Cleaning your bike isn’t the most fun task, but it can make a huge difference to how long the different components last, and ultimately how easy it is to ride. I will admit I’m not great at looking after mine – when I get back from a wet and muddy cycle, I’m thinking about how to clean and dry myself, and not necessarily my bike!
Still, heading into events season it’s a good idea to give your ride a bit of a spring clean to make sure that it’s running smoothly and won’t let you down come race day. I’m planning on booking mine in for a service as well, just to give it the once over before I tackle the BHF London to Brighton, and RideLondon-Surrey 100 events. I can deal with my legs giving up, but would rather my gears/brakes didn’t!
I’ve always used Muc-Off products to clean my bike, and was really excited to try their amazing ‘Chain Machine’ Chain Cleaner gadget from Cycle Republic last weekend – it makes cleaning your chain so much easier! You simply fill the chamber in the top section with the Drive Train Cleaner, slot your chain into the bottom section, clip the two parts together and then turn the pedals whilst releasing the liquid onto the chain.
The teeth and rotating brush wheels cleaned the chain brilliantly and got rid of all that build-up of dirt and grime – it looked so much shinier afterwards! Even better, all of the dirty fluid gets collected into the lower reservoir so it doesn’t drip all over your sparkling clean chain.
I also used the Muc-Off Bike Cleaner on the rest of my bike – spray on, scrub any stubborn dirt with a sponge and then rinse off – as well changing up my rear brake pads. I picked some up from the Cycle Republic store in Purley on the way back from our ride down to Priory Farm Cafe. I’ve never changed them since buying my bike back in 2013 and they were pretty worn down – you could see the metal showing through!
I’m feeling a lot more confident about the downhills now! The final steps were to spray my bike with the Muc-Off Bike Protect and re-oil the chain with Dry Lube – now it looks just like a shiny brand new bike. I just need to get some new bar tape next – white is such a difficult colour to keep clean!
We did 26 miles this weekend with a cafe stop at halfway – I wasn’t feeling very well, so a cup of tea and some millionaires shortbread was well needed! I’m hoping to break 30 miles next weekend and gradually increase the distance up until London to Brighton (54 miles) on 18th June. I just need to practise those hills!
How do you spring-clean your fitness kit?
NB: I was sent the Muc-Off Chain Machine Chain Cleaner from Cycle Republic to review, but as always all opinions are my own.