In this section of the CoBR Maintenance Guide we show you how to construct a simple preventative maintenance (PM) routine that will not only save you money but also make your cycling even more enjoyable. Let's start with the basics.
Keep your bike clean
All bikes are a collection of moving parts and when these come into contact with mud and grime performance of most components is adversely affected and wear and tear is inevitable.
Few cyclists wash their bikes after every ride. But a regular schedule of frequent, simple cleaning (once a month, once a week or more depending upon the kinds of riding you're into) is important.
There's more to cleaning your bike than just hosing it down from time to time and leaving it to dry. Water (especially from a high-pressure hose) can cause damage to bearing systems throughout your bike. So if you do wash, do so carefully.
Washing Your Bike
Every bike should be washed at least every 2-3 months. Your bike should also be washed after really dirty rides. Washing your bike is easy and does not take that much time.
What you need
A car wash brush is ideal plus a bottlebrush and toothbrush for those fiddly places.
Bike wash or wash and wax shampoo
Using the car wash brush or a sponge, wash down the entire bike.
Give the bike a second wash. This will allow you to find the spots where the dirt is especially tough and didn't come off in the first wash. Use the bottlebrush to remove dirt from the tight places the sponge or car brush couldn't fit. If you come across areas where there is perhaps a build up of oil or grease, use the toothbrush and some degreaser.
Rinse off your bike and allow to dry. Then lubricate most moving parts and where cables enter cable outers etc. See later for a proper lube routine.
Notes of caution
Avoid washing your bike in the sun because the heat will dry the frame before you're ready to rinse it.
If you must pressure wash your bike, watch those bearings, the pressure can force the water where you don't want it to go.