Tag Archives: Bike cleaning

Sadly, it is sometimes unavoidable to ride in the rain. So, when you do get caught in the rain, use these bike maintenance tips to protect your equipment.

Quick and easy post bike maintenance tips after riding in the rain

by John Brown

Sadly, it is sometimes unavoidable to ride in the rain. In my experience, the rain actually waits for me to get as far from home as possible before starting. So, when you do get caught in the wet weather, how do you protect your bicycle from the damages of water? Read on for a few helpful bike maintenance tips.

The First Step In Bike Maintenance Tips Is Get It Clean!

The first step after riding in the rain is to get your bike clean. Road grime, mud, and other muck that has accumulated on your bike will hold moisture and encourage corrosion. A bucket of warm soapy water and a sponge is the best way to clean out that crud. Try to resist the urge to point a hose at the bike because pressured water gets into bearings promoting wear.

The Second Tip – Get It Dry

Once your bike is clean, use an old towel to get it dry. Rubber parts like tires and grips don’t need a lot of attention, rather focus on all the metal parts. Really try to address the steel hardware and make sure it’s dry to the touch before you’re done.

Then, Clean The Rims

Unless you have disc brakes, riding in the rain takes a toll on both the rims and brake pads. All the road grime that attaches itself to the rim works like sandpaper, wearing both the rim and the brake pads when you stop. Therefore, after riding in wet weather you will want to focus on getting all that abrasive grime off the rims and pads. If the dirt is left in place, your brakes can start making noise, be less efficient, and wear out quicker.

Lube The Chain

Water and motion will do a good job of scouring all the lubricant off your chain. Additionally, the same road grime that wears rims and brake pads will wear your chain. Additionally, that wear leaves your chain particularly susceptible to rust. To lube your chain, start by propping the bike up so you can rotate the cranks backward freely. Next, Backpedal the bike, while dripping lubricant onto each chain link. Once the chain is well saturated, give a few moments for the lubricant to penetrate the chain. Finally, wrap a rag around the chain, backpedal, and remove all the excess lubricant. Done!

Lube The Cables

Like the chain, cables will lose lubricant and wear quicker in the rain. To keep your bike shifting and braking well, drip a small amount of lubricant onto the cables where they enter the housing. Once capillary action carries a few drops of lubricant into the housing, shift through your gears a few times and squeeze the brakes repeatedly to help the lubricant find its way.

Drain The Bike

A bicycle may appear to be sealed from the elements, but it is, in fact, able to take on water when you ride in the rain. The water that collects inside the frame of your bicycle can destroy bearings, rust a frame from the inside, or freeze in the winter and burst frame tubes. To drain a frame, pull the seat and seat post out of the bike, and turn the bike upside down. Leave the bike for a few hours to drain and then replace the seat and post.

Overall, when servicing your bike after you ride in the rain be aware of the corrosion and wear rain can cause. Focus on getting the bike clean and re-lubricated, ready for your next ride.

With wet pavement on your ride today, give your bike a little TLC soon after finishing.

Bike Pic July 21, some bike maintenance may help after the rain

With wet pavement, this bike pic Tuesday, give your bike a little TLC soon after finishing. Here are some bicycle maintenance tips to keep your equipment in top shape. HaveFun!

This bike pic Thursday, what better way to continue your summer fun than riding an e-bike on your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the fun ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa Bike Guide or the Minnesota Bike/Hike edition. Then plan your next outing with family and friends at one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Another Bike Pic of the Day  

We are now rolling into our 15th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.

Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

A Garden Sprayer Is Ideal For Cleaning Your Bike

A inexpensive way to keep you bike clean, especially when you are away from home is to invest in a garden (hand pump) sprayer tank to keep you bike clean and easy to maintain after each use. Just like rinsing your dishes after a meal, rinsing your bike after a ride, with a low pressure garden sprayer saves a a lot of elbow-grease when you do your routine cleaning. Plus, you will have less of a mess in your car when hauling, in storage, and it’s easier to inspect and work on keeping it clean.

I have found these garden sprayers work nice for both mountain biking and road riding. It’s great to have a portable water source along to rinse off the bike, along with a couple towels to dry off your bike when you are done. If you know it’s going to be muddy or rain is in the forcast, a small pail, a brush and some detergent might be wise to have along. Also, for the final rinse, the wands can be adjusted for the best spray pattern to help protect your gear.

Once clean, wipe down your bike and inspect the tires. Here, look for sidewall cuts or tread wear. Signs that it’s time for a new tire. When wiping around the brakes and derailleurs, check the cables to see if there is any fraying or rusting. And look at the cable housing for cracking, a sign that it should be checked and possibly replaced. After finishing the job of drying and inspecting your bike apply a spritz of lube to the chain, derailleur and brake pivots. Then, when you get home you will be ready to store it away for your next adventure.

You can find a one or two gallon poly hand tank sprayer at most box store-garden centers starting at around $15.


Use care when using any spray device or a garden hose to rinse off your bike. These garden tank sprayers are ideal, normally ranging from 35 to 50 PSI (pounds per square inch).  Where, using  a power washer that generally puts out more than 1,200 PSI, may cause damage to sensitive bearing, seals and decals on your bike. With most of the low pressure tank sprayers on the market the PSI here shouldn’t be an issue, but check the manufactures rating to be safe.