It would be difficult to find a cyclist who claims the thrill of maintaining their bike was what initially attracted them to the sport. Let’s be honest, we would all rather spend our precious time riding our bike than cleaning it. However, like it or loathe it, bicycle maintenance plays a vital part in improving performance and simply can’t be ignored.
Professional cycling has shown over recent years that a focus on this area can provide the marginal gains required to propel you to victory. But what are the benefits for an everyday cyclist? Well, regular bicycle maintenance is proven to reduce mechanical problems, extend the life of your bike, and ultimately protect your investment. So, with this in mind, we’ve done our research and found the best ways to get all the benefits in a fraction of the time! Here are our top five simple tips for maintaining your bike.
1. Work smarter, not harder
With so many intricate components and hard to reach places, removing stubborn grease and grime from your bicycle’s drivetrain is a notoriously difficult task! Thankfully, there’s a product on the market to help make this achievable and super quick. Finish Line Speed Degreaser’s no-rinse formula and turbo sprayer get to work instantly, displacing moisture, removing soils, and completely decontaminating all metal parts. It’s ideal to use on disc brake rotors, derailleur pivots, cassettes, chains, and any other metal components that need a thorough clean. As well as removing the need for hours of elbow grease, its “dry” degreasing technology quickly evaporates, leaving components and chains residue-free and ready to be lubricated. This clever cleaning product will extend the life of your drivetrain and ensure smooth, quiet shifting. It’s a big hit with our mechanics and saves time, making us more inclined to take on the task.
2. Choose the right tool
You wouldn’t use a hammer to tighten a screw, and it’s the same logic when it comes to cleaning your bike. Using tools designed to access all the hard to reach places on your bike will save you time and ensure you’ve cleaned it thoroughly. With Finish Line’s Grunge Brush, cleaning chains and gears has never been faster or easier. Working in conjunction with a degreaser, scrub your chain with the brush’s unique three-sided bristles to deep clean the chain’s plates and pins. Then, use the long bristles at the other end to clean cassette sprockets, derailleurs, cranksets, brakes, and pedals.
3. Keep it clean
Keeping your bike clean is the best way to prevent wear and tear and optimize performance. Dirt left on your frame, wheels, and components will affect your bike’s efficiency and can potentially cause long term damage. A bucket of soapy water has been the “go-to” for most, but research suggests this can be harmful to paint and means the extra time-consuming steps of rinsing and drying. Our team uses Finish Line’s Super Bike Wash. This fast-acting and powerful cleaner requires no water and can be sprayed on and wiped off with a towel. It protects your paint and leaves your bike looking like new. It’s high surface tension and eco-friendly cleaning agents are non-toxic, biodegradable, and make it safe to use indoors and out.
4. Lube it correctly
Once your bike is clean, it’s all about choosing the right lube. If you lube it right, not only will you get optimal performance, but you’ll also have less maintenance work to do at the end of each ride! We recommend choosing between Finish Line’s Dry and Wet Lubricants depending on riding conditions.
Optimized for variable conditions, dry Lube goes on wet and sets up with a dry, wax-like synthetic film. It helps keep your chain clean by not absorbing excessive amounts of grit, grime, or dust. Perfect for everyday riding, its Teflon fluoropolymers coats the chain in a water-resistant film, while reducing friction and wear on all surfaces.
Wet lube is the strongest, longest lasting, and most water-proof lubricant. Wet lube goes on wet, never washes off, and delivers quiet riding, smooth shifting, and easier pedaling. Its water-repelling synthetic oils will protect your chain in the harshest conditions.
To find the perfect bicycle lubricant for your next trip, visit Finish Line’s website and use their handy Lube Selector Tool.
5. Less mess after you’ve cleaned
Tidying up the mess after cleaning your bike is a task that interests no one, ever! Our time is precious, so any steps we can take along the way to minimize the clean-up operation at the end are welcome. Tools like Finish Line’s No Drip Chain Luber were invented for exactly this reason! Save money by avoiding spilled lube and ensure every link in your chain is properly lubricated without wasting a drop. Simply fill the No Drip Chain Luber with your lubricant of choice and while backpedaling, place the applicator head on the chain and squeeze the bottle. A wicking pad in the applicator head ensures every link is evenly coated, without lube dripping or flying all over the place.
Most importantly, it will save you clearing up time and allow you to get on with more important tasks, like planning your next cycling trip.