Following on from part one of “The Zen of Bike Cleaning”….
How to clean your Bike
4. Follow the directions for your truck wash. Most come as a concentrate that is mixed with water and applied using a spray bottle. Spray your bike and wheels all over and leave it for five or 10 minutes in the shade. Try to get all of the hard to get nooks and crannies like the underside of your fork and around the brake callipers.
5. While just leaving the truck wash on and hosing it off will usually suffice, an extra sponge over will help if your bike is really dirty. Mix a small amount of truck wash with a bucket of water and use a soft sponge to wipe the bike over.
6. Use a gentle shower spray to hose the bike off. You shouldn’t need a high pressure spray and they are best off avoided—high pressure sprays such as a ‘gurney’ can force water past seals and into bearings and past your seat post into the frame.
7. Refit your rear wheel and dry the chain off with a soft and absorbent rag. Turn the cranks backwards while holding the rag around the chain (just make sure that the rag doesn’t catch and drag your hand into the cogs). Also run the rag over the jockey wheels on the rear derailleur as well as the front chainrings.
8. Once the chain is dry and clean, re-oil it with your favourite chain lube. ‘Dry lube’ works well in most road applications. The anti-friction component suspended in a liquid that allows it to penetrate deep into the chain. Once applied, the liquid ‘carrier’ evaporates leaving the lubricant in place. Excess lube can be wiped off the outside of the chain as it is not needed there—it needs to be between the pins, rollers and plates of the chain. ‘Wet lube’ may be preferable if you consistently ride in rainy conditions but your cleaning regime will need to be more frequent.
9. For that special finishing touch, painted or clear coated frames can benefit from a wax and polish. Use a protective wax as opposed to a cut and polish. Apply the wax with a soft rag and allow it to dry. Then polish it off with a clean soft rag.