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

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