Very Easy

How to clean your bike effectively in 5 minutes

Ollie Bridgewood shows you how to quickly and easily clean your bike in just 5 minutes. Start the clock…

Clock16:54, Monday 4th March 2024

There isn't always time to give your bike a deep and thorough clean. Sometimes it needs to be a quick affair, but that doesn't mean you should avoid the important bits. Here Ollie whizzes through the best ways to get quick results and how to ensure you don't damage the bike in your haste. The clock is on so let's get into it!

hose the bike down with water

Step 1

Pre-wash the bike

Rinse the entire bike down with water to remove any loose dirt and grime. This is important as it avoids rubbing any dirt in to the frame when you come to do your contact wash, which could potentially damage your paintwork and components.

Top Tip

If you have a bike stand use it for the wash as it’s easier to get round the whole bike.

apply degreaser to the cassette and chain

Step 2

Add degreaser to the cassette and chain

If you’re only going to invest in one dedicated bike cleaning product we recommend you pick a good degreaser. Apply good coverage to the chain and cassette. As you apply the degreaser to the chain, backpedal to help ensure the whole of it gets covered. Don't forget to spray the chainset. Then leave it on to work its magic while you turn your attention to the next step.

sponge the frame and components with soapy water

Step 3

Contact wash the rest of the frame

Add some detergent to a bucket and then froth it up with the hose. Using a general sponge or wash mitt, start from the top of the bike to the bottom, quickly working your way down and occasionally rinsing off the sponge or mitt in the bucket. As this is a quick wash you should leave your wheels in for speed. Cover as much of the bike as you can in this period – don’t be shy with those suds!

Top Tip

Use dedicated bike cleaning product if you can. If you’re in a pinch then washing up liquid will do but bear in mind it is very effective at stripping grease from your bearings.

brush chainset and chain

Step 4

Brush the chainset and cassette

By now the degreaser has had time to lift off some of that grime. Using a special bike brush, really get into the cassette and chainset to agitate the gunk and remove it. If you don’t have a special brush, a toothbrush or even a paintbrush will allow you to get into those hard to reach areas and remove some of that grime.

rinse soap off bike

Step 5

Rinse the bike down with water

Using your hose, rinse down the bike and remove all of those soapy bubbles. Again, work from top to bottom, paying attention to all the areas you cleaned with the sponge.

dry frame with microfibre towel

Step 6

Dry off the frame

Using a microfibre towel remove any excess water from the frame first, then the cockpit area and finally the wheels.

add lube to chain

Step 7

Apply lube to the chain

It’s really important that once you’ve carried out all the above steps, you must lube your chain, no matter how much of a rush you’re in. This will prevent your chain from going rusty and undoing a lot of the good work you've just done.

Top Tip

Avoid using aerosol sprays like WD40 or GT85 as a degreaser or lubricant as you can get overspray that will then contaminate your brake pads or discs and cause them to work less effectively.

GCN's Essential Road Bike Maintenance
GCN's Essential Road Bike Maintenance

For road, gravel, commuter and hybrid bikes, Essential Road Bike Maintenance is intended to be a proper bible to all those essential bike maintenance, repairs, and set-up tasks that we all need to know. Everything from basic bike set-up, how to get your wheels on and off, through setting up gears, bleeding brakes, and beyond to things like installing electronic gears, converting to a 1x transmission and more. In a nutshell, pretty much everything you would want to tackle on your bike (or bikes, plural) yourself. And then some. Like bike set up tips for taller and shorter riders; bottom bracket standards explained; common bike maintenance mistakes and how to avoid them; essential roadside fixes to keep you riding; how to make your bike more comfortable; how to puncture-proof your ride and much, much more. “A huge amount of knowledge, hacks, and know-how to help improve both your workshop skills and your ride” – Ollie Bridgewood, GCN Presenter Each chapter is structured with the tasks you’ll most likely need more of the time at the start (like how to adjust your gears, replacing brake pads, or changing a tyre), before running through to those that you’ll do much more infrequently (such as changing disc brake hoses, servicing a freehub or pedals, and so on). This also means that many of the tasks naturally ratchet up in difficulty as you go through each chapter which should also mirror your natural progression as you become more mechanically capable and confident. In short, 260 pages packed with all the essential knowledge you’ll need to confidently take on and complete pretty much any bike maintenance task. Get Some ‘Show-How’ With Your ‘Know-How’ Each walkthrough is linked to a companion video which you can watch for free from your computer, tablet or smartphone. To watch, either type in the walkthrough’s short-link URL – e.g. https://gcn.eu/GetPerfectShifting – into your browser, or scan the QR code with your smartphone or tablet so you can get the best of both worlds: know-how and show-how. Simple. All you need to know to fix your bike. Product Details: Pages: 260 (120sm) Size: 280mm (h) x 216mm (w) (portrait) Cover: Paperback Cover Finish: 300gsm, silk stock with anti-scuff matte laminate and spot UV gloss finish Please note: There may be some additional shipping charges for orders consisting of 2 or more books. However, our customer service team will contact you after you have placed the order to advise on delivery options. Click here to explore all GCN best selling books

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