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Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Clean Bike

Our guide to a clean bike will have your ride look good as new

Everybody knows that when you go for a ride, your bike is bound to get dirty. Whether it’s grease from your indoor trainer or mud and dirt from your ride on the trails, we know how hard it can be to keep your set of wheels clean with all the craziness of training season. Prolong the life of your bike by giving it the TLC it needs with our 7-step guide to a clean bike. Pro tip: download the PDF below to print out our guide to a clean bike!

Follow these steps

  1. Put a little degreaser on the chain. Not too much, a little goes a long way. Let it sit on the chain for about a minute or two.
  2. Give the chain a light scrubbing and rinse it off with the hose/sprayer.
  3. Prepare the Simple Green solution. We recommend a 3:1 ratio of water to Simple Green.
  4. Take your big brush along with the solution and wash all the major components of the bike (i.e. frame, fork, wheels, cranks, and derailleurs). Save your smaller brushes for tighter areas. To avoid missing any spots, start at the back and make your way to the front of the bike.
  5. Spray your bike down with water completely. Wash your tires while you’re at it. It will give you a chance to inspect for any damages your tires may have.
  6. Let it dry. Either air-dry outside or hand-dry it with a towel.
  7. Once completely dry, you can then lube the chain so it’s ready to go on your next ride.

Go the extra mile and wash the bar tape, saddle, and tires. These parts tend to get forgotten and they can get pretty gross if they stay dirty.

Consistency is key. Using our guide to a clean bike will ultimately improve the way your bike handles, as well as extending the life of your bike. Remember: happy bike = happy life.

By: James Balentine, owner of City Limit Cycles, an Austin, Texas-based mobile bicycle repair company that comes to you. Balentine began working with bikes in 1990 when he was 12. He began racing mountain bikes in 1991 and BMX in 1992, winning 12 national championships before turning pro in 1999. He has worked with USA Triathlon as a mechanic for Team USA since 2004. Since 2013, Balentine has worked with the US Paratriathlon team and is their sole mechanic.

Learn about USAT Sanctioning and Certification

USAT sanctioning and certification provides triathletes additional value

When you register for a triathlon with USAT sanctioning and certification chances are high that you’ll participate in a reputable event. In its 16th year, Jack’s Generic Triathlon (owned and produced by High Five Events) is a USAT-sanctioned event. Dan Carroll, co-owner of High Five Events is a Level II USAT Certified Race Director. We break down the benefits of USAT sanctioning and certification and what it means for athletes.

quick breakdown of USAT sanctioning and certification

Dan Carroll directing the 2017 JGT swim start.

USAT sanctioning benefits for triathletes

1. Gives peace-of-mind by guaranteeing industry-wide safety standards
2. Ensures a fair race governed by standardized rules
3. Provides the Gold Standard of insurance protection for the event, athlete, and venue
4. Provide athletes with points for regional and national rankings, including USAT All-American status
5. Only sanctioned races provide athletes with the opportunity to qualify for National Championships and then qualify for World Championships as a member of Team USA
6. Athletes’ results are available for all sanctioned races
7. Enables new programming, grows the sport, and funds initiatives including youth participation, the Olympic program, and paratriathlon

Level II USAT Certified Race Director benefits

1. Make events safer with access to latest risk management and race directing information
2. Ensure fairness by being in full compliance with all USAT sanction guidelines and pre- and post-race requirements
3. Compete on accurate distances through updated course development protocol
4. Comfort in the fact that the event is managed by a highly qualified race director, decreasing the chances for errors
5. Maintain triathlon’s integrity by producing respected events
6. Race directors stay sharp through re-certification and continuing education opportunities