Why do you need to clean your bike?
A clean bike not only looks nicer, but the parts often last longer and it’ll ride better too! So, how often should we be cleaning our bikes? This depends on a few factors: how often you ride your bike, the time of year, and typically how dirty your bike gets.
Making time for a regular clean will help to extend the life of your bike’s components and moving parts, as well as keeping it looking as good as new. We’d also recommend thoroughly degreasing and lubricating your drivetrain every few hundred miles to keep it moving smoothly.
Helping the planet
We’re all trying our best to look after the environment in any way we can. That’s why here at Halfords, we’ve made sure that our range of bike cleaning products are bio-degradable, so you can be confident that in keeping your bike clean, you’re helping to keep the planet clean too.
We’re also introducing concentrated versions of our bike cleaners, so that you can mix your own solutions. Not only does this save on plastic, but it also gives you a more economical clean. Just keep hold of your original spray bottle and mix the required amount of concentrate with water – job done!
The cleaning process
What you’ll need:
- A bucket of water
- Bike cleaner (or try our concentrated version)
- Degreaser or drivetrain cleaner
- Bike brushes or a sponge
- Bike protect spray
- Bike lubricant (wet, dry, or all-weather)
- Microfibre cloths
Now that you’ve got the gear sorted, it’s time to get cleaning. We recommend always starting with the drivetrain, as most bikes will have a build-up of grease and grime here.
To clean your drivetrain, give the degreaser or drivetrain cleaner a good shake and apply to the chain, cassettes and derailleurs, making sure to leave it sitting for at least a minute. This gives the formula chance to really break down any stubborn grease and dirt. You’ll then want to agitate any hard to reach or particularly grimy areas – the Muc-Off Claw Brush is ideal for this. Then just rinse off with water, making sure that all the formula has been washed off.
The main clean
Now onto the main frame of the bike. First, rinse the bike thoroughly with water to remove any surface muck and dirt, using either a bucket of water or a hosepipe (just make sure you don’t blast water directly at any delicate areas like bottom brackets and bearings to avoid damaging them.)
Once you’ve rinsed the bike, spray your bike cleaner onto the entire bike and leave it to soak for 3-5 minutes. This gives the product chance to really wear down any stubborn mud and dirt for a flawless clean – just make sure that the bike is out of direct sunlight for this time.
Then, agitate any stubborn grime using a soft brush or sponge. For any particularly hard to reach places, a detailing brush is perfect for getting into all the nooks and crannies – the Halfords Bike Cleaning Brush Set contains 3 specialised brushes to achieve the ultimate clean . You can now rinse off the entire bike again, making sure to wash away all residue of the bike cleaner. Remember, our range of bike cleaning products are bio-degradable so you don’t have to worry about washing them down the drain! Again, just be careful not to damage any delicate areas of your bike if you’re using a hosepipe.
If your bike has disc brakes, use a disc brake cleaner such as the Muc-Off Disc Brake Cleaner to remove any oil and grease from your discs and pads. This is a specialised product, so you’ll just need to make sure that it doesn’t spill onto any other surfaces.
Protection and lubricant
With the main clean, done, it’s time to focus on protecting and finishing your bike. You’ll ideally want to finish off with a protect spray, designed to drive out moisture and leave a protective, non-sticky film. Apply this to your frame, drive chain, metal parts and paintwork, but if your bike has disc brakes, make sure that you cover these when applying the protect spray to stop excess residue getting on your braking surfaces. You can then wipe off any excess residue using a microfibre cloth or clean rags.
It’s then time to apply your chosen lubricant to your drivetrain – that’s either wet, dry, or all-weather. To apply your chosen lube, slowly rotate the pedals backwards and apply lubricant to each link. You can then wipe away any excess lube using a rag or cloth. For the best results, you should wait at least 15 minutes before riding, but we’d recommend ideally leaving your bike overnight.
And that’s it! The process shouldn’t take you too long, but the benefits to your bike’s health, riding and general look will be huge – not to mention the positive impacts on the environment of our new bike cleaning range! So now that your bike is gleaming, protected, and ready to ride, it’s time to get back in the saddle! You want cycle care, you want Halfords.