How To Properly Clean & Lubricate Your Bike


How To Properly Clean & Lubricate Your Bike

As cyclists, we love to get out there and hit the open road with our trusty two-wheeled friends as much as possible!

But frequent use of our bikes will undoubtedly lead to them gathering some of the nastier elements that can be picked up when out for a ride.

Dust, dirt, grime and mold can all collect on our bikes. Not only making them look terrible, but also making them impossible to ride if left untreated.

You need to keep your bike as clean as possible, to preserve its life. That way, you can enjoy cycling with your favourite bike for years to come!

Here are a few tips on how you can properly clean and lubricate your bike.


First things first, start by rinsing your bike.

Ideally, use warm water. But a bucket of cold water and a sponge, or even a garden hose will do just fine.

Wipe or spray away any loose dirt or grime, but be careful not to allow water into any key components of your bike that could be damaged as a result. Like the centre of your wheels or the bottom bracket.


In a perfect world, we’d all have a dedicated machine to clean our drivetrains. They’re excellent, but a little on the expensive side.

If you have one of these machines, great, put it to work! If not, focus on using a small brush or a cloth to get into the tight spots and awkward angles where dirt can easily build up. Use some quality degreaser to be sure you’ve gotten everything off that needs to come off.

Rinse your drivetrain and chain when you’re done to get rid of any excess degreaser or surface dirt.

The rest of your bike

Starting from the top of your bike and working down, you can now begin to clean the rest of the components.

Using a sponge and hot water, wipe your way down your bike carefully, paying close attention to the handlebars, brake levers and gears.

Once you’ve cleaned the entire bike, give it another rinse with cold, fresh water to ensure a full cleaning.


Rather than leaving the bike to dry in the air, you should use a cloth or microfibre cloth to wipe away any excess water or dirt particles that could remain. This will help keep your bike in tip-top condition and will avoid any unwanted water staining or potential rust.

Again, take good care of the more intricate areas and make sure they are fully dry before your next ride.


To re-lube your bike, firstly choose which type of lubricant you’d like to use - wet or dry. 

With the bike standing, begin to turn the pedals backward. As you do so, drip your chosen lube onto the inside of your chain’s rollers. 

Once this is done, use a clean cloth to clear up any excess lubricant.

If you like, you can finish the cleaning process by giving your bike a layer of specialist bike polish for that extra sparkle. This will also help stop dirt from sticking to your bike in the future.


At Freewheel Holidays, we like to think we know a thing or two about bikes and bike holidays! To take a look at the holidays we have on offer, click here, or call 0161 703 8161 and let’s find the perfect cycling holidays for you!