When you wash your bike, always remember to inspect the tires for wear and tear.
Bent rims can create small pinches that grow over time if tires aren’t properly inflated, so be sure to inflate your tires to recommended levels.
1. Cleaning your bike
Start cleaning by knocking off any visible dirt with a stiff-bristled brush.
Then use a garden hose on low pressure to rinse your bike.
You want the water to trickle out rather than spray with force, because water under pressure can force grime into the chain and other moving parts.
For the same reason, never use a power washer or put your bike through a car wash.
2. Degrease the drive train
The hardest bike parts to keep clean are the chain and other parts of the drive train-the pedals, derailleur, rear hub, and such-so tackle them first.
Protect your hands with work gloves.
Then apply a degreaser to a soft cloth and clean the chain a few links at a time, moving the pedals forward as you work.
Once you’ve cleaned the entire chain, carefully remove it from the chain ring (also called the chain wheel)-the metal wheel with pointed teeth that keeps the chain in place.
Using a small screwdriver, carefully remove any caked-on gunk caught between the teeth.
Then slip a cloth between them, rubbing it back and forth as if you were flossing your teeth.
3. Now wash the entire bike
Use a big sponge and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of dishwashing liquid mixed in a bucket of warm water.
Don’t forget the seat and its underpinnings, handlebars, and handgrips, and be sure not to miss the brake levers and under the fork that connects the handlebars to the frame.
Wash the wheel rims and tires.
Gently soap the drive train to remove any residue from the degreaser.
Rinse the bike completely with a garden hose, then ride it in the work stand to slough off excess water.
Towel off the bike and ride it a few blocks to shake off more water.
Then towel it off again completely.