Cleaning the parts of your mountain bike and keeping the mountain bike itself clean is an important part of mountain biking. It is essential for the life of the parts that you check and clean them regularly or even after every ride. This is even more important in the winter months and when there is a lot of mud, wetness and ooze in the forests.
Cleaning your mountain bike doesn’t have to be a tedious job and it doesn’t have to take long at all. In fifteen minutes your mountain bike can be roadworthy again for the next adventure! In this article we tell you how we clean our mountain bikes.
Of course this is just one of so many ways and maybe we do it differently than someone else but it has worked well for us this way for years. Whether you adopt our working method, wholly, partially or not at all, is of course entirely up to you.
Preparation for you begin to clean
Before you start brushing, keep everything you need close at hand. You can lose a lot of time if you have to look for extra things while cleaning your mountain bike or if you don’t have it within reach.
Cleaning mountain bike; what do you need for that?
What exactly do you need to clean your mountain bike? We like to make it as easy as possible for ourselves. Only in this way will cleaning your mountain bike become a really quick job that is also very solid. You don’t want to spend too long in the cold air, especially in harsh and cold conditions.
We use the following items to clean our mountain bikes:
Bike repair stand
This is really a no-brainer if you really want to be able to clean all the spots on your mountain bike. A bike repair stand ensures that you ALWAYS have both hands free so that cleaning your mountain bike will immediately go twice as fast.
In addition, you can often even rotate the better bike stands 360°. This prevents the legs of the bike stand from getting in the way.
We have been using a bike stand for years, after we found out that cleaning the mountain bike by resting or even holding the bike is not practical at all.
You will of course need a garden hose to rinse the dirt and soap (see below) from your mountain bike. Everyone has a garden hose at home as standard. What is very practical is a garden hose that has a permanent place and is mounted on a reel and/or on the wall. This way you can save some time again
Muc-Off bike cleaner
One of the reasons we use Muc-Off bike cleaner is the fact that it is biodegradable. Other products and products that do not have this property cause dead spots in the grass and stains on the vowels. Of course there are other bicycle cleaners that are also biodegradable.
The main reason why we always use Muc-Off is the fact that this product works very well. When you’ve used Muc-off and rinsed the mountain bike, you’ll just see the dirt falling off the bike. A single stubborn spot of dirt is the only thing that sometimes sticks.
In addition, you can also buy Muc-Off in a large bottle or even just buy the concentrate that you have to dilute with water. By buying Muc-Off in larger quantities, you ultimately use much less plastic.
Muc-Off drivetrain cleaner
For the same reason as with the Muc-Off bike Cleaner, we also use the drive train cleaner from this brand. You use the Muc-Off drivetrain cleaner to clean the chain and sprockets.
We use a compressor to dry the mountain bike everywhere after cleaning. With this you can easily dry the places that are difficult to reach with a rag. We use an ordinary compressor from the do-it-yourself store. Our PowerPlus compressor has a maximum pressure of 8 bar, which is more than enough to get our mountain bikes dry again where it is needed.
When the chain is clean and dry again, you have to lubricate it again. We use chain oil for this. There are also other means such as wax. In addition, there is also a distinction between oil/wax for dry (dry) and wet (wet) weather. We use Morgan Blue’s dry lube as standard. It is suitable for cyclocross and mountain bike. We use the dry lube all year round, as we don’t drive excessively in the wet.
To remove stubborn dirt between the cogs of the cassette, we use a cassette brush. This is in most cases the only brush we use. Sometimes we also use a paint brush to apply the drivetrain cleaner.
You can also purchase a multi-part brush set if you also want to clean the other parts of your mountain bike with the help of a brush.
We use the above accessories and products to clean our mountain bikes. We are very pleased with the products, which is why we have been using them for years. Using the above accessories and products, cleaning a mountain bike is never a tedious job for us, it always goes smoothly and quickly and the mountain bikes are always immaculate.
Best way to clean your mountain bike?
Follow these 5 steps and your mountain bike will be mud-free and ready for your next ride in 15 minutes.
Cleaning chain and sprockets
Put a little degreaser in a container and coat your cassette, chain and sprockets with a paint brush.
Put a container or place a mat under the parts you are greasing. This way your floor won’t get dirty or your grass won’t break. Let the degreaser soak in and move on to the next step.
Be sure to check out our article on how to clean and lubricate your chain. In this article we explain this in great detail and you will learn how, with what and when you should clean and lubricate your chain.
Apply Muc-Off bicycle cleaner
Spray your bike completely with Muc-Off bicycle cleaner. You can buy this product in a handy spray can, of which you can close the spray head. You only have to buy this spray can once and can easily refill it.
Muc-Off is THE means to get your bike clean quickly and properly, spray your bike liberally with this product and let it sit for about five minutes. When you spray the bicycle in the next step, you will notice the power of Muc-Off bicycle cleaner.
Hosing down the bike
Take the garden hose with spray nozzle, choose a good jet and spray your bike. I use the hardest jet of the garden hose, it is still less harsh than that of a pressure washer.
Now you are going to see the power of Muc-Off. While you are spraying the bike, you see the dirt falling from your bike. It’s a piece of cake and you don’t need a lot of water at all.
This also works with a soft jet, although it may take you a little longer. Your bike will immediately look clean.
You don’t need brushes or extra sponges. Simply spraying with water is sufficient. If you still have some stubborn dirt on your bike and between your cassette, you can also easily remove it with a brush set.
Dry your mountain bike
I dry in three steps:
- Take an old towel and wipe the bike dry, especially the frame, handlebars and parts that are easy to handle.
- Then you can use your compressor with air gun to blow dry all the hard-to-reach parts. Your cassette, sprockets, brake pads, under your saddle, your front fork and so on. Blow everything dry.
- Then wipe again with a cloth over your entire bike.
The best thing you can do after this is to grab your chain with a cloth and let it go around for a while, so that your chain is definitely dry.
Lubricate with Morgan Blue extra dry lube
After this you can lubricate your chain again so that it is ready for your next ride. For this I use extra dry lube from Morgan Blue. This is a lubricant for the mountain bike or cyclocross.
This extra dry lube protects your chain from dust and mud and applies a protective water and dirt resistant film to your moving parts. This results in less wear, which in turn ensures a longer life for your chain and sprockets.
This oil works best in dry conditions, I use it because I don’t ride in extreme weather too often. If you do, it’s best to use wet lube.
Take a can of oil and drip the oil over the chain while you let the chain go around. Once you’re around, stop and spin your pedals a few times. Then take a cloth and wipe the sides of the chain clean so that there is certainly no more oil on it.
Finally, you can go over your bike again with a cloth. Lubricating your chain and spinning it can cause some spatter to get back on your frame. You can then simply wipe it off with a damp cloth.
Then put your bike away in a room where it is not too cold, so that it can dry even further.
Cleaning your bike in 15 minutes
The cleaning itself takes a maximum of fifteen minutes, especially if you become more handy after a while and know how everything should be done.
When there isn’t that much mud sticking to my bike, I skip step 2 completely and it goes even faster. This way you will get through longer with your bicycle cleaner. Your bike will get dirty again the next ride and the most important thing is still that your rotating parts are clean and free of creaks.
Of course you can make the cleaning as extensive as you want. For example, you can take out your wheels and clean them separately, you can disassemble half of your bicycle every time and clean everything meticulously. If you do that once a year, that’s more than enough.
Wash cycling clothes
If your bike is full of mud, you will probably also be full of mud and come home with dirty cycling clothing. You will have this clean in a jiffy.
If there is really a lot of mud on it, I take the garden hose, which is ready to spray your bike, and I spray the mud off the clothing. If you do this, your washing machine will be incredibly grateful to you.
Wash cycling clothing at 30 degrees Celcius
Then put the clothes in the washing machine with detergent at 30 degrees. Do not use fabric softener for synthetic clothes. When the machine is ready, let the clothes dry on a drying rack.
I also spray my shoes and then clean them with warm water and a shoe brush. Then you can let them dry at room temperature.
Bicycle cleaning tips
There are hundreds of products and tools you can purchase to clean your bike. However, you do not need most of these things or you can easily replace them with an item that you may already have around the house.
The towels I use are old bath towels and kitchen towels that are worn out. The paint brush I used to degrease my chain, I used it to paint parts of my house…. Be a little creative with this.
What you definitely need is a decent bike cleaner and a good lubricant. Muc-Off bicycle cleaner and the extra dry lube from Morgan Blue are top products that every mountain biker and cycling enthusiast should have at home. You save a lot of time and your bike and its parts are always like new.
Do you already have experience with these products or are you going to try them, let me know in a comment at the bottom of the page.