Welcome to this weeks edition of the South Bay Cycle blog. Today we're going to talk about cleaning your bike.
Start with the basics:
A comprehensive guide to cleaning your bike starts here!
If you'd like to skip all this and just take your bike to us for a cleaning, please give us a call at (310)881-8081 and we can schedule an appointment for you.
If not … let's get started.
An all-purpose cleaner like this will do the trick for a "general" bike clean. We recommend spraying this on a rag or old t-shirt (you know, the one your partner has asked you to get rid of 10 times). Not spraying on the bike helps keep the cleaner off of the one thing you don't want to use ANY cleaner on: the disc brakes.
Disc brakes are notoriously sensitive. They're strong and superior to rim brakes in many ways, but unfortunately that performance comes at a cost of being a little sensitive. All that said, if you're able to avoid spraying cleaning solution (of any kind) directly onto your disc brakes, then you're in good shape!
The next upgrade, and an easy one at that, would be a brush. This is to get into the nooks and crannies of your frame and gears. An old toothbrush will work, but a bicycle/motorcycle/car brush will have longer and firmer bristles to really get that gunk off.
If you want to take it a step further the degreaser is the final piece of the puzzle. It'll be used exclusively on the gears (the drivetrain: chain, chainrings – your front gears, and cassette - gears at the back of the bike). This will help get that stubborn grease and dirt out of the chain, used in conjunction with the brush it's the best it gets.
To re-lube the chain, which is the only thing you'll need to do after a deep clean, just make sure you wait for everything to dry. Normally only takes an hour or two. Throw lube on the chain (if you want to be very detail-oriented, throw one drop on each link), let that dry for an hour, and you're good to go!
Don't forget to check back every Tuesday for a new South Bay Cycle Blog!