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Greater Arizona Bicycling Association, Inc.
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HomeBike Cleaning

Cleaning the bike adds to its life and performance by removing dirt, grime, salt and grit. Washing also allows you to more closely inspect the frame and component parts. Although cleaning helps the bike's performance, overzealous washing and rinsing can also wash out grease from bearings. AVOID using high-pressure car washes or blasting the bike with streams of water from the hose around the areas with bearings.  AVOID using diesel or kerosene as a cleaner. You can use a mild detergent  or a biodegradable cleaner like Simple Green.

  1. Remove your frame pump, seat wedge, computer, lights, etc... before washing.
  2. Place bike on bike stand (if available).
  3. Apply a generous amount of Simple Green to your chain, derailleurs, chainrings, cassette, pedals, and brakes on both sides of the bike. Scrub area's as needed to remove built up material. You can use a chain cleaner tool if desired. Rinse, and apply again until clean. Use a gear clean brush to clean the cassette and in between each cog on the cassette.
  4. Spray Simple Green in your shifters by applying the brakes and rinse.
  5. Using a buck of soapy water or using a bike wash of your choosing, clean your entire bike.
  6. Clean your wheel/rims sidewalls with Simple Green and green scrubby. Spray Simple Green on the scrubby and scrub the sides of the rims removing built up black rubber from your brake pads on both sides and rinse. Repeat until clean.
  7. Once clean, then use a clean rag and hold onto the chain by the rear derailleur and spin the pedals backwards allowing the chain to pass through your hand in the rag to remove any excess material and water.
  8. Use a chain lube of your choice (Teflon based) and lube your chain completely along with your derailleur springs, and pedal clips. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes to penetrate.
  9. Dry the bike with a clean soft (terry) cloth.
  10. Remove excess lube from your chain derailleur springs and pedal clips.
  11. Lubricate your shifter and remove excess lube.
  12. Lubricate your cable guide on the bottom of your bottom bracket with a drop or 2 of lube.
  13. Clean your saddle with saddle soap (if desired) and use mink oil to keep the saddle soft and water resistant.