A Step-by-Step Guide On How to clean a mountain bike

How to Clean a Mountain Bike

A dirty mountain bike is a symbol of hills conquered, terrains explored and simply distances covered. A dirty mountain bike is a true symbol of the spirit of the rider. However, it is important to regularly clean your mountain bike to ensure its functionality is top notch. Accumulated dirt can clog up chains and wheels limiting the performance of your bike. Here is how to clean you mountain bike.

Step 1:Find a Place to Do the Cleaning

This may sound obvious for homeowners who have ample space to clean their bike. For them all they need is to haul the garden hose and give the bike a wash. However, for someone living in an apartment they will have to plan for their wash as getting a hose or space is not obvious. You could utilize the bike washstands located at the end of biking trails or at a local bike shop.

Step 2: Collect the Necessary Tools

Gather the necessary tools for the job. These include:

  • A bike stand
  • Soap
  • A bucket of water or hose pipe
  • Sponge
  • A big brush
  • Medium brush
  • Small brush
  • Bike lube
  • Disc brake cleaner spray
  • Bike polish

Step 3: Wash the Bike

Here is how to wash a mountain bike.

Pour water from a bucket or hose on the bike to remove dust and loose debris. A regular hose should work but if you want extra pressure use a high-pressure hose. When using a high-pressure hose stand a distance away from the bike because the pressure could damage it.

If there is mud dried on the bike, wet the bike and-leave it to stand for a while and allow the mud to loosen. Use the big brush to scrub off dirt from the frame and the wheels. Use the medium sized brush to clean the rims and pedals and the small brush on the chain and cassette. Remember you can use soap to help with removing dirt and grease from the bike.

The chain, derailleurs and cassette are abit delicate to clean than the bigger parts of the bike. Take your time to clean them carefully.

Use the bike cleaner to remove the grease and oil that build up in the drive-train. Be careful not to use the bike cleaner on the brakes as it could cause it to wear off. Once done, rinse the bike with clean water to remove sap and any remaining debris.

Step 4: Let the Bike Dry

Once you are done cleaning, leave the bike to dry. You can move the bike side to side to allow the excess water to drip off so that it dries faster. Use the sponge to dry out the excess water too.

The chains and the entire drivetrain parts can take longer to dry than the wheels, rimes and the frame. Ensure that all parts dry completely.

Step 5: Apply Bike Lube on the Suspension

Once the bike has dried up well, take out your bike lube and apply it on the front and rear suspension. Take care to prevent the lube from dripping to the brakes. Pump the suspension afew times to ensure that there is enough lube. Wipe off the excess grease that emerges. The excess grease if not wiped traps more dust before the next wash.

Now, lubricate the entire drivetrain. Back the pedals anticlockwise to rid the drivetrain of any water. If there is some water remaining use the sponge or a cloth to dry it. Apply lube on the chain as you run the chain back and as you look out for excess grease to wipe it off.

Keep in mind that no lube should go to the brakes. Finish off by oiling the pivot point on each derailleur. Also, apply grease on the pedal joints, seat post joint and anywhere else that metal makes contact with metal.

Step 6: Apply Disc Break Cleaner on the Disc Breaks

The disc brake should only be cleaned with the disc break cleaner. It is crucial to avoid using any other cleaning products on the brakes. Spray the disc brake cleaner evenly on all the parts of the disc brake, leave it for about 30 seconds and wipe it off. If you do not have a disc brake cleaner cleaning with just a bit of water and leaving them to dry will be sufficient.

Step 7: Spray the Bike with Bike Polish

This step is not mandatory. However, if you have some bike polish you can spray some on the frame to give your bike a shiny look.


Now, you know how to clean a mountain bike. Remember never use cleaning products on the brakes.Cleaning the bike is not a tasking process and it gets easier every time. Do not be afraid to get you mountain bike muddy and dirty, it is easy to clean it up. Happy riding!

Casey Ames

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