So for everyone who’s had a new bike and been out riding in the British weather, you’ve probably experienced the pain and grief of getting home soaking wet and realising that your once-new bike is now soaked and covered in the grit, grime and other things associated with British roads.
Like me then, you’ve probably also realised that things that were new aren’t working like they should and decided to give your bike a good clean and a good once over. If a bike is maintained properly then it will minimise the problems that can cause gears to become sloppy and brakes to lose their feel.
This is a photo of my Felt F2 race bike (closest that’s sold on site? The Felt AR3 Ultegra Di2 2012) after the Tour of the Mining Valleys in Aberystwyth :
As you can see, it doesn’t look as good as it should…
So, first things first. What to use for cleaning my bike?
I like to get everything ready before I start so that I don’t have to go hunting round for rags & tools etc. I’m a massive fan of Muc-Off products so please forgive me for being biased towards their products. The tools, rags and solutions I use are :
With everything now collected and ready I like to use a workstand as it makes things easier to work on. Beats leaning it against a wall :
Here then is where we start cleaning so I think it’s best to go with a step by step guide from here.
1. Apply the Muc-Off Drivetrain Cleaner liberally to the chain, sprockets, chainset and derailleurs. Allow the cleaner to soak into the drivetrain for around 2min.
2. Whilst allowing the Drivetrain Cleaner to soak Use the soft brush in the Muc-Off Cleaning Brush Set to remove any excess mud/dirt and then cover the bike and wheels with the Muc-Off Nano Tech Bike Cleaner and allow to soak.
3. Now back to the drivetrain. Using the Muc-Off Chain Doc Chain Cleaner pass the chain through the Chain Doc a number of times, until the chain is clean. Then using the narrow brush and detailing brush, scrub the cassette until all of the grease/oil has been loosened. Then repeat this for the jockey wheels and chainset, before hosing down the drivetrain. NOTE: If the cassette is particularly grubby it may be worth removing the rear wheel to give the cassette a better clean.
4. Once the drivetrain is clean, use the Muc-Off Sponge and a bucket of luke warm water to clean the frame and wheels. Once the frame is clean, use a hose to wash off the remaining Muc-Off Nano Tech cleaner.
6. Once the drivetrain is dry, lightly spray the cassette with the Muc-Off Silicone Shine Lubricant and then lightly apply the Muc-Off Lube (Dry , Wet or Ceramic) to the chain. Allow the lube to soak into the rollers of the chain and use a rag to remove any excess.
7. For a finishing touch to help protect the frame and prolong the clean look of the bike, use the Muc-Off Silicone Shine Lubricant as a polish on the frame and ensure that the exposed cables are also coated to aid shifting and braking.
NB : If you’re using cable gears and not electronic gears as is shown here then it may be worth directing the silicone spray down into the outer cable to lubricate the cable.
The results should speak for themselves but here are a few pics of a properly cleaned drivetrain :