When you have taken your bike off-road, it is easy for it to get caked with mud and have grass and weeds in your chain, spokes, and just about everywhere else on your bike. You don't want to leave all that dirt and grime on your bike. Maybe you want to keep your bike clean because you are going on a long ride and don't want your friends to think you are a slob. Maybe you bike on an inside track that where it is required your bike be immaculate. Whatever the reason for cleaning your bike, here are five easy steps to a new bike feel.
Brush it Off
The first step you should take after your bike has been through some muddy trails is to brush it off. This step seems elementary, but you don't want the back of your truck or car to look like an earthmover after your bike has been on it. Bouncing your bike on the pavement will get rid of any loose material and reduce the amount of mud and dirt you have to remove.
Get Rid of Buildup
Cleaning your bike is a must, not just for aesthetics, but for its long-term durability. Getting the stuck-on mud off you bike is vital because as the mud dries get inside the small areas of your bike such as where its wheels attached. It used to be that you had to use a bucket and soapy water to clean dirt and grime off of your bike. Now all you need today is Peaty's Loam Foam, a professional-grade bike cleaner. With Peaty's Loam Foam can be sprayed directly on your bike without rinsing it first. It does the work of getting the mud and dirt off, so you don't have to scrub down your entire bike. It takes between three to five minutes for the foam to break down the mud so it can be easily rinsed off. Its that simple! There may be some areas where the mud is more stubborn, and you may have to use a toothbrush to reach those areas. Peaty's Loam Foam is safe for your whole bike, even the discs; so you can rest easy that when you clean your bike no damage will be done and it will come out looking great.
After you have gotten the mud and dirt off your bike, you need to be sure that your chain is free of debris and well lubricated. Use Peaty's Drivetrain Degreaser prior to attending to the chain.
After you have used the degreaser, thoroughly wash the chain, and then apply Peaty's Link Lube- All Weather. This formula of Wax and oils cleans the chain as you use it. It penetrates deep so your bikes entire chain will be protected from dirt and grime the next time you are off-road.
Use a soft rag or towel to dry off your bike when you are done. Paper-towels can be messy and get stuck in a bikes chain, and shop cloths can be too abrasive and scratch your bike.
Don't Do It!
Here are a few things not to do while cleaning your bike.
- Don't use wire brushes or steel wool pads to clean your bike; they can do extensive damage to the surface of your bike.
- Don't pressure wash your bike. Water can find its way into areas where you don't want it when it is being blasted on to your bike. This action is one of the most common ways a bike's bearings get ruined.
- Don't dig into an area with stuck on mud using a screwdriver or knife in order to get suborn mud out. Those kinds of tools can damage your frame and let mud inside.
To Sum Up
If you follow these five tips, your bike will be on its way to looking and performing great!