Clean Your Bike
It’s important to remember that your bike is full of moving parts. When these parts are exposed to grime, mud, debris and the like they can deteriorate. You need to keep it clean to keep it functioning properly.
How To Clean Your Bike
Cleaning your bike involves more than simply washing it. You have to be sure that it’s dry as well. Water, when left on your bike, can cause deterioration as well. Wash your bike carefully and completely dry it.
It’s better to simply use a cloth and wipe your bike down than it is to allow water to be all over your bike. Don’t forget to brush off obvious dirt and debris and remember to keep it lubricated.
How Frequently Should I Clean My Bike?
This will be dependent upon how often you ride, where you ride and the weather conditions. If you’re riding where it’s wet and muddy, you’ll want to clean it more often.
Few bicyclists clean their bike every time they ride, but you should at least clean it weekly or monthly.
Cleaning Supplies To Keep On Hand
- Rags that can be used to wipe off oil and grease. Rags for drying and wiping things down.
- Soap that will be easy to dilute such as dish soap or bike cleaner to clean the frame.
- Plenty of fresh water to help keep things looking nice.
- Brushes can be used to brush off things that are in hard to reach areas of your bike. Long handles or old toothbrushes are ideal.
- Consider solvents such as kerosene or turpentine only when needed to clean off gummy things like the chain. Make sure solvents are easy on the planet as well.
Your bike is comprised of many nuts and bolts. Keeping things tightened is imperative to a safe ride. Check bolts and such frequently to ensure a safe ride.
Loose bolts can cause poor bike performance. They can lead to wear and tear on your bike, and they can also pose a safety hazard.
It’s important to do a pre-ride inspection. This will ensure that you’re safe. If you hear a rattle or squeak, check it out before you lose an important part or wreck your bike. Most inspections only take a few minutes and using a simple wrench may just save your from a wreck.
All of those moving parts on your bike require lubrication to keep in motion. This helps you to avoid excessive wear and tear and will help keep the parts moving like they should.
Always be mindful of how much lubrication you’re using. You don’t want to risk overdoing it and having the lubricating oil dripping off your bike. Too much can also draw dust and other abrasives to your components and cause damage. Wipe away any excess lubrication when you apply it to ensure you’re not overdoing it.
Options For Lubrication
Bicycle Grease: This will help with the bearings and bolts. This is a thick lubricant that stays where you put it. Use it on threads of pedals and so on to ensure everything is moving properly.
Bicycle Oil: This is ideal for thin bolts and chains as well as the brakes. Since it is thin, you don’t require much to get it moving properly.
Use lubricants that are ideal for your specific riding and weather conditions. If you’re in a rainy area, you’ll want an oil that is durable and can be used often. If you’re in a dry area, you’ll want a lighter oil that won’t collect dust and debris. Check with a local bike shop or bike shop owner for best suggestions.
What Should I Lubricate?
Keep your chain lubricated. It needs to keep it in motion without dripping lubricant all over. Remove it on occasion and soak it in solvent as well. Then before reinstalling it lubricate it well. If you lubricate it often, you won’t have to remove it often. If your chain looks dry or squeaks, it’s time to lubricate. This will also help to avoid rust. Don’t however over lubricate your chain.
Your brake and derailleur levers also need some oil now and again. Just a drop or two will do it. It will help ensure that things are easy to adjust and move.
The cables on the brake and derailleur also need to be lubricated, especially if you’re in a wet area. Do this often to keep rust away and help them to function properly.
The assembly must also be taken care of. These are moving parts, and you must keep an eye on them. The wheels and pulleys need plenty of lubrication to prevent binding. Also add lubricant to the pivot points.
Bearings must also be tended to.