Garage Files: How To Clean Your Bike Like a Pro

How To Clean Your Bike Like a Pro

cleaning tools

A clean bike is a happy bike. True, you don’t have to break out the detailing kit every time you get a mountain bike a little dusty. After all, it is a mountain bike. It should be allowed to revel in the elements and find itself covered in mud like a preschooler left to his own devices on the playground on a rainy day. We certainly have fun riding in the elements from time to time; however, we’ve found that neglecting proper cleaning leads to premature wear on parts, paint and finishes.

Maxima has been producing cleaning solutions for motorcycles, cars and bikes for many years. They’ve developed and formulated oils, lubricants and cleaners for world-class racers in many disciplines—from Supercross to NASCAR to mountain biking. Maxima’s cleaning kit is our go-to choice when it comes to cleaning our test fleet. This is the process we use to get it done.

1-Our test bike this month received a healthy dose of mud thanks to a rainstorm that hit our SoCal trails mid-ride. It’s in desperate need of a bath. Riding a bike in this condition after a tough and muddy ride can be torture on a bike’s finish.Garage-1b1-Our test bike this month received a healthy dose of mud thanks to a rainstorm that hit our SoCal trails mid-ride. It’s in desperate need of a bath. Riding a bike in this condition after a tough and muddy ride can be torture on a bike’s finish.

3-We started by putting the bike in a work stand, as it’s the easiest way to access all areas that need cleaning. If your bike has a dropper post, it’s best to not clamp the slider portion of the post, as the work stand can easily scratch the precise surface. We prefer to clamp the base of the post.1-We started by putting the bike in a work stand, as it’s the easiest way to access all areas that need cleaning. If your bike has a dropper post, it’s best to not clamp the slider portion of the post, as the work stand can easily scratch the precise surface. We prefer to clamp the base of the post.

3-Begin by using a medium spray to blast off the first layer of dirt. You don’t need to get the bike squeaky clean yet. Simply blow off the biggest clumps of dirt, taking care to not spray directly at any of the headset, suspension, hub or bottom bracket bearings.2-Begin by using a medium spray to blast off the first layer of dirt. You don’t need to get the bike squeaky clean yet. Simply blow off the biggest clumps of dirt, taking care to not spray directly at any of the headset, suspension, hub or bottom bracket bearings.

4-Using a pressure washer or a jet-stream hose on the bearings forces water into places it shouldn’t be. Be gentle with the water stream as much as you can.3-Using a pressure washer or a jet-stream hose on the bearings forces water into places it shouldn’t be. Be gentle with the water stream as much as you can.

5-Coat the bike with your bike-wash solution. We like Maxima’s Bio Wash because it cuts through dirt but is biodegradable and safe for use on carbon frames. Allow the bike wash to soak in to loosen the dirt while you work on cleaning other parts of the bike.4-Coat the bike with your bike-wash solution. We like Maxima’s Bio Wash because it cuts through dirt but is biodegradable and safe for use on carbon frames. Allow the bike wash to soak in to loosen the dirt while you work on cleaning other parts of the bike.

6-Fill a bucket with water. This one has some suds in it leftover from the last 6000 bike washes we performed.5-Fill a bucket with water. This one has some suds in…

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