For any bike enthusiast, knowing how to clean a bike is essential. We all have that friend who spends his time with a brush removing every last speck of dirt from his frame and refuses to ride in puddles, and on the other hand, we have those who haven't seen their bike clean since they bought it. For many, the idea of washing a bike is to make it look good. But there's another, more important reason to keep your two-wheeled friend clean: it will help protect your investment and make it last longer. A properly cleaned and lubricated bike will also perform better than one that isn't. Not surprisingly, a clean bike is often a fast bike too! Both approaches to bike cleaning have advantages. The first saves you time, while the second extends the life of your bike and its components. That being said, if you're currently on the cleaning side of things and are considering applying bike wrap, you're in luck! For those who aren't... well, it can be a lot more daunting. In the following sections, we'll take a look at why you need to properly clean your bike before applying a protective film.
The advantages of a good cleaning of your bike before having it protected
- This will make the overall installation much easier
- Any dirt or grime left on the frame will make it harder for the protective film to adhere to the bike.
- While most protective films will hide visual imperfections on your bike, you should not leave any dirt or grime under the film as it may be visible through the film.
- A properly cleaned bike will help it last as long as possible on your frame.
The disadvantages of properly cleaning your bike before packing it
- Apart from the time it takes to do it... No real disadvantages.
Now that you're convinced that your bike needs to be properly cleaned before you install it, you may be wondering how to go about cleaning it. If your first instinct was to rush to your pressure washer and get it done in 30 seconds (not the way to do it). To make it as painless as possible, we've provided a complete list of what you need and how to get your bike as clean as possible in the most efficient manner.
What you need to wash a bike
Please note that while there are bike-specific versions of all of these products, you do not need to purchase any of them.
- Your bike (obviously)
- A place to wash your bike where your spouse won't banish you from the house for doing the bike bath. Ideally, a flat area where you can move around the bike or a bike-specific rack will also do the trick.
- A water source (ideally a hose)
- A bucket for soapy water
- Soap (if you don't have anything bike-specific, dish soap will work wonders)
- A brush and sponge (again, there are bike-specific tools, but an old toothbrush and sponge will do).
- Any clean, dry clothes
How to wash your bike
Please note that depending on the kit you purchased, you may not think it is necessary to go into as much detail, but it is highly recommended, as realizing you need to wash your bike halfway through is a recipe for disaster.
- We recommend that you start by removing the wheels. If you do not have a bike rack, simply turn the bike upside down on its handlebars and seat.
- Rinse your bike completely, starting at the top of the bike and working your way down to the frame and components. The goal is to remove as much dirt and grime as possible.
- Add about an ounce of dish soap to a bucket of warm water and apply liberally to the entire bike (don't be afraid).
- Check the crankset and rear triangle of the bike for dirt.
- Rinse the bike with clean, non-soapy water and inspect your entire bike to make sure you have removed all dirt. If necessary, you can re-soak the bike, making sure all dirt has been removed from the frame.
- Once you are satisfied with the result, you can rinse the frame and fork, making sure to remove all soap.
- Carefully wipe the dripping frame with a clean cloth or towel to remove any water.
Once this is done, your bike should be easy to wrap and the film will stick to the frame.
Is it easier to clean a bike with a protective film?
The answer is yes. Our protective films are made of a material that repels dirt, water and mud. Washing your bike has never been easier!
Why is a clean bike important?
A clean bike has three distinct advantages. The first is that a clean bike is crucial for proper installation of the BIKESHIELD PROTECTION frame protection kit. Second, it is nice to use a clean bike that has been well maintained, which adds to future resale value. Third, everyone understands that a clean bike is a faster bike and makes the rider much more efficient!