Getting trail time before mountain bike season starts can be tricky in the Ohio, especially with the freeze- thaw and rainy days making trails too wet to ride. Luckily there are some amazingly technical and challenging trails just 3 hours away in West Virginia that are pretty much rideable year round! My favorite part of my most recent ride was conquering wet-mossy rock garden descents. Oh and realizing my bike needed a bath (ha kidding).
Oh cleaning the mountain bike… did I mention that my apartment is downtown and I have no hose?
After 3 years of living in a Columbus apartment I can safely say that I have “mastered” the art of creatively cleaning my bikes in 20 minutes.
WHAT YOU NEED:
** Not Pictured: Creativity for fitting your bike into the shower! (Note: taking the wheels off helps with this.)
STEP 1: MY BIKE IS PRECARIOUSLY PLACED IN THE SHOWER – NOW WHAT?
Turn on ze shower! It’s so simple it just might work… kinda. Since my showerhead is attached to the wall I fill up the bucket in the sink and throw water on spots the shower can’t get.
After getting a majority of the chunky dirt bits off, I turn the water off, grab the bottle of Joe’s Eco Bike Wash and spray down the bike and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the bike down. I prefer to use Eco friendly products especially since everything is being washed down my drain so it is lucky for me that the team is sponsored by Joe’s Eco Friendly products this season!
Turn the shower back on and use the bucket to clear remaining soap and dirt. Wooo 1/3 of the way there!!
STEP 2: THE EXPENSIVE SHIFTY BITS ARE STILL GROSS
Spray down the cassette and chainring with some Bio-Degreaser and grab a firm bristle brush. I like to focus on making sure that my derailleur pulleys are clean and free of sticks and other trail presents. Rinse with water – again, nice to just dump the bucket and clear everything in one swoop.
STEP 3: KEEP MY KMC GOLD CHAIN A SHININ’
This step happens after the chain is mostly dry (usually wait an hour or so or if you are in a rush towel dry it). Grab the lube towel/rag (it is best to use a microfiber) and your chain lube of choice!
I prefer the Eco-Nano Lube because 1) it works and 2) I like to bring it with me when I ride and nature loves Eco Friendly ha!
Apply the chain lube where the chain meets the cassette and turn the pedals backwards for a couple of rotations until the chain is coated with lube. Then grab your chain lube rag and make a chain-rag taco. Rotate the pedals backwards for a few more rotations until your chain is well lubed and clean of grit.
STEP 4: UNTIL NEXT TIME!
With a clean (bike) towel, wipe dry off your frame and if you are feeling extra ambitious your wheels. Admire your clean bike and start planning its next trail session!