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Everything You Need to Know About Basic Cleaning and Maintenance 

A clean bike is most definitely a happy bike! Keeping your bike clean not only makes the ride much more smooth, but it also helps prolong the life of wear-and-tear parts, such as the chain, cassette, and more. The following breaks down the cleaning basics of bike maintenance to help your steed running smoothly for many miles to come! 

"How often should I clean my bike?"

While the answer to this question is broad, as it depends on where the bike is ridden and through what conditions. A clean bike is truly a happy bike. As a general rule of thumb, if you get back from a ride and your bike is muddy and is gritty are good grounds to clean it. By removing the mud and grit from the bike, especially from the drivetrain, prevents pre-mature excessive wear-and-tear. Similar to how you may find smooth pieces of ocean glass along a beach, grit does the same thing to your drivetrain and wears down at the outer surface of parts (this can typically result in a noisy drivetrain, your chain dropping, and skipping of gears). 

"How should I clean my bike and with what products?"

Targeted Part(s)How to Apply the Product:Product
  • The chain and cassette 
  • Simply follow the instructions provided by placing the highlighted amount of cleaning solution in to the handheld-chain cleaner. Once done, carefully snap the device over the chain and proceed to spin the drivetrain. 
  • The brush and pick are handy to get stubborn grit and grease out of the cassette, chain, and jockey wheels.
  • The cassette
  • If you find the cassette is quite greasy and gritty, sometimes it is easier to remove the cassette to clean the cogs more thoroughly. To do this, you need either a chain-whip and cassette lock ring tool (for freehub wheels) or a freewheel removal tool. 
  • The frame, wheels, drivetrain 
  • This product is a good all-around cleaner that can effectively and efficiently remove grit and grime from your bike. It comes with a handy spray applicator which can be applied directly onto the bike or onto a micro-fiber or lint free cloth. 
  • The chain 
  • To ensure your bike is running smoothly requires a well lubricated drivetrain. There are a few different types of chain lube that's available, each corresponding to preforming well within certain conditions and environments. For example, dry lube is most commonly used on road bikes and performs optimally in dry conditions. In contrast, wet lube is used more commonly on mountain bikes, cross bikes, and hybrid bikes as it performs optimally in wet and adverse weather conditions. 

"How can I tell that my drivetrain is wearing down?"

This can be quickly determined by using a "chain wear indicator". Over time, your chain "stretches" which can lead to the premature wearing down of your cassette and chain ring teeth. There will typically be two measurements provided when using a wear indicator which will tell you if your chain is around half worn or if it is well over 3/4 worn down. Around the halfway mark, it  useful to swap out your chain to prevent excessive wear on the remainder of the drivetrain. However, by the time the chain is worn to the 3/4 mark can indicate potential drivetrain wear beyond the chain that could possibly require the replacement of your cassette and chainrings.