This article give some basic bike maintenance tips, so that your new bike does not age too quickly or that your old bike remains your faithful companion, it must be cleaned and maintained regularly.
Dirt caused by weather, road waste, or dust in general can cause abrasive action on your bike’s parts and may adversely affect the performance of your bike. If this is rarely dangerous, although possible, we can easily avoid the premature aging of some parts.
For this the method is simple, it is necessary to clean its bike according to the rhythm of its exits and then to lubricate the appropriate parts before to leave again.
What this bike maintenance article covers:
- Preparation before cleaning
- Lubrication and lubrication
Preparation before cleaning
Bike maintenance top tip: Clean your bike according to its use.
For intensive use such as mountain bike or racing bike, it is advisable to clean the bike after each ride. Indeed, if only to store the bike at home, it often has to pass through the cleaning box.
For normal use, the regular appearance of the cleaning takes into account, if you take the bike every day wash it every week, if you take it only a few times a week, clean it every month and so on.
The aim is to avoid excessive accumulation over a long period.
What equipment to use and in what order
Cleaning is the same for everyone, with different degrees of application.
Let’s first see the necessary products:
- A clean, dry cloth
- A lot of specific bicycle brushes
- Cleaning products such as bicycle cleaning spray or cleaning and degreasing wipes
- A degreaser
- The bike lubricant , the fat , and the oil for bicycle chain
- Bicycle cleaning products
- A good bike stand (optional)
To be effective you must try to keep a logic of sequence so that all the steps follow one another without disrupting the next one. Here is the plan of attack:
Positioning the bike:
You have to place the bike in a clean place, adapted with enough room so that you can move around without difficulty. If you have a bike mount this is ideal. If you do not have one, turn the bike over or place it against a wall or tree.
Separate the component parts:
Remove the wheels and install the chain rest on the right rear paste of your frame. If you do not have a bike stand remove the wheels by letting the chain gently hang down. Remove accessories that can be washed separately: canister, satchel, gps …
First of all, if you take your bike out of the garage or if it is hidden under 5 cm of mud, first rinse the bike to remove the bigger pieces of mud. The aim here is to make all the parts visible and that the degreasing which follows will be effective. The degreaser will work best if there is no mud, if the dirt is soaked in water and ready to detach, or if the dust of winter has disappeared. Once you have removed the bigger, spray or sponge with your bucket: next step.
Degreasing your equipment
The goal here is not to rub hard. It is above all to go well everywhere , on the elements that need it ie transmission .
Apply your degreaser or the timeless remover WD40 using a soft bristle brush
- On the rear sprockets: do not worry about only rubbing a little, do well all around and leave to act at least 5 min
- On the rear derailleur
- For the bike chain: two bike maintenance methods are possible:
- Either by brush and you rub the chain by rotating the pedal
- Either with a chain cleaner that rubs the top, bottom and inside of the chain precisely and efficiently.
Leave for 5 min to allow the degreaser to take effect. Sometimes just letting it act for a short time while you do a few other things will suffice. In case you have harder deposits of muck and grease, do not hesitate to let it act a little longer.
Maintenance of the transmission of the bike
Once the degreaser has dissolved the fat, rinse it. Emphasize the areas where you put degreaser in order to evacuate it. You enjoy having the hose in hand or karcher (be careful not to put too much pressure that could damage some components), or your bucket and sponge to rinse the whole frame and your wheels.
Once the entire bike has been rinsed, you must have removed the main impurities, mud, black marks and dust. It will now be necessary to scrub. Nothing better than elbow grease or a good cleaning product with a brush adapted to the elements to be cleaned.
- Rear sprockets and trays = hard brush
- Hubs = round brush
- The chain and the trays = sponge
- Spokes and wheels = sponge
- Frame, brake calipers, accessories = sponge
- Inaccessible places and sharp corners = round brush
Cleaning of bike components
Second and final rinse
It is important to rinse thoroughly so that you do not leave any residue on the bike. They will have the same long term harmful effects as dirt. So do not spoil the work we’ve just done. Rinse thoroughly, or by efficiently saving water: from top to bottom.
Drying your bike
This seems innocuous but drying is paramount. Wipe the chain, the calipers, the derailleurs carefully first. Then wipe the frame to avoid visible traces. This will prevent your parts from rusting and getting damaged prematurely. If you leave immediately with the bike, dry the brake band of the wheels and the skates.
Mountain Bike Tip : hold the bike up front (on the rear wheel) and allow it to drain.
Bike maintenance top tip: Leave the bike a few minutes upside down to prevent the water stagnating in the frame of your bike or check that the holes of drainage or evacuation under the bike are clear outlets to allow water to drain.
At this stage your bike should be shining, but there remains a key step for the proper functioning of your bike.
Lubrication and lubrication
Once your bike is dry and thoroughly cleaned. It is necessary to lubricate certain elements, in particular the transmission. For this you need a special oil for chain , if possible in silicone. The silicone oil has the characteristic of penetrating deep into the links and therefore better protect the latter.
Lubricate your bike chain
It must be dripped on your bicycle chain while gently keeping it moving. Remember to use the settings of the sprockets and trays so that the oil is distributed at all levels. Then rotate the chain in one direction and the other for better penetration into the links.
The other elements
For other derailleurs, cables, brakes you can use a non-silicone lubricant and prefer organic products such as biological lubricant for bike or the essential spray WD40
Lubricant for cables and ducts:
One drop of oil at the entrance and exit of the brake and derailleur ducts. Operate the mechanisms to slide the oil and make it penetrate. This allows for more flexibility, to protect against moisture and therefore more longevity.
Also place a drop of oil on the side or the lever pivots. This will prevent you from getting stuck one day and especially this increases the tightening torque. For the wheels, seatpost and central hinge (folding bike).
It is necessary here, aim the joints and the springs, do not put too much, a few drops suffice.
A drop on the pivot of the brake calipers (racing bike).
Once all this is done, your bike is ready to go. Congratulations!