No Hose? No Bucket? Dry Mud? Clean Your Bike!

As much as I preach keeping your bike and cleaning it after you use it. Sometimes you just don’t have the chance and your bike ends up with dry, hard, mud all over it. After our ride at Palos Sunday found us stuck on a muddy ass trail. Our bikes were nasty. No water or rags available at the trail, and I came home to a frozen hose. Before our next muddy ride, I will have a hose cut down to 15-20 feet so I can drain it and bring it inside when it is below freezing. But for now, I have a very dirty bike.

My first step was to bring the bike to the shop.

That way, I didn’t have the huge mess that is on my bike on my floor at home. I already had to wash my shoes off in the sink, so I figured, on down to Village Cycle Center on my day off to clean my bike.

Second, I prepared my work area. Bike box on the floor with old rags to catch the large amount of bike clean it is going to take to do the nasty.

I also get all my cleaning jazz together. I use Pit Stop (until its gone, then it shall be Pedro’s Green Fizz), Motorex Bike Clean, Clean Streak, Tri-Flow, ProGold ProLink, and a big ol’ pile of rags.

Knock off as much of the big chunks of mud as possible. Then it is time to start soaking down the dry mud and make it easier to remove.

Keep on spraying.
Then I wipe off the wheels. Rims, spokes, hubs and tires.

To make cleaning the rest of the bike easier.
The wheels come off. And the dirty stuff is removed.

Keep wiping and spraying as needed until most of the crud is gone.

Get the big chucks out of the drive train area.

You can remove your cable housing from the guides by using your hand to add slack to the cable system by pushing in your derailleurs. Removing the housing makes it easier to clean and allows for removal of debris that is stuck in the frame mounted cable stops.

Don’t forget the cable stops in on the back too!

I remove some of the components to make cleaning easier as well as allow me to grease areas that need it. Pedals come of cranks, cranks are removed from bike.

More spraying, wiping, and cleaning.
Getting closer.
Once the frame is clean. Move on.

Pile of parts awaiting cleaning. Clean them before installing them. Pedal systems also need love. Lube springs and grease axles.

Brakes get a lot of use. And also need love. Remove brakes, clean them, and reinstall. Don’t forget grease where it is needed.

Wheels, brakes, and cranks back on.
Clean the wheels the rest of the way.

Once I am done cleaning the wheels off. I use Clean Streak on the braking surfaces to remove any left over residue from cleaning the bike. Sometimes bike cleaners will cause contamination in your braking system. Vibration from sticky pads may result in noise. If your pads are contaminated. Sanding the braking surface can remedy them. If clean rims and clean pads do not help. You can replace the pads or toe in the brakes. Brakes that are toed in, make less noise, but have less stopping power.

Viola! Clean bike. Ready for the next ride, or race. Which ever comes first.

Speaking of racing, if you like to, check out the team we sponsor.

Kinky Llama Racing
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or on the internets

Big left over mess. I could leave it for Rus, but I am a courteous feller and cleaned up my own mess.

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