Clean that bike!

I’ve recently done a major overhaul of my Rock Lobster MTB. I was quite shocked at how bad a state I’d left it in when I last rode it over a year ago. I hadn’t kept the transmission clean enough, and didn’t change the chain when I should have done. As a result, I’ve had to replace the bottom bracket, chain, cassette, chainset and a gear cable.

I’m now working on my Basso road bike. What did I find – exactly the same situation! 😳 It was filthy and everything was worn out except for the brake blocks which had been changed at the end of last year. They are only about 50% worn so I have a few months worth of use left in them. Be warned though – never try and extract the very last bit of use from your brake blocks – I did that on my first MTB and wore through them on a fast descent, and that resulted in a destroyed front wheel rim!

I’m going to make my new motto – Clean That Bike! If you keep on top of the routine cleaning and maintenance, it doesn’t take long. It’s when you let the gunk build up that excessive wear takes place rapidly. A clean bike is nicer to look at, nicer to ride, and costs less to maintain in good working order. Dirt and moving parts is not a super combination…

I’ve recently been enjoying riding my Cannondale road bike, partly because it is clean and all its parts are in good condition. That’s because I don’t usually ride it in bad weather, and it gets looked after better because it is my most expensive bike. It did get pretty dirty on The Cotswold Challenge but I made sure that I cleaned it when I got it home.

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2 Responses to “Clean that bike!”

  1. When you come in tired, wet and cold from a ride the temptation to just sling the bike in the corner is huge.

    I have a road bike thats normally pretty clean, a mtb that I clean after nearly every ride yet somehow never looks in the slightest bit clean; and a commuter that just never gets washed.

  2. I do make the effort in the winter when the bike is probably covered in corrosive salt/grit but the rest of the time – yeah, it tends to be ride-and-forget.

    A few years ago I fixed up a hose pipe in my cellar and fed it out of a ventilation grille by my back door. It was really convenient for rinsing my bikes down in the back yard. Unfortunately the hose only lasted a couple of months and then it split so I scrapped it.

    Since then I’ve bought a 5 litre pressurised garden spray with a shoulder strap on it. (When I remember) I fill it and pump it up before setting out on a ride and leave it with a couple of rags by the back door so all I have to do is reach inside to get them and I’m ready to get cleaning.

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