Road Bike Maintenance

Bike cleaning tips for beginners

Whether you ride your bike to commute to work, as a means of exercise, or just for the sheer pleasure of cycling, one of the best ways to get the most from your bike is to ensure that it’s clean and ready for action.

A good clean every week or so is all you’ll need to do, so don’t let a mucky frame or a squeaking chain hold you back or cost you unnecessary expenses in repairs. Follow bike cleaning brand Purple Harry’s top tips on how to keep your bike clean and in working order.

  • Give your bike an all over rinse before getting any products involved. A good old rinse will loosen any debris and grit, but keep the pressure setting low to avoid washing away the lubricants your bike needs to keep running smoothly.
Once you’ve sprayed cleaner and degreaser on the bike, leave for 5 minutes before you wash off
  • Use a cleaner and degreaser product on the frame, chain, gears and cogs. Allow the degreaser to sink in for about five minutes, after which any worn-in grease will be eased off.
Like tooth floss but for your bike
  • The drivetrain areas (chain, chainrings, cassettes and derailleurs) are notorious for getting clogged up with grease and grit, especially if it‘s wet, so it is important to try and remove all the dirt. Purple Harry produce some clever products to clean these hard-to-reach areas, such as Purple Harry’s ‘lobster claw’ shaped Wash and Polish Mitt and Purple Harry’s Bike Floss.
The ‘lobster claw’ helps you get in those nooks and crannies
  • Give the bike another rinse to wash away any excess degreaser.
  • Post rinse you need to ensure the bike is as dry as possible as water is one of the biggest enemies for rust.
Prevent rust, ensure all water is extracted from mechanical components
  • After wiping down, spray mechanical components (drivetrain, bottom bracket for example) with a dewatering and protecting spray which will displace remaining water and add a light layer of protection to deter rust and corrosion. It is important to avoid all braking areas, as the spray will act as a lube diminishing the power of your brakes.
Never leave your chain untreated after a wash, give it a good lube
  • Lube up. With the drivetrain cleaned and degreased, you will need to re-apply some lubricant. Use wet lube in the winter and dry lube in the summer as a general rule of thumb. A good tip is to put a small amount of lubricant on each chain link and then take your bike for a quick ride up and down the road being sure to go up and down the gears a few times to spread the lubricant.
  • Last but not least it’s a good idea to protect a painted or lacquered frame of any material with a polish such as Purple Harry’s Bike Polish and Frame Protector. This adds a protective layer with its silicone and wax combination to combat corrosive effects of sweat and moisture, plus makes it much easier to clean next time round. And it will gleam as well!

Purple Harry offers a complete range of innovative bike cleaning products from Maintenance Spray to the unique Wash & Bike Polish Mitts. For the full range and further information go to

They’ve also kindly provided us with a competition giveaway, so if you’re in the mood to get cleaning – enter for a chance to win a complete bike cleaning kit courtesy of Purple Harry.

Headline image courtesy of lmpicard via Flickr


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