How to wash your bike

Knowing how to wash your bike properly using the appropriate products and equipment is vitally important to protecting the external appearance of your bike as well as its mechanical efficiency. In this video, learn what products to use, how the professionals keep their bikes clean and how to avoid damage to important areas such as seals and disc rotors.

Video Transcript

How to wash your bike

Hello, and welcome to this wash your bike video. You’ll be able to see from the bike behind me compared to the pictures that you saw beforehand that we’ve actually already cleaned the bike down, we’ve given it a wash, and if you watch after the jingle, you’ll be able to see the process of what we went to get it to this state, which is looking a whole lot better now.


It’s also worth mentioning that this video is going to dovetail with the “how to look after your bike in five minutes” video. So what we’re going to be doing is taking the bike as it is here, and we’re going to assume that this is how you’ve returned from a ride and the basics that we need to do on that five minute” how to look after your bike” to take care of the chain. So we’re going to be doing that but please watch on and you’ll be able to see how we’ve got the bike from its before pretty mankey looking state back to this which is, is looking pretty good now so we will see you at the other side of our jungle.


Okay so in this video we’re going to be washing the bike down so we’re going to show you the correct procedure to do that. What we want to do first of all on this bike because it is particularly muddy at this moment and the mud has actually dried onto the bike is we’re going to use some bike wash. Once we rinse the bike down for the first time, we’re going to let the bike wash soak into the mud and that’s just going to lift everything from the surface and then allow us to brush the bike down.


Now you can see I’ve got the bike in a proper work stand at moment that just aids me to film this but you can do it by leaning up against a wall or a shed or something like that. So, don’t worry about not having a work stand to be able to do it. It’s just for my ease. So, what we’ll do is we’ll just get on and get the bike rinsed down. And then what we’ll do is we’ll spray some of the finish line bike wash onto the, and that’s just going start lifting it. So, let’s get on and get that done.


So as we’re rinsing it down, we’re just making sure that we’re getting everything on the bike. Again, as you can see here, there’s not a tonne of pressure on the actual hose itself, because we don’t want this to start attacking any of the seals on the bearings or any of the seals on the suspension system. And likewise, if it was, if it was a road bike or gravel bike and you’re doing this as well, you don’t want to attack any of those bearings. So we’re just giving the bike just a thorough rinse down as you can see here.


That’s all good. Place the hose over here. Then now we’re going to take the finish line, bike wash and just turn the end so we’ve got the spray on, and then we’re just literally going to spray down the bike.


This stuff works absolutely fantastic for just lifting all that grime off and just getting everything that’s deep soaked in, all the mud, and just lifting it off the surfaces but it’s non-corrosive so it doesn’t damage the rubber on the tires, it doesn’t damage the seals on any of the brake system. And then also, most importantly, doesn’t get into, on the mountain bike, the bearing surfaces that can cause damage to the bearings.


Now of course if you come back from the ride, and you have rather than let all the mud dry on you could just literally spray full of this of wet mud that sat on the surface of the bike, you can just literally spray that off before it will actually dry. So you don’t really need to use this. But the reason why we’re using this today is because this bike has basically been left for the mud to actually dry onto the surface. So just a simple rinse down wouldn’t cut the mustard in this instance.


So there we go – that’s the bike fully rinsed down. And it’s also got all of the bike wash on so that’s doing its magic at the moment. Literally take a couple of minutes.


What we’re going do is take a really soft bristle bike brush. And what we’re going to do is, first of all, we don’t want to put a dry brush onto the frame. Because whilst it’s soft bristle, we also don’t want to scratch anything as well. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to take the hose pipe, going to rinse off, just actually wet the brush itself. That’ll just give a couple of minutes for the bike wash to actually do its do its trick. And then and then we can start aggravating all the sort of mud and what have you into the brush and start actually getting it clean. And then we’ll finally rinse, rinse everything off. So that’s doing the trick just at this moment.


There we go. So first thing we’re going to do just literally start brushing down the frame I’m avoiding to a degree the gear system at this moment because we are going to give that a thorough clean down we’re just going to really focus on things like the frame and the wheels and the tires. You know we are, we are on a mountain bike here so we don’t want it sort of back to show room because it’s going to start getting muddy again, but we just want the next time we take it out on the on the trail it just wants to be nice and clean. The brushes, if you start feeling them sort of dry off just now and again, just spray it down, clean all the gunk and you can really see all the dirt in that water that we’re spraying off. Give the calipers a going over


It is quite a satisfying job to be honest getting all of the getting all the gunk off the bike.

There are going to be areas that’s going to be really difficult to get to. So again, don’t worry about that we’ve got different brushes of which we can get into those places in a moment.


Again, want to be careful on things like brake rotors because if there is any, any oil and grease that we’ve just picked up off the drive train we want to try and make sure that we don’t contaminate the pads on the rotors. So if you have been doing this, just make sure you don’t pull the brakes on until the rotors are fully cleaned down.


So that’s the main part of the frame done. We’ve then got this sort of fork brush which is going to allow us to get into those sort of tight to get at spaces just to agitate all the dirt out of there just before we start rinsing the bike off. Again, just like with the big, soft, brittle bristle brush, we’re just going to damp that down. Just get into these tighter places that we couldn’t get into a second ago.


We’re also going to clean the hubs and what have you with another type of rush in a bit, but that’s got the worst of all the rubbish off the off the frame at this moment. So that’s looking pretty good. Final thing we just need to do is the front wheel so just wash this down again.


Okay, the other side.


We’re getting there. Perfect, right. Wonderful. Just give the brushes a quick wash off and get the rubbish out of there. Okay, let’s just give the bike a quick rinse off.


Just work everything from the top down. Okay That’s looking pretty good.


So what we’re going to do now is we’re going to take the bike out of the stand, we’re going to move back inside into the Criterium garage. And we’re going to go through a full, full dry down. And we’ll go from there. So we will see you will see you in the garage. Perfect.


So once we’ve been outside and actually washed the bike off, we need to bring it indoors and dry it off thoroughly as well. So never just wash your bike and then just put it straight in the shed and just let it dry itself because it can then start causing corrosion to things like chain.


If your suspension system if it’s on a hybrid bike or dual sport style bike, or a mountain bike that doesn’t have this coloured, hard anodizing to it, it’s just a chrome finish, it’s very, very important you do dry that stanchion off. Otherwise eventually, if it’s just allowed to air dry, it is going to pit with rust eventually. So it’s, it’s important to keep it dry and keep it maintained.


So literally once we’ve washed the bike, the bikes looking pretty dry now, but take a microfiber cloth, take an old hand towel and just literally just wipe the frame down and just get the worst of the water off the bike. And you can see how the bike already is looking so much better. It’s looking really, really nice now.


So what we’re going to do is leave it there for how to wash your bike and how to dry the bike off. We do now need to clean and dry the chain properly we need to clean the jockey wheels. And we’re going to do that in the five minute video. So that’s good. Bikes nice and clean. Let’s leave that one there and move on to the five minute video so you can get the chain looking nice and ready to go.