6 steps for cleaning your road bike post-ride

Essential post-ride cleaning routine tips

Keep your bike in prime condition with this essential post-ride cleaning routine. Sebastian Nittke — team mechanic with the Canyon//SRAM UCI Women’s WorldTour pro team — explains more.


1. First check

Check over the bike
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If we are at a race, then we’ll clean the riders’ bikes every day. When we’re training at home it’s important to still carry out small bike checks and decide if it’s time to do a full bike clean or not.

2. Wipe away

Use a clean, wet towel
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After your ride, use a wet towel to wipe away sweat from the top tube, as well as any residue of sports drinks that run down the tubes from your bidons. If your bike is not obviously dirty then check your chain.

3. Chain condition

Check your chain
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A quick chain check will tell you if it’s time for a big bike wash. Take one chain link with two fingers and move it back and forth. If you hear a sandy, scraping noise it’s definitely time for a full clean.

4. Wash cycle

Soap, water and chain cleaning fluid
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Wipe your bike down with soap and water, rinse, then dry with a towel. Next concentrate on your drivetrain. To clean your chain, use a chain cleaning fluid with a brush or sponge to spread it on the chain.

5. Extra attention

Don’t forget to check the chainrings, pulleys and cassette too
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Don’t forget that your chain will have deposited muck onto the other moving parts, so you will need to pay as much attention to your chainrings, pulleys and cassette as to the chain itself.

6. Dry and lube

Take care of your chain
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Dry everything thoroughly and put a good bike lube onto the chain system to avoid rust, then shift through all the gears once. After riding in wet conditions you will need to dry and lube every time.