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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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 David Caudery / Immediate Media
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.