Jun 24, 2014

Bike Washing Tricks

As a professional cyclist I am fortunate to have a team mechanic (Vincent) to take care of my Felt F1 road bikes and Felt DA2 time trial bikes.  He washes them, tunes them, repairs them, and sets them up with the equipment I need (like specific SRAM cassettes or ZIPP wheels, for example)

Vincent doesn't travel to Montréal to give TLC to my training bikes (which are identical in set-up to my race bikes).  I have to find ways to get the job done on my own.  (Teamwork is a great thing; when you find yourself all alone, it sure pays to know how to be self sufficient.)  I can fix a lot of things and tune a bike pretty well, but I'm lucky to have generous expert help from  Martin Rooseboom Vélos in Hochelaga, and Cycles Néron help me with tuning and parts when I need it.
Sporting the Martin Rooseboom Vélo (Hochelaga, Montréal) colours!  Photo credit: Justin Knotzke
One thing I do on my own all of the time is WASHING my bike.  It's not "pro" to ride around on a dirty machine, it's not good for the bike, and it's not good for... the soul.  It may seem simple and mundane, but with a few little tricks, I've found ways to get the job done fast and efficiently.

1. Rinse the bike with a hose, starting from the TOP, front end, finishing at the bottom rear end.  Top to bottom..it's important.

2. Brush out the drive train and cassette with a stiff brislted paintbrush and harsh degreaser...  Then rinse with water

3.  I picked up a brush made for detailing car wheels at a hardware store.  It's big, soft, and holds a lot of suds and water.  I use car soap or dish soap to wash down the frame and wheels.  TOP to BOTTOM.

4.  Rinse the soap away, (top to bottom!) and let the frame dry

(If the bike isn't too grimy I get away with leaving the wheels on, and can finish in a few minutes.  In other cases, I take them off to make sure to reach into the upper inside of the fork and the rear side of the seat tube.)  Don't forget to re-lube the chain with a light, dry, chain oil.

Keep your bikes clean ;).