How To : The Quickie Bike Wash

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There is nothing that can motivate one to go out and ride than a well maintained and clean bicycle. A rider who takes care of his bike is rewarded not only with the pleasure of getting to know his machine well, but also ends up saving quite a bit of money on replacement parts and frequent visits to your local bike shop for problems which could have been easily avoided!

Why should I do a Quickie bike wash?

So before we get into detail regarding how to do a quickie bike wash, lets discuss why one needs to do so in the first place!

Grime and dirt collecting on the drivetrain components like the chain, cassette, derailleur jockey wheels etc not only reduces the overall efficiency of the rider, but also leads to faster wear and tear of the components due to all the grinding between the metal and the dirt.

Mud and dirt collecting in and around the brake pad area will have the same effect on other components like the rims of your bike (for rim brakes) and the brake rotors (for disc brakes).

So the bottom line here is – Give your bike some love and attention from time to time with a quickie bike wash and you could avoid having to spend exorbitant sums of money on replacement spares more frequently than you would have anticipated. And hey! These spares don’t come cheap now do they?!

What are the things I will require for a quickie bike wash?

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How do I go about doing a quickie bike wash?

Step 1 – Mount your bike on a workstand

It is important that the bike is stable while you are working on it. In case you do not have a bike stand, you could either flip your bike over, or rest it on its side stand (if it has one)

Step 2 – Drivetrain cleanup

If one is short of time, the first (and maybe last) thing that they need to clean on their bike are the drivetrain components (chain, cassette, front derailleur, rear derailleur and crankset).

  • Spray liberal amounts of Finish Line multi bike degreaser on the drivetrain components. The degreaser will break down the dirt stuck in hard-to-reach corners of your bike; like the space between the cassette sprockets, the rollers of the chain and the jockey wheel pulleys.
  • Run the rag cloth through the chain and use the Pedros Pro Brush kit to brush off the dirt on the other drivetrain components.
  • Repeat the above two steps once more if required.
  • Use a mild soapy solution of pril and the rag cloth to get rid of all the excess degreaser on the drivetrain and then using a mug of water to remove any soap deposits on the drivetrain.

Note – You could also use the Pedros Chain machine tool for a hassle free and accurate cleaning of the chain on your bicycle. (link)

Note – Do not use a pressure hose to clean the bike with water. Water might seep into the wheel hubs and cause damage to them. Just using a bucket of water and a mug should suffice.

Step 3 – Cleaning the rest of the bike

After cleaning the drivetrain, if you are not short of time, use the sponge and the mild soapy solution of dish wash to clean the frame and rims of the bike. Make sure to get rid of all that soap on the frame and wheels using some water at the end of it all. Again, do not use a power hose for this purpose

Step 4 – Lubricate your chain

Apply an even coating of the Pedros Ice Wax (in case of riding in dry weather conditions) or the Pedros ChainJ (for riding in wet weather conditions or for trail riding) on the chain.

Using the rag cloth, lightly wipe of any excess lubricant on the chain.

Note – It is always better to lubricate your drivetrain at least a night in advance before you head out riding again so that the lubricant can settle well in between the chain’s rollers.

And Voila! You have yourself a clean and swanky looking bike!

How often should I give my bike a quickie wash?

Well this is a very subjective thing and depends on a lot of factors. The weather conditions, on-road or off-road and the frequency of riding are some of them. As a rule of thumb, the moment you find a lot of muck building up in and around your drivetrain, that would be a good time to give your ride a wash.