This week we have a look at the often controversial subject of the best method of washing your bike. Some people don’t even believe in using water to wash your bike, others think a jet wash is a good idea. To try and discover the “secret” we paid a visit to Muc Off’s Research and Development facility where they gave us the low down on the correct (highly researched) way to wash your bike with out damaging it using water and biodegradable cleaning products.
Tools: Hose, cleaning products, brushes, about 20 mins.
We paid a visit to Muc-Off’s R and D facility to learn about bike cleaning.
Take your collection of cleaning products and brushes. These are the bare minimum products recommended for a thorough bike clean on a very muddy bike.
Take your muddy bike…
Clean the chain first with this.
Starting with the cassette and chain apply the chain cleaner (the yellow/green stuff) and leave to do its work whilst you start cleaning the rest of the bike. For the cassette use the special slim brush to get between the teeth.
Various points of the cleaning phase, including important items to clean.
Spray about 1/4 of the bottle of bike cleaner onto the bike for each hard wash.
Allow the cleaner to foam and do its job, leave for about 5-10 minutes. Scrub with a handy cleaning tool if desired. You will see the dirt start to run with the foam.
Wheel cleaning is best done with a brush.
The hubs are best accessed using a special rounded brush.
Wash off the bike with a hose after about 5 minutes, note the distance from the frame and the power of the jet. Do not spray directly onto bearings up close.
Apply some water dispersant to the chain and derailleur.
No more noise…
Use a special disc cleaner on the brakes as it will hydrate the pads and stop them squealing.
Shine baby shine…
Use frame shine on the frame part of the bike, spray and wait to dry, then if you want use a soft cloth to dust off.
After washing off and drying the bike with an air line, a rag or naturally dry, inspect the surfaces.
Next important step, Lube your chain.
This is the correct place to lube your chain, run the chain through once completely.
A perfectly clean chain and cassette.
We used this full range of cleaning products for our clean, testing each one, which did it’s individual job well and made our bike show room clean.
Photos courtesy: Andrew McPhail