How To Clean Your Mountain Bike | Living In An Apartment


– [Henry] There are few things quite as fun for me, personally, than going out into the woods, getting me and my bike in the right state. But sadly, at some point, you’ve got to deal with the consequences. Some people can lock it
away in their garage, let it fester and not have to worry, others store their bike inside
their house or apartment. So today we’re gonna look at the best ways to keep your bike running clean and make your life easier
and not bring the outside in. (jazzy interlude) So you’ve had a great day’s riding. Time of your life, even. Now, I love living in
the southwest of the UK where temperatures can reach
a staggering 12 degrees, even in the height of summer, but we do only get about 73
seconds of sunshine a year, which gives local inhabitants
a strange vampiric quality. This comes with a major pitfall: no matter when you get go riding, there will always be puddles. Now, you can lock your bike away, maybe in your garage or
shed, let it rot and fester and it can be tomorrow’s problem. But what if you store your bike indoors and you don’t have access to a hose? Or, perhaps maybe it
is a security concern. You do have bike storage, but you’re worried about
it, understandably, and you want to bring it into the safety of your
own home every night. Now that’s something I
can definitely sympathise. But it doesn’t matter of your reasons if you bring your bike inside
at night or after a ride, then this is the guide for you. Now, personally speaking, I’m somebody that likes to
take just an extra ten minutes to hose down my bike at the end of a ride when it’s all wet and
the mud comes off easily rather than let it dry, because
this sort of dry, dusty mud is your enemy when
you’re bringing it inside cause it just seems to get everywhere. Now, luckily enough for us, some of my colleagues at GMBN aren’t of quite the same persuasion, so we do have plenty of bikes to show and clean in this tutorial. So there are no excuses for this one. How hard is it to leave one of these in the back of your car, or within arm’s reach of your back door? So, as a general rule of
thumb, one bucket is good, but two buckets is best. There’s often water access at
the trail head, but if not, for that very reason, I take
one of these with me riding. Well, I say riding, it
lives in the back of my van. I like to use one bucket for clean water, and one bucket for the dirty stuff, and you can also pretty much, pretty basic but quite efficient way to spray wet and loose
mud straight off the bike before you’ve even
touched it with the brush. To save you spraying
wash all over your bike, I actually like to just get the brush wet, crack off the excess water, and a couple of sprays
on the brush itself. It seems to actually be
a quick and efficient way to go over the whole bike with
some bike specific cleaner. So now we just go to the
bucket with the clean water so I can rinse the bike
off nice and quickly, and I’m not bringing the
mud back onto the bike. Now, this isn’t about getting
a showroom quality clean, but rather, getting all the
loose mud so it’s off the bike, so when you bring it inside, it’s not going to annoy
whoever you live with or just kind of right
off your carpet, really. Now, tyres particularly are something you really want to clean when they’re wet. If you can just blast them even with a water bottle
while they’re wet, even if that’s the only
bit of the bike you do, you’ll be thankful for it later. The slightly more premium
option is using one of these, it’s kind of a drill-cum-pressure wash, and yet it uses surprisingly little water and is a very efficient way just to blast the mud off
your bike there and then. It’s battery powered,
and the added benefit is you feel a bit like
Daniel Craig in James Bond. Rumour has it, in the new movie, they actually have quite
a long sequence of him hosing down his door’s galaxy. (raspy voice) You killed my brother! Do do do do do do! (gunshots) A pressure washer could potentially be too powerful for your bike, and it can kind of overpower the bearings and blast out all the
grease that’s in there. So, this one isn’t very powerful anyway, and as you can see, it’s got
some different settings to use if you wanted to. Using it with the soap
attachment actually means it uses the wash really quite sparingly, and I think it’s probably more efficient than mixing up a load or
spraying all over your bike. But yeah, be careful with the jet washes. If it’s one that comes off the mains, it’s probably going to be pretty powerful. I think perhaps the natural progression from the small jet washer is to a big one. Now, a lot of petrol stations, you do have the option to
kind of pay as you play and use what is a very powerful jet wash. Personally, I don’t really like it, I think it is too powerful, but I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t gotten
me out of jail before, or perhaps spending the
evening at a friend’s house, and I can’t turn up with
a muddy bike, can I? If you’re sensible with
it, it’s not too bad, and some people just take the hit and accept they’re gonna
wear out parts quicker such as bearings. You can, if you’re smart, clean your bike really efficiently, especially the tyres and the wheels, and just keep that beam away from the pivots and bearings. Sometimes the detergent
available at these places isn’t ideal for brakes, so
just be careful of that one. That’s why a bike-specific
cleaner is so useful. So, you’ve got home, your
post-ride ritual of a cup of tea, and maybe slotting on
some Crocs is complete, and you’re ready to relax. Now, if you have time, or if it’s something that worries you, maybe if you’ve got,
you know, cream carpets, then muck from your drivetrain
can really affect things. So it can be a good option
to go sparingly on wet lube, because the crud can generate, and when that’s kind
of ground into a paste on your jockey wheels, you know, that’s really worth watching out for. You also find that if you
do get your bike really wet and you do blast off any
lubricant off the chain, and it’s running, it’s just
going to dry after being wet, and giving it a quick spray
of some water displacement, i.e. WD-40, always goes down well. Now as you can see, we
have bought some tarp, which we’ve just laid down on the floor, that’s it actually folded
up to quite an extent. It can go massive if you
have to work on your bike, it’s a really good option, and it also means you can fold
it back in with all the dirt, and then maybe go shake it outside. When we cleaned the bike, it wasn’t about getting it showroom clean, but there’s certainly no loose mud on it, and it maybe took a handful
of minutes to do it like that. Another very useful thing you can get from a home supply store is one of those big flexible buckets, which can basically be a depot for all your mucky kit after a ride. It also doubles up the before, and if you get really
really muddy like this is, you can basically give your
clothes a rinse in there by just adding a bit of water before putting them in
the washing machine. This can save the poor person using the washing machine after you excavating literally kilogrammes
of mud out of the machine. Once your bike is clean, it’s also a really good
time to maybe prepare it to stop it getting in
such a state next time. Something like duct tape
is actually very useful, and you can apply it
behind your fork crowns, and it stops mud filling in that area. This is really really easy to do when you’re doing a lower leg service, so it’s something to watch out for. If your frame has lots of
kind of crevices and bulges where dirt can get trapped, you can get this thing which
is like a low density foam called Motofoam, which
you can cut to shape. Some bikes, such common styles, even come with it as
standard now, it’s so useful and just stops mud building
up in those swells. In terms of preparing the frame itself, you can get various
polishes, silicone sprays, that sort of thing. I’m actually a bit old school in that I like to just use WD-40, simply because it does
leave like an oily film over the frame, and
then when the detergent, you wipe it down with the spray, that’s actually what lifts off, and the whole, all the mud
just seems to float off it. So that’s my personal weapon of choice, but I understand a lot of people do like to use a silicon spray
or something else perhaps. Whenever you’re applying something that comes in an aerosol
form to your bike, be really careful it doesn’t
contaminate your brakes, so you spray it to the rag,
and then take it to the bike. This old rag is actually
one of my old shirts, and I don’t know quite
what I was thinking, but it certainly does a job now. So that’s a nice and
easy-peasy lemon squeezy way to look after your bike
and store it inside. Now if you want to see some
more maintenance tomfoolery, and tomfoolery probably is the word, you can check out this
video I did last week explaining some pretty
unconventional multitool hacks, and there’s probably a few
surprises in there for everyone. If you want to see something
a bit more refined, elegant, sophisticated, all words
of course synonymous with our very own Andrew Dodd, you can check out his bike check on Martin’s ultra-cool prototype tandem.

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