A Clean Bike is a Happy Bike

By: Dan Crean and Double Shot Cyclery

How to Wash and Clean Your Two-Wheeled Friend

Bike wash brushes.

A good bike wash starts with the proper tools. A set of brushes will help reach into all the nooks and crannies that bikes have to offer. Be sure to have a specific brush that you ONLY use on the drivetrain. (Pictured far right). Good ole’ Dawn works best for scrubbing the bike down and a good quality degreaser (I like Pedro’s Oranj Peelz) is used for the drivetrain.

Start by spraying down your bike

Start with getting the drivetrain wet and rinsing off any of the larger clumps of mud.

Cleaning the drivetrain on your mountain bike

Using your drivetrain brush and degreaser, start scrubbing (just like brushing your teeth) the cassette, chain and chainrings.

Don’t forget to shift the chain and clean the cog that is underneath the chain.

rinsing off your mountain bike drivetrain

Rinse the drivetrain off being sure to rinse the grease off of your frame and wheels.

Scrubbing the bike with soap and water

Now start washing with your bucket of soapy water. Don’t forget the nooks and crannies. The goal is to get the mud and dust off of everything. Focus on tires, seals, and those “hard to reach” spots.

sponging down the frame.

Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Use a combo of sponges, and brushes to get everything clean. Don’t forget the pedals and cockpit area.

Scrubbing a mountain bike shock

More gratuitous scrubbing action.

Now rinse! Be sure not to use too high of pressure (No Car Wash allowed). The key word here is RINSE!

Now the real cleaning begins!

waxing up the frame

This is where the detailing happens. Get a clean rag and spray with a protecting cleaner (I like Pedro’s Bike Lust).

Detail everything* with Bike Lust.

*Except your saddle and your braking surface (Rotors/Pads/rim brake rims).Trust me, these are not surfaces you want waxed.

Detailing the spokes with waxEverything.

Remove your wheels so you can get at everything.Remove wheels to allow you to get into everything.

Now, go ride!

Dan Crean is the owner of Double Shot Cyclery in Gunnison, quite possibly the world’s only joint coffee and bike shop. Before that he was a mechanic for events like the Tour de France, the US Pro Cycling Challenge, and a few mountain bike world cup events. In summary: he knows his stuff. Follow Double Shot on Facebook for a fun local bike feed.

Photos for this post were provided by Dave Kozlowski Photography. You can pick up prints and notecards with Dave’s fantastic photography, both bike shots and scenics, at Double Shot.



Great tips for a sparkling ride! At what point would you lube the drivetrain, pedals, etc – before or after the lust/wax?

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Great question, @dmunkco! I took it to the man himself and here is what he says:
“After all is said and done is the best time to lube. One drop per link is ideal.
– Dan”

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