How to get and keep your bike spic and span during the harsh winter months
Winter has been in the country for a while now and has already made itself keenly felt. True seasoned cyclists don't let this get to their heart and head out on the weekends anyway. The cold and wet winters don't just plague our endurance, they can also get your bike pretty dirty. To prolong the life of your bike, or at least the different parts, it is important to keep it clean. And that means cleaning... There are better things to do, especially after a cold ride. But there's no getting away from it.
It is best to clean your bike as soon as you arrive. Not only to have a clean bike for next weekend, but also to prevent structural wear. In this article we briefly summarize the most important steps to take to get you through the winter.
You don't have to take your bike apart to shine all the
nooks and crannies. It is best to just take out the two wheels. This makes it
easier to clean them separately. First, use a garden hose without too much
pressure (avoid the pressure washer!) to thoroughly rinse the bike, especially
in the least accessible places.
To easily scrub away the dirt, it is interesting to secure your bike to a tripod or to the ceiling using a hook system. This way you can easily get anywhere without further hurting the tired and cold leg muscles. A tripod system you can easily move (outside). The bike is more stable and will not move too much during cleaning.
For the frame and wheels you can easily use a sponge, bucket with lukewarm water and soap. In no time your frame will be completely clean. You can then hose down the frame again and dry it, although it is best to do this after you have cleaned the gears and brakes.
The cogs in the cassette and the crank are the hardest to get clean. If you can't get everything spotless, don't worry. The bike will never be the way it was delivered to you, and that's not a problem. To get rid of the dirt that often sticks to the old lubricant, it is best to use a degreaser soap. For this you can just use some detergent and an old toothbrush. This way you can scrub well everywhere.
After cleaning, hose down the whole bike and dry the different parts thoroughly. It is best to let your bike drain a little more, because some dirty water will still drip from the gears, although you should make sure they are not too wet. It is best to place an old sheet under the bike so that the watery grease does not fall onto your cobblestones or garage floor. Then you assemble your bike and you can lubricate the chain while pedaling. Here you must be sure not to make the chain too greasy, because that is not necessary and only causes more dirt to stick to it. And then you have to scrub harder again.