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How To Clean Your Bike | GCN Tech's Perfect Bike Wash


– It's that time of year, where in the northern hemisphere we start to say goodbye to the winter months and instead get better weather And with that in mind, there's no better time, let's face it, to actually clean up your bike so it's looking and working just like new, or as close as possible

So let's turn this grubby little bike into a sparkling one (zooming and zinging) Now, if you've not been keeping on top of your winter maintenance, then I must admit, I'm a little bit disappointed in you However, I can likely forgive you As long as you follow these instructions, you'll have a nice and clean bike at the end of the video So, what are we gonna need? First up, we're gonna need a bucket

That's obviously important to hold your water in, as well as a microfiber cloth Some car shampoo A couple of stiff bristle brushes, a paint brush, an old water bottle or container of some sort, a watering can, if you don't have one of these, a hosepipe, a sponge, a little scouring pad style sponge And this here, this is called clean spirit, so it works just like white spirit but it's biodegradable which is great for the environment And then there's a couple of desirables

One of them is hot water which hopefully we've got access to today And then also a couple of gloves here to keep your hands nice and clean And then lastly a dummy hub Now the first thing to do is remove any accessories that you have fitted onto the bike So, pump, lights, GPS, saddlebag, that kind of thing because when they're in position you simply can't do as thorough job cleaning

Next up you want to remove the wheels from the bike Once it's actually out of the frame, which you can see is a bit of a struggle sometimes, just simply grab your dummy hub if you've got one, or a spacer, anything like that It simply keeps the chain away from the paintwork, and makes the next step much easier for you down the line (upbeat music) First real cleaning step I'm gonna be doing then is applying some degreaser or this solvent onto the actual drivetrain and cassette, allowing it to actually do its work whilst we clean the rest of the bike So I'll leave it on there for almost the whole duration of the cleaning process

Now this sort of stuff just simply pour it into your contain, you an old paint brush of anything like that, and then apply it on there and allow it to work its magic What you want to do is basically avoid going straight in at any bearings which I do appreciate is quite difficult but a little bit of due diligence if you like will mean your bearings survive a lot longer And like I said at the start, you can use something like this clean spirit or a normal bike degreaser Erm, I'm quite a bit about saving as much money as I can really, hence why I'm using this clean spirit It tends to work out just a little bit cheaper

But I guess it all depends on how much budget you're actually gonna put towards cleaning your bike Next step is where you wanna wash off as much road debris or grime as possible This is where a hosepipe really comes into its own But I do appreciate that not everybody out there has one So, alternatively you could use a watering can and simply pour it onto the bike

Now, it doesn't do as great a job as a hosepipe but it does do the job still The reason you don't wanna go at it straight away with a sponge or a brush or anything like that is because you could risk damaging your paintwork At the same time as well you wanna try and avoid getting it onto the actual parts where you've just applied that degreaser or solvent because you want it to still be doing its magic Luckily I've got a hosepipe to be able to blast it away So let's get on with it

Don't forget too, to actually pay particular attention to areas such as underneath the saddle, underneath the actual fork crown and the calipers there as well as underneath the bottom bracket These are areas which people always tend to forget about Now, if you have managed to wash off loads of that degreaser or solvent then don't worry, you can simply apply some more on there I guess it depends on the quality of your hosepipe or the water pressure wherever you live And also I noticed just now a little spot of grease and grime on the actual paintwork too so I have used this stuff before so I'm aware that it's not gonna do any damage to the actual paint so I can just apply it on there

And it will be absolutely fine Likewise, if you actually see any bits of grease and you think to yourself, that's gonna be a bit of a troublesome area to get off then don't be afraid to put it on there Now the next step is probably one of the most fun ones because you get quite messy in one way, but you get clean in another because it's time for the hot soapy water Now for this, I use car shampoo Now the reason being is that car goes on the road just like your bike, and it does a great job of getting your car clean

And well, a lot of people out there tend to use dish soap or washing up liquid but let's face it, your pots and pans don't go out on the road, so you wouldn't use that to clean your car Or would you? Just like the first step when you rinse off the frame with the hosepipe or the watering can, don't forget about those areas like in between the brake calipers, brake pads, as well as the all important, under the bottom bracket Okay now when you're doing this and you notice any oily patches on the bike or anything and you can't get them off with the soapy suds, then simply get yourself an old rag, a little bit of WD40, and apply it on there Give it a little bit of elbow grease and you'll soon find those oily marks go away It's particularly useful on matt paintwork which tends to hold onto that grease just a little bit more than the glossy stuff

Right, time to tackle the wheels, often one of the messiest jobs so get yourself a nice amount of soapy suds on the sponge, and then simply go around, first of all getting those tires nice and clean Now, at this point is very worth pointing out as well if your water in the bucket is pretty messy, then don't be afraid to go and get some fresh stuff, some nice clean stuff, and if you're using rim brakes, give a nice bit of elbow grease here onto the actual braking surfaces so you can get rid of any brake dust or residue And then if you've got disk brakes, and again, just clean up those rotors An area that people often forget about too is the spokes on your wheels So make sure you give them a clean as well as the hub shells

And for the hub shells I've got a little tool, or a little brush here which is gonna clean them up oh so well Of course this gives you a great opportunity as well to check the tires to make sure they're in good condition still The secret to getting a nice clean hub shell is with something like this, a bottle brush So pop into your local hardware store and then you can simply get in there and clean it up a lot easier than ever before Almost done now, but we're gonna tackle that drivetrain and get it absolutely sparkling so you can eat your dinner off of it in fact

So this is where one of these little scouring sponges comes in handy Get it nice and soapy like so, and then hold it so that you're gripping the chain almost all the way around it, and then simply pedal backwards This is where that dummy hub comes into its own It makes this job nice and easy And the rough textured finish of this scouring surface does a great job of actually getting the grime off

Just look at what's come off of that And that's even after the degreaser's been on there for quite some time The great thing about these sponges is there so cheap so you can simply dispose of them almost after each time you wash your bike I got about 20 for just over one pound here, so probably just over about a dollar in the US You can also clean those chain ring teeth as well

They get nice and dirty on the insides Just look at that Yep, it's almost invisible from the drive side, so if you're looking to get super nice in the bike vault, well, that's why we always shoot it from this side, it'll be nice and clean If you're still seeking ultimate cleanliness then get yourself a really stiff bristled brush like this, give it some foamy water, nice soapy water there Of course the level of cleanliness, well that will depend on how much time, effort and importantly elbow grease you're prepared to put into it

Personally I love a nice sparkling chain And the last bit, with the drivetrain is to get yourself the same brush or maybe a nail brush, something like that, some water, probably get it as soapy as possible, and then work it on the cassette like so So you're using the free hub body to your benefit It doesn't spin backwards It spins backwards in turn then you clean, rotate it a little bit and simply keep repeating that process

Of course, if it's really mucky you might wanna take the cassette off and actually clean each individual sprocket Something which I would quite enjoy doing actually I like to have them, like I've already said, sparkling Finally we'll rinse off all of those soap suds and any remains of degreaser, and luckily we've got a hosepipe for this one Now the bike is all dripping in fresh water, it's a case of praying you live somewhere nice and hot therefore the sun can do the job for you

Otherwise, if you've got an air compressor, get a little air duster on there and simply get it all off But, like most of us have to put up with is some of these, some microfiber cloths or even an old towel or two Simply go over the bike and absorb as much moisture off of it as possible Last bit of this then is probably just to spray the chain with some water displacement fluid so you're forcing out any of that water so you don't get any surface rust on the links of the chain And then simply lubricate that chain as usual

Now a bonus tip for you here If you're using cabled derailleur so non-electric ones, and also standard brakes here so you're using Bowden style cables, this is the only time actually where I say you can work on your bike upside down So, wheel it upside down, you simply get a little bit of lubricant here and apply it onto the inner brake cable and allow it to just drop down and work its way into that outer brake cable, meaning you're still gonna get some nice smooth braking there because you may well have washed out some of the current grease of lubricant that's on those cables, and well, gravity will do its thing there Obviously I'm not gonna put this down on the floor because I've got a pretty wet floor but that's a bonus tip anyway Right, I hope you've enjoyed this and your bike's gonna be looking oh so pretty

In a minute actually I will go and actually apply some matt polish on this frame Normal polish you can't use and to find out why there's a link to a video on screen right now Now, also I want you to like and share this video with your friends and don't forget to give it a big thumbs up, and also check out the GCN shop at wwwshopglobalcyclingnetwork

com And well, go on, go and give that bike a polish or a shine at least Click just here

Source: Youtube

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