January 16 2023
So, you’ve got your brand-new Saracen and taken it out for a ride, covering it in mud and returning home for a well-earned tea and cake. But what about the bike?
Well, that’s going to need cleaning and checking over before your next ride.
The simplest and cheapest way to wash your bike is with a garden hose and a bucket of warm water, plus a sponge and some brushes. Lean it (carefully) up against a wall and go to town, then dry it off with an old towel.
While this method will get the job done, there are also some great products that will produce a far better clean and make your life far easier in the process.
First on the list is a quality degreaser and set of brushes. Spray this onto your drivetrain and watch the grime disintegrate away.
Next is a dedicated bike washing shampoo. This will keep your paintwork in top condition and make light work of cleaning any filth.
Once the bike is dry, a spray of showroom polish on the paintwork and some disc brake cleaner on the rotors are the finishing touches to a professional wash.
If you really love washing and working on your bike, investing in a workstand is a real luxury but will securely hold the bike in place – especially with the wheels out – and allow you to reach all those tricky areas.
Once the bike is clean, you’ll want to lubricate the moving parts – and the most important of them all is the chain.
With the entire drivetrain clean and dry, apply one drop of lube to each roller of the chain.
Once complete, run the bike through the gears so the lube can work into the rollers and lightly wipe any excess off the chain with a clean rag.
With the bike clean, dry and lubricated, it’s now time to perform a detailed check.
Run through the gears and check they are all working smoothly. Check the brake pads and rotors for wear or damage – the same goes for your wheels and tyres. Run a torque wrench over every bolt on the bike – including the suspension linkages.
And finally, if you’ve got an E-bike, now’s the time to charge it!
Before you head out on your next ride, it’s a good idea to do a quick check over of everything. Start by checking the tyre pressures, then pull the brakes, cycle the suspension and spin the wheels.
It’s also a good idea to run a torque wrench over the essential bolts – stem, seatpost, saddle, cranks etc. followed by a quick check that your wheel axles are tight.
Notice anything weird or loose? Great! It’s better to know now, than find out halfway down the first descent.
Hopefully there’s nothing wrong and you can enjoy your ride.
This short-term maintenance is great for keeping the bike in great shape but in the medium to long term things are going to wear out and need replacing.
First things to look out for will be worn or damaged tyres and brake pads. The condition of your chain can be checked with a chain-checker.
You’ll also want to service your suspension and dropper post in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations, as well as your frame bearings.
If your bike needs professional attention, we’d always recommend taking it to your local Shimano Service Centre, where their trained mechanics can get your bike back to its best again.