Cleaning my Bicycles

Particularly with winter coming up keeping my bikes clean is becoming more important and hence I service and clean my bikes every 500 km during winter and spring and every 1,000 km during summer and autumn.

My approach to cleaning my bikes is modelled on the process described in the Park Tool’s Big Blue Book of Bicycle Repair and the steps I take are as follows:

  1. Clean seat tube and clamp on my repair stand before mounting the bike in the stand;
  2. Apply Australian Export degreaser to the front and rear derailleurs and rear cluster;
  3. Clean the chain using my Park’s Tool CM-5 Cyclone Chain Scrubber and Australian Export degreaser.  I generally run the chain through three to four flushes of degreaser with each flush being approximately 30 revolutions of the pedals.;
  4. Once I have completed the flushes of degreaser I then run the chain through two to four flushes of water to remove the degreaser.
  5. Once I have finished the chain, I gently hose down/scrub the rear cluster and crankset.  At this point the chain and clusters/chainset should be nice and clean.
  6. After cleaning the drive train I move on to the bike itself.  This involves simply cleaning the bike with bucket of hot water and Nu Finish Car Wash with Pure Orange Oil. I have tried the Johnson’s Baby Wipes idea but found it wasteful and really no better than a good old bucket of hot water and car wash.  I also find a set of brushes such as the Park Tools BCB-4 Bike Cleaning Brush Set handy.
  7. Finally I rinse off and dry the bike and then lube all the moving parts (shifters, pedals, brake callipers, derailleur’s etc) with WD 40 and/or Rock “N” Roll Gold chain lube.

If you have any suggestions or hints for bike cleaning please leave a comment below.


  1. MAINTENANCE – Standard Bicycle Service | Aushiker: Bicycling & Hiking in Western Australia - February 3, 2011

    […] Clean the bike with Nu Finish Car wash with pure orange oil. I use this opportunity to check over the frame for any signs of damage or other issues. […]

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