How to Wash a Mountain Bike – Quick Tips from BikeCo
Keeping your bike functionally clean will keep it on trail longer between services. If you stay on top of these cleanings somewhat regularly a quick functional wash will take 5-10 minutes. In this write-up we shoe you How to Wash a Mountain Bike.
Located in Southern California our standard desert riding doesn’t see a lot of water or mud – you maybe in for more work depending on the amount of muck you come across…
Here are the basic steps when washing your bike (left to right in the images):
Step 1: Have a dirty bike. Probably the most fun step is getting the bike dirty. But the rest of the steps aren’t too bad.
Step 2: Give the bike a thorough rinse. DON’T blast water into pivots, headsets, bottom brackets or anything else with a bearing. A quick rinse is all you need. Pressure washer NOT required… Fan spray works fine.
Step 3: Spray the bike with an appropriate bike cleaner. We use Joe’s No Flats Eco Bike Soap. A quality bike wash is safe around carbon, aluminum, titanium, brakes, etc. Working with Joe’s you will spray the entire bike and allow the product to sit for a few minutes on the surfaces. If you have a ton of buildup you might use a soft sponge or rag and wash the chassis, tires, rims, etc. It has been a long, long time since I’ve needed to add any steps beyond a rinse, clean, re-rinse (step 4). If you’re keeping your bike in a “functionally clean” state these steps are usually enough for your drivetrain. You may need to clean this more if it’s a mess.
Step 4: rinse the Eco Bike Soap off. Again, fan spray works fine. The less water you can use the better. For the environment, for the bearings, for the frame (some ingest water and if you’re soaking your bike you’ll need to drain it from the seat tube or headset) – so ya, less water, better for you.
Step 5: dry. I take the bike out of the stand and bounce it on the rear tire to knock water out of all of it’s hiding places. A clean rag can be used to dry the bike – on the day these photos were taken it felt like it was about 100 degrees and didn’t really need a rag dry…
Step 6: optional, frame & tire shine. Joe’s No Flats Eco Frame & Tire Shine has amazing results. Make sure you read the directions. Shake well and AVOID the brakes. I suggest applying the Frame Shine to a rag and applying it on the rear stays, fork legs, anything near a rotor. Frame shine will “shine” brakes and pads contaminating them quickly. Contaminated pads typically must be replaced and contaminated rotors need to be resurfaced. All avoidable with some common sense and avoiding over spray.
Lubricate your Drivetrain
Remember to lubricate your drivetrain after your wash. Nothing worse than expecting a clean, quiet ride after your wash and having a dry chain!
These are the products we use at The Bike Company in Lake Forest on our bikes:
Available in store now and online soon!