Keep your bike clean
It is very important to keep your bike clean. Grit and grime really accelerate wear, washing your bike regularly will prolong the life of components.
The drive train is the most susceptible to wear, the chain will stretch naturally during use, but the addition of dust particles stuck together with lubricant make a fantastic rubbing compound that will seriously reduce component lifespan.
We have found the best way to clean & oil your bike is to follow these basic steps.
1. Wash your bike, (NEVER use a pressure washer as this will blast out all the grease and replace it with grit) use a mild detergent. We do not recommend washing up liquid, car shampoo is ok, better still a proprietary bike cleaner. Spray the detergent onto the bike and agitate gently with a brush, we find different sized paintbrushes ideal.
2. De-grease, the chain, cassette, chain rings, front & rear derailleurs paying attention to the jockey wheels.
3. Rinse. Using a hosepipe on a gentle spray to remove all the soap and de-greaser. again, do not use a pressure washer.
4. Dry. It's important to get rid of any access water otherwise rust will soon attack. A good water displacement spray is ideal, GT85 for example when sprayed in to the chain will lift the water enabling you to remove it with a rag. Gently pedal backwards whilst spraying GT85 onto the chain, cassette, derailleurs, chain rings. Be very care not to get any on the braking surfaces. Grab a rag, carefully hold it onto the chain and pedal backwards so the chain passes through the rag. Wipe any access GT85 off all other components too.
5. Lubricate. Pedal backwards again, and apply lubricant to the chain as it passes over the cassette, don't over lubricate as this will attract more dust and turn the chain black very quickly. Give the derailleurs a quick spray of GT85 on the moving parts too, but wipe off excess.
In the winter a wet lube works well on the chain as it is waterproof so won't wash off during a wet ride, however it is much more sticky so will attract dust, so we do not recommend wet lube in the summer on dry dusty rides.
In the summer a dry lube works best, it isn't very sticky and much less prone to attract dust, however it is not waterproof, so if you get caught in a shower, the lube will wash off and your chain will start to rust.
A few photos, you can probably spot the mucky V's the clean!
The jockey wheels are so worn, they needed replacing. This wear is purely down to excess chain stretch, too much oil and lack of cleaning.