Washing your bike
Clean bikes - live longer!
For best results use hot soapy water, a sponge & brushes.
The easiest way to clean a mountain bike would seem to be a jet wash, and jet washing is OK up to a point. It is excellent at getting rid of excess mud and grime from your wheels and frame. You should however be very careful not to point the hose at the bearings surfaces - hubs, bottom bracket, headset, pedal bearings as these are packed with grease. Even if they are sealed units the jet wash will usually blast the grease out!
Some dirt will not come off with washing, like the oily gunk that builds up around the transmission. For this you need a specialist de-greaser such as Clean Streak (water less) or Fenwicks FS-1 (needs water to rinse off).
The de-greaser will remove the build up on the chain, chain set and sprockets, use Clean Streak as it does not need to be rinsed off with water. Fenwicks can be used neat as a de-greaser or watered down 10:1 & used as a bike cleaner. To make life easier when cleaning buy a Park Bike brush set, not cheap but get into those awkward places your fingers won't. Always lube the chain & moving parts immediately after cleaning.
Mountain bikes should be cleaned every time you take them out and get them muddy! The components on your will last longer if you look after them and are more likely to work when you go for your next ride. Disc rotors after general cleaning give them a wipe over with a paper (kitchen ok) towel and a disc cleaner fluid or Clean Streak.
Road bikes don't need cleaning as often, but hey -this is your pride & joy - show it you love it
Electric bikes never use a Jet Wash and preferably use the specialist cleaners / lubes shown below.
Brompton bikes never use a Jet Wash and keep de-greasing cleaner away from the pivots as it may harm them. As the transmission is close to the ground it needs regular cleaning, pay particular attention to the derailleur on 6 speeds.
Oil or a suitable lubricant for a bicycle, should be applied to moving parts on the gears, transmission, brakes and occasionally inside the cable housings. Take care, especially if using a spray, to keep oil off the braking surfaces.
Looking after your bikes chain will prolong it's life & dramatically improve the bikes performance.
Clean it regularly, it should not be completely polished and dry but neither should it be dripping with oil. If it is the former then it's time for some lube! If your chain is covered in black gunk then adding lubrication to this will not improve things.
Thoroughly clean the chain with a de-greaser (we recommend Clean Streak) then apply lubricant once it is clean.
Grease should be used in bearing surfaces in hubs, bottom brackets and headsets. Under no circumstances should these be oiled. Hubs, headsets and bottom brackets may be best left to a competent mechanic. Other areas to grease less frequently but nor forget are the handlebar stem, seat post, bottle cage bosses and various bolts on the bike. If left without grease for too long they may never move again!
*carbon products should not be greased as it can cause the carbon to swell! You need special 'Fibre grease' see below.
Suspension after getting the dirt out from around the seals, use a 'Suspension lube' to protect your seals and keep your stanchions sliding smoothly.
Ceramic Wet Lube
Clean Streak Degreaser
Max Suspension Spray
Medium weight anti-static chain lube. Good on Mountain bikes as it doesn't fling off or wash out. A little sticky so it holds some dirt - but lasts several ride.
This lube applies a Ceramic coating that reduces wear & corrosion and then cushions the chain with a blanket of pure synthetic racing oil f or quieter running. Ceramic Wet delivers the ultimate in long lasting, yet clean running performance
Very lightweight anti-static lube. Good in the summer or on road bikes as it doesn't get too gunky. Washes out fairly easily so your chain will need very regular applications
Helps protect your chain against the high torque of your motor plus it's synthetic base is non toxic so not harmful to your electrical connections
Spray it on then agitate with a brush or rag. The grime jumps off. As you don't need water to rinse it off its excellent for chains, gears etc.
The all round cleaner. Use neat on oily grime & dilute (10 mt10:1) for the rest of the bike.
A water-less foam based cleaner that is formualted to the grime before it migrates into your electrical components
A custom designed brush kit to clean every corner of your bike
General purpose grease with water repellent properties.
Keeps your shocks running silky smooth by protecting your seals and fighting stiction.