29 Jun 2018
Vision Tech Guide: Washing a Pro Bike’s
The maintenance of a bike is very important if you want to make sure that components last longer. There are specific products for washing bikes and removing grease. But which are the most important steps of bike washing?
First, the bicycle is mounted on a work stand and, if it makes the cleaning process easier, the wheels are removed.
Next, fill a water bottle with a biodegradable detergent and have it ready to use. Having a light solvent (like a citrus degreaser diluted with water) on hand is good for use on components like cassettes and cranks which have difficult to remove grime.
When the wheels are removed, the chain is secured by a chainkeeper or dummy hub, which allows the chain to spin without rubbing on the frame. The frame, chain, crankset and other parts are now cleaned. Sometimes before wetting the bike, using a rag, larger bits of dirt and debris can be removed more easily.
Begin by cleaning the drivetrain first (usually the dirtiest part of the bike). Brushes and component specific bike cleaning tools can help greatly in this process.
Next, the wheels recieve the very special treatment. First, all parts are passed with a brush or clean rag to remove the dust, and then they are cleaned carefully with a sponge and detergent.
On all parts, remove the detergent with water at low pressure. Unfortunately, the mechanics have to clean all the bikes of the team, and times are reduced, so they are forced to use this non-recommended method. Many professional teams use pressure washers or high pressure hoses because of time constraint and , but this method isn’t recommended because water may penetrate component seals.
The final step is the drying. The bike is moved to another work stand and dried. Use compressed air if available, but do not blast bearings directly. Use a light lubricant on the chain, pulley wheels, cables, and pivots points. Reinstall cassette, if necessary, and install wheels back on bike.
After the bike is washed, take the time to rinse off the brushes and clean the repair stand. And now your bike is ready to ride.