One of the most important things you can do to take care of your expensive bike is to keep it clean.
In this short article I describe a simple quick way to keep you investment running smoothly
First understand that most new high end bikes are extremely durable and not as finicky as one may think. Most of the bearings a “cartridge” type and need little attention. Finishes and lubes are designed for extreme use any will last along time if kept clean. Simply wiping down a bike is not adequate because it does not get rid of the salts, especially in small areas. I like to do a thorough bike wash and inspection every few weeks or if you are a heavy sweater after every ride.
It only takes a few minutes and will keep your machine looking and working beautifully.
There are a few items that you need. Small bucket, soft bristle car washing brush with 15 inch handle, mild dish soap ., soft cotton rags, chain lube.
First rinse the entire bike including seat and handlebars, being careful not to use high pressure around the hubs, Bottom bracket, headset, and shifters. Then fill your bucket with water and a little soap. Using the soft brush start at the seat and gently scrub the frame, wheels (especially the braking surface), brakes, etc. Pass over the chain and front chaining as not to get your brush all greasy. Rinse and dry if you want or just shake the bike off.
Lube your chain with your favorite lube.
Take a thick rag and toughly wipe the chain until there is no visible gunk. You may have to do this step a few times to get the chain really clean. With a clean rag wet a small area with lube and wipe you’re from chain rings, and rear cassette clean and any other greasy parts. Don’t forget to scrape off any chunks that are on the derailed pulleys. It’s really not necessary to get everything super clean but you can if you like. Note: be careful using solvents to dissolve grease and grime, some of these may harm finishes, or destroy plastics and carbon!
As you are cleaning the bike also look closely at all areas
Inspect tires for cracking, embedded chunks of glass etc. Look closely at the frame for cracks and dings and touch up nicks with clear nail polish. Check for trueness of wheels, and if you have a stand check the gear shifting. Inspect all the cables for signs of wear and cracking.
If something comes up during inspection bring your bike to a local professional for evaluation or repair.
All of this should take less than fifteen minutes
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