So I probably should’ve done this straight away after the Kentish Killer, but I just didn’t have it in me. But today I bit the bullet and decided to clean the bike (2017 Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1), and it needed it!
There are so many guides out there on how to clean your bike, but I’ve always found the method below to be the best trade-off between cleaning the bike and not wasting a whole afternoon cleaning the bike. Occasionally you find yourself with a free day and that’s when you go the whole hog and clean everything to the nth degree, but this method really does the trick for getting things looking good and moving and working nicely again in a sensible amount of time.
First step is to dampen the crusted on dirt with a thorough soaking of water. You can maybe skip this part if you’ve been enthusiastic and tackled the job immediately post-ride. Once that’s done, apply a citrus degreaser to the chain, cassette, derailleurs and chainrings and a decent spray-on bike cleaner to the rest of the bike.
Leave it all to soak for a couple of minutes then get a cloth and bucket of hot water with some car shampoo in it (don’t use fairy liquid as it’s full of salt) and work your way from the handlebars diagonally down to the rear axle. When it comes to the chainset, use an old toothbrush and a separate rag to clean all the nastiness off. Second step done.
Part three is to take the wheels off and turn the bike upside down (rest the shifters on the grass to stop them getting damaged). Reapply the degreaser if you think you need to and then go over all the bits you couldn’t reach when the wheels were on. Pay special attention to the brakes and get a toothbrush on the pads to dislodge any grit. Do the wheels separately too whilst they’re off the bike, making sure you clean the tyres, spokes and hubs as well as the rims.
Step four is easy, just put the wheels back on and rinse the bike thoroughly (spare your bearings and don’t use a high pressured spray). Get a tea towel and dry off the frame and wheels, then run the chain through a towel to dry that off too.
The final step five is to re-lubricate the drivetrain and you’re all done!
All sorted and ready to help me get ready for the Hayward’s Heath Howler on 19 March..!