Should You Jet Wash Your Bike? | Maintenance Monday

Should You Jet Wash Your Bike? | Maintenance Monday


– The jetwash, an amazing and fast way to get stuff clean, stuff
that includes your bike. Question is though, should
you actually jetwash it? Well, we’re gonna find out, ready? (dramatic music)
(maniacal laughter) People that say don’t jetwash your bike will tell you that one quick
blast from a high-pressure hose will completely ruin your bearings. The theory goes that
water will get forced past your delicate bearing seals and
onto the bearings themselves potentially even taking
grit and dirt with it. That, if true, would then
ruin all of your bearings on your bike, your jockey
wheels, your freewheel, your rear wheel bearings,
your front wheel bearings, your bottom bracket bearings,
your headset bearings, and your pedal bearings. So potentially then,
quite a costly mistake. But, does it? You see I don’t think that
anyone actually knows. Pro mechanics use
jetwashes on a daily basis but they also replace
parts more frequently. And as a cyclo-cross
rider, I know the value of a cheeky little jetwash. It’s literally the difference
between winning a race and standing on the sidelines
with two broken bikes. Clearly then, we need to
find out if jetwashing ruins your bike. You’ll forgive me though if I’m feeling a little bit squeamish
about jetwashing this to see whether we can break it. So instead we’ve commissioned this. What do you mean you
don’t know what it is. It’s a bottom bracket stand clearly, custom made by master
craftsman Tom Sturdy. You see what we’re
gonna do is attach this, a much loved and well used crank set to it and see how long it’s
gonna take to jetwash it and yet it has done some
miles but I’ve literally just repacked the bearings
with fresh grease. Then, after a quick jet wash
we’re gonna dismantle it again, check for water ingress and to see whether our grease is still in place. Depending on the results,
we can then rebuild it and jetwash it some more. How long is it gonna take
to blast a bottom bracket? (upbeat instrumental music) (buzzing) Whoo, five seconds. Not gonna lie, quite excited to find out what’s gonna happen. Got some moisture on the outside. I’m gonna need to mop that off. External seal. Yeah there’s nothing in there is it. Grease completely in
place, no sign of water five seconds of jetwashing,
survived, stage one complete. Rebuild done. 20 seconds now. – [Cameraman] Three, two, one, go! (buzzing) – Whoa! We’re gettin’ in there. We’re really gonna getting in there now. Come on! – [Cameraman] Stop! (laughing) – Oh. I think there’s a bit
more moisture this time. It’s dry, grease still in place. Not a trace of moisture. That was a pretty serious jetwashing that. So that’s withstood 25 seconds now. (upbeat instrumental music) Alright then. One minute starting from. – [Cameraman] Three, two, one, go! (buzzing) – Whoa! I’m gonna really get in there this time. I really wanna clean this. It’s feeling a little damp. One minute and 25 seconds of jetwashing. What do you think? Wet or dry, grease or no grease? Oh my days! (laughing) Still grease, no water. I’m gonna go one seal in. Okay, there’s literally not a
trace of any water in there. Let’s take it up to 11 or two minutes. (upbeat instrumental music) Two minutes of jetwashing. – [Cameraman] Three, two, one, go! (buzzing) – Ah, come on jetwash! (buzzing) So I think I’ve spotted
a point on the crank which is channelling water
directly into the bottom bracket. So I’m gonna blast there as much as I can. If anyone ever did this to
their bike to try and clean it I’d be questioning their sanity. (yelling) (sighing) Two minutes. Well I don’t know about the bottom bracket but I got wet that time. There’s water ingress. (laughing) Three minutes and 25 seconds and we have some water ingress inside the first seal so let’s see how are our bearings looking inside? To be honest with you that’s
not looking too bad is it? It’s hardly like the grease
has been jetwashed out of it but we are starting to get a
little bit coming in there. Three minutes and 25 seconds. So what does this all mean then? Well, I’m gonna leave you
to draw your own conclusions actually because I know that
for some of you who live and ride in really dry areas that actually the idea of even getting your bike wet is completely alien to
you and so this I assume was probably really quite terrifying. For those of us in
temperate climates though it probably doesn’t seem so bad. And for me personally, it
actually doesn’t really change anything because
I was always quite happy with the idea of occasionally jetwashing really filthy bikes, always
trying to steer clear of delicate bearings. Although I suppose it does give me a little bit more confidence that actually what I’m doing isn’t too bad. Although let’s bear in
mind that this is just a bottom bracket bearing
and actually your headset is probably slightly more delicate and I’ve got no idea
about your jockey wheels. Hopefully though what it will do is if you’re one of those people that thinks that you cannot jetwash your bike, it might give you pause for thought. Clearly it hasn’t just disintegrated in front of our very eyes. Hopefully though once you’ve
had a think you will then get involved in the
comments section down below. Should you jetwash your bike clean? It’s a tough one that one? Anyway, before you do head
down there please make sure you subscribe to GCN. It’s very simple, just click
on the globe and then it’s done and then if you’re after some more content clearly it’s gonna be
bike washing content, up there is how you
can clean a filthy bike without a jetwash and down
there is how a pro mechanic cleans a bike with a jetwash.