Friday, June 1, 2012

Clean Bike - Happy Bike - Fast Bike

Tomorrow is race day!  The Heatwave Triathlon in Jackson, MS.  Part of my typical pre-race prep is to clean my bike.  Having to overcome wind and hills is bad enough let alone the built up grime and dirt on your bike's drive train.

My typical bike cleaning only takes about 30 minutes.  First gather up the necessary equipment, in my case Simple Green, Squirt Chain Lube, some Teflon Bike Polish, a soft detail brush and my trusty Spin Doctor brush.

Dirty Bike

I learned about using Simple Green from my bike shop in Dallas, it's what they use to clean cassettes etc.  I like that its biodegradable and I can let it rinse into the grass.  It also does a fantastic job!  My bike shop in North Carolina says "no no" to it, they say it's bad for the bike over time.  It just works so much better than the citrus cleaners for me.


I spray down my entire bike with the Simple Green, giving the cassette and chain a little extra and let it sit for a few minutes.  The soft detail brush (stolen from my husband's car washing bucket) works great for cleaning the frame and wheels.  Then after a few more sprays of SG on the drive train I go to work on it with the little Spin Doctor brush.  It's designed to get in between the cogs of the cassette nicely.  I used to use a toothbrush, trust me this does much better, worth the $5 investment. 

Then on to the rinse, be careful to use gentle water, and don't spray the bottom bracket or the wheel hubs.  Yeah.. they're typically sealed bearings, but why chance it.
Then dry your bike with a soft cloth and make sure you get everything dry, especially the drive train.  I usually do this in the sun and allow solar power to help in do the work.  


After my bike is nice and dry it's time to give it some polish.  I just happen to have some Teflon Bike Polish but furniture polish works just as well. 

My 155 BMX cranks recommended by John Cobb!

I use Squirt Dry Lube, this WAS recommended by my bike shop in North Carolina (Hawley's Bicycle World where I used to work!)  LOVE LOVE LOVE this stuff.  I think I'll try to get the local bike shop (Hattiesburg Bicycle Center) to stock it!   I like to have a starting point so I always start at the chain coupler and work back as you turn the cranks backwards. That way I make sure to cover the entire chain. Run a little bead of lube along the inside of your chain.   Let it dry and voila it's done! 

Here is my bike ready for my race tomorrow!  Happy and clean and ready to go!

And yes, my Aquaphor Teammates that is an AQUAPHOR WATER BOTTLE!!!  Jealous??