Cleaning a bike after a tough ride is a tiresome task, but often critical because every bike requires regular cleaning. Without doing so, its drivetrain becomes mucky, some of the parts become corroded, and certain components can seize. After a while, you are likely to experience squeaky brakes, uncooperative gears, and similar potentially hazardous issues while riding.
Doing the task may take a lot of time after every ride, but you can save a few minutes by using a pressure washer. However, it must be done safely and in the right intervals to ensure you don’t blow out the components’ lubricant and leave them squeaky or dry. Other than this, there are additional safety measures that must be taken, most of which are discussed in this article. So, if you want to clean your bike properly for its smooth running, follow the steps outlined below.
1. Remove Vulnerable Components
Anything that is vulnerable to jet washing or can get displaced easily should be removed from the bike, including accessories and additional lights. Further, if your bike has a leather saddle, you can cover it using a plastic bag so as to avoid damage to it.
2. Initial Cleaning
Once you begin with your pressure washer, soak the bike completely but ensure you don’t force water into the regions that are greased. Focus on rims, tires, and tubes to get rid of the muck. The headset of the bike, rear derailleur, hubs, pedal axles, and bottom brackets are all vulnerable parts. Therefore, when you’re cleaning your bike with pressure washers, you must ensure that you do so thoroughly and deeply. One major precaution to be taken is to wear eyeglasses before you start to avoid any sprays. Doing so while washing the dirt from your bike will protect your eyes from any particles that may cause irritations or accidents.
Another important step in the process is to manually degrease the cassette, derailleurs, chain, and crankset using a stiff brush. Since you can’t wash the grease off with your pressure washer, ensure that it’s cleaned manually.
4. Cleaning Products
To clean the remains of the degreaser, you’ll have to apply appropriate products. This will make the chain lube that you apply later stick better. You can then freely apply cleaning products to the entire bike, with a special emphasis on the drivetrain.
Make use of the pressure washer to remove all the residues from the entire bike. As compared to the first time, you must do it from a greater distance since the dirt can easily spray over you.
6. Dry and Lubricate
You can dry the bike by leaving it out in the sun for a while or by using a rag. After that, lubricate the degreased components. Finally, you should wipe away any excess lube, so it doesn’t catch any dirt in the future.
Riding a bike can often result in the accumulation of dirt, and it can last long only if it is properly maintained. The proper maintenance regime includes regular cleaning and application of lubes. So, if you don’t want to spend that hard-earned money on unnecessary repairs, then you must clean your bike every time it gets dirty.