Bike Cleaner & Lubricant Guide
A Clean Bike is a Happy Bike
Maintaining your bike is an important part in owning any bicycle. Ensuring it is clean and well lubricated will ensure your bike runs smoothly, quietly and correctly..
We all want to be out riding our bicycle as much as possible, but it pays to spend a little time maintaining your machine. If you leave a build-up of dirt, this will result in parts wearing out much quicker, especially your drivetrain.
All Purpose Bike Cleaners
A bit like a shower gel, all purpose bike cleaners can be used all over the bike and help to shift dirt, but are particularly recommended for the frame, wheels and tyres. As the strength of these is not particularly strong, they are not really used on the drivetrain.
Chain Cleaners and Degreasers
Much stronger than the all-purpose cleaners, specific chain cleaners and degreasers help shift oil from your drivetrain. They are great for removing heavy build ups, and help to get the components as clean as possible and your bicycle performing efficiently. It is best to avoid areas such as bearings and cables.
It can me a messy job, so there are self-contained chain cleaners available in which you put degreaser in and then clamp onto your chain. A pedalling action then passes the chain through it, cleaning it as it does.
Lubrication and Grease
Once the bike is clean, it will need lubricant reapplying to the chain, and areas such as the headset may need re-greasing
Chain lube is put directly onto the chain, and is required for a smooth and quiet running drivetrain. There are three different types of chain lube to consider;
- Wet Lubes – these are a ‘stickier’ lubricant so that they remain on the chain if the weather is bad. Great for bad weather, but the chain will need cleaning more often as they attract dirt.
- Dry Lubes – a much thinner lubricant, perfect for when the weather is good. They don’t attract dirt as much, but do get washed off easily if it rains.
- All purpose – Can be used in all conditions, but do not particularly excel in any one, hence why there are dry and wet lubes.
Andy is the Product Specialist and Content Writer at Ribble. He takes part in all disciplines of cycling, but can mostly be found either on his road bike or on the mountain bike trails.