To every biker, their essentials– bike and cycling gears are investments. These investments must receive love and care. That’s why we are here to give out some tips on how to wash your bike and bike wears.
Bike Maintenance: How to Wash Bike Properly
Whether you have a mountain bike or road bike, it is necessary to take time washing your bike. If you own a road bike, we recommend to degrease and regrease your drivetrain every 100 miles. Meanwhile, mountain bike owners should do bike maintenance after a couple of weeks during dry climates and every muddy ride for the rainy season.
You might have thought that washing a bike is easy– well, technically, it is. However, there are some certain things that you have to know to do it properly.
Do’s in Bike Washing:
- Recycle dish sponges.
- Use a clean rag to floss cogs, chainrings, and hard-to-reach places.
- Regularly clean your bike. Make it a commitment.
Don’ts in Bike Washing:
- Mix tools, rags, and buckets. You don’t want the drivetrain grease to cover the frame.
- Use an abrasive brush or sponge on the bike frame.
- Blast high-pressure hose on the bike. Water goes into and degrades the bearings.
Here’s the best approach in washing your bike:
- Gather all the tools, rags, buckets, and other equipment you need. Fill 2 buckets with clean water and a little amount of dish soap.
- Mount your bike on a work stand. It is essential to have a work stand to lift the bike off the ground. So you can easily reach the nooks and crannies of the bike. If you do not have a work stand yet, use a taut clothesline and hook the saddle’s nose.
- Remove the wheels. If you have a chain keeper, insert it to keep the tension on the drivetrain. Although it is fine not to use a chain keeper, your chain might fold up or fall off the bike.
- Clean the chain. Use a degreaser and turn the crank backward to apply it on every link. Let the degreaser sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse the chain with a gentle stream of water from a hose. If you notice that the chain is still grimy, apply small drops of dish soap. Grip the chain using the rough side of the sponge and turn the crank several times. Rinse the chain after.
- Wash the drivetrain. We recommend a bottle brush or toothbrush with a stiff-bristled in cleaning the drivetrain. Dip the brush into the pre-filled buckets and scrub the chainrings, pulleys, and teeth. Next, rinse the drive train with a gentle stream of water. If there is still crud around the drivetrain, continue to rinse.
- Bath the frame. Use a soft sponge to clean the bike frame. Dip it into the second fresh bucket—soap up the bike frame. Work your way from front to back and rinse it. If the bike has caliper brakes, clean the pads with the sponge’s abrasive side.
- Scrub the wheels. It’s best to use a softer and bigger brush for the bike’s tires and rims. You can reach every nook with minimal effort. First, dip the brush into the bucket that you used for the bike frame. Next, start scrubbing at the valve around the wheel. Do not forget to include the spokes and hub. Flip the wheel and repeat the steps on the other side of the wheel. After that, rinse the wheel entirely. If your bike has a disc brake, use the softer side of the clean sponge.
For Finish Line
You are finally done. Reattach the bike’s wheel. After which, spin the cranks to ensure the drivetrain runs smoothly. Do not forget to apply lube to your chain. You can wipe your bike with a clean cloth or air-dry it under the sun.
Now that we are done taking care of your bike let’s move over to your bike wear or cycling gears. Cycling gears are made of expensive, lightweight, and technical fabric. Carefully wash your bikewear to avoid any damages. If you are not confident, you can hand over your cycling gears to the nearest laundry expert like Liox Laundry.
How to Wash Cycling Gears
Follow these best practices in washing cycling gears to keep its technical fabrics in optimum condition.
1. Air Dry Between Bike Rides
Sometimes washing your cycling clothes right after bike rides is impossible. Instead, prevent bacteria and molds from accumulating on the fabrics by air-drying them. But, if your cycling clothes are muddy, you can rinse them before airing them out.
2. Hand Wash or Machine Wash
There are two ways to wash your cycling clothes: by hand or by washing machine. Washing them by hand protects the lightweight materials from the abrasive washing machine cycle. Do not forget to use a compatible laundry detergent for your cycling gears.
Meanwhile, if you prefer washing machines, you have to remember a few tips:
- First, zip up the zippers and secure the velcro.
- Turn jerseys and bib shorts inside out.
- Wash cycling gears separately.
- Use a mild detergent, and do not use fabric softeners.
- Always do an extra rinse cycle.
If you do not have a washer, you can drop off your laundry at the nearest laundromat.
3. Air Dry After Washing
You can remove excess water from the cycling clothes with a towel. Wrap the gear around a towel to absorb the water and help it dry faster.
Do not put your cycling clothes inside a dryer machine. The direct heat from the dryer will reduce the lifespan of the technical fabrics and chamois pad. That’s why it is better to hang dry them on a laundry rack.
A quality bike and cycling gears are expensive. But, from the saying, “you get what you pay for.” Indeed, it makes bike riding exciting and comfortable. Thus, you need to take care of them to get your money’s worth. Always take precautions when cleaning your bike and doing your laundry.