How to Clean a Mountain Bike
What You Need
- Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser
- Clean cloth or sponge
- Small brushes or old toothbrushes
- Hose or bucket of water
- Chain lubricant
- Empty container (optional)
Cleaning your mountain bike does more than simply keep it looking good after a muddy ride. Giving your mountain bike a light cleaning after every ride and a deep cleaning each week (depending on frequency of use) is an essential practice to keep your bike in top working condition, and to prevent deterioration of components that could lead to malfunction and, potentially, injury.
If dirt, grease or mud accumulates in the wrong areas, it can chew into your drivetrain and other mechanical parts, accelerating corrosion and damage. That can result in costly repairs, and time away from the sport you love. The great news is that giving your mountain bike a thorough cleaning only takes only a few minutes to accomplish. This removes any unseen dirt and grime buildup in sensitive areas and help you find any wear and tear on your bicycle components before they become a larger problem. A little bit of mud speckling here and there may not do much harm, but if your bike has been through some serious activity, or if you're pulling it out for the first time this season, you'll want to get out the brushes and give it a good, thorough cleaning.
Not all bike cleaners are created equal, however. Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser is specially formulated to cut through tough, caked-on mud, dirt, grease, grime, and other road and trail soils. The pH-neutral biodegradable formula breaks down dirt, grease and grime while being non-corrosive to delicate parts and paint.
Directions For Cleaning a Mountain Bike:
If you have a bike stand, this is helpful as you'll need to access the entirety of the bike for cleaning, including pedal motion for cleaning your bike. Otherwise, lay down a towel to protect your seat and handlebars, and turn your bicycle upside-down.
- Rinse down your bike with hose, sponge or wet cloth - Use a hose or bucket of water and a sponge or cloth to wet the entire surface of your bike.
- Clean the drivetrain - Spray Simple Green Bike Cleaner & Degreaser directly into your drivetrain, use a toothbrush to work into smaller areas and penetrate tough grime, dirt & grease.
- Clean the chain – You can soak your chain in Simple Green, or hand-clean it directly. For soaking: Remove the chain from your bike, and submerge it in a 50/50 mix of Simple Green and water in a bucket or other container. Soak the chain for 5-7 minutes before rinsing with water and thoroughly drying. Re-lubricate the chain prior to putting it back on your bike. For hand cleaning: Use a cloth soaked in Simple Green to loosely wrap around the chain, and run the pedal so the chain moves through the cloth. For dirtier chains, you'll need to use a scrub brush or toothbrush to work out the grime, being careful to work out any buildup between the gears.
- Rinse - Rinse the bike with fresh water, then check to make sure you've shifted all the grime off the bike, gently brushing again before rinsing where necessary.
- Lube the chain – Slowly pedal the bike, dripping the lubricant onto the links as they move. Wipe off any excess lubricant.
Bonus tip: Use Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner as a laundry pre-treat to remove grime and grease from your cleaning cloths. Dampen the cloths with water, apply full-strength Simple Green and rub in gently. Wash as usual.
* Biodegradable formula: This formula decomposes into elements found in nature within six months after disposal into a typical sanitary sewer or septic system.