through the parts more quickly. If you find your bike isn’t shifting as smoothly as it should, or you start to hear some squeaks, the first thing to do is make sure it is clean and properly lubricated. My bike was in need of a little TLC after several rides so here is how I quickly cleaned it up.

cleaning with bucket and rag

I removed the front tire and then set my bike up on a workbench for easy access since I don’t have a stand. My cleaning solution was a couple drops of dish soap and a little warm water in a bucket. Then I wiped down the frame, brakes, derailleurs, cranks, rims with the damp rag. I had a dry cloth to get any excess water off if needed.

rear cassette

To get in between the cassette cogs, I used the edge of a damp rag. For more thorough cleaning a toothbrush could be used. But for my quick session, the cloth was good enough. I tried to make sure I got ride of as much visible grime as possible.

The moving parts then need to get lubricated (a dry chain is a bad thing!), so I propped up the rear tire which allowed me to spin the cranks to move the chain.

propped rear wheel

Eventually I will need to do a more thorough cleaning, which can require a bit more time and attention,and even some disassembly to get into the tight spots. But for now this will suffice and my bike is clean and ready for my next ride.

How often do you clean your bike?

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Nicole Odell


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