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Can I Pressure Wash My Mountain Bike?

Can I Pressure Wash My Mountain Bike

It’s easy to get a mountain bike dirty, especially if you like to take a trip on the trails as often as possible. Cleaning your mountain bike isn’t nearly as fun as riding it, so you may be looking for the quickest and easiest way to get your bike clean before you go out again. When it comes to getting things clean quickly, many people turn to their pressure washers.

Is it okay to use a pressure washer on a mountain bike? Yes. When you have a tough mess and nothing else is working then you can use a pressure washer. However, you have to be incredibly careful when doing this because if you hit any of your bearings with that stream of water you could have trouble.

People have less control over the water in the pressure washers, and it’s very easy for the bearings to get hit. When this happens, water can get stuck inside the bottom bracket. This can cause a lot of damage to each one of your bearings and they will probably need to be replaced. Let’s look at a safer alternative to getting your mountain bike clean.

What Is the Best Way to Clean a Mountain Bike?

Let’s get one thing straight. If you’re selective about where you aim your pressure washer, then you may be able to clean your mountain bike safely. However, the only problem with this is you can’t go anywhere near the bearings so you will only be able to clean sections of your bike.

This can cause a problem because people are still going to have to find an alternative way to clean the areas around the bearings. Some newer mountain bikes have sealed bearings. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with which types of bearing your bike has. If the bearings are sealed then you won’t have to worry about water getting inside. 

A lot of mountain bikes aren’t equipped with sealed bearings though, and many owners aren’t sure how to tell. In this case, you’re always better off finding a safer way to way your mountain bike. It’s important not to take this risk because the high-pressure stream could push dirt or debris into your bearing as well as water.

The best way to clean a mountain bike is with a garden hose. It’s important not to have it on a high stream. If you have the option to change water pressure, put it on a medium pressure stream. When doing this, always be careful not to hit the bearings. If you want to be safe, switch to a lower pressure when doing areas nearby the bearings.

We recommend using a mountain bike cleaner and degreaser concentrate like this one to remove dirt, clay, and other stuck on debris. Simply spray it on, let it soak, and hose it off.

How Do You Deep Clean a Mountain Bike?

To give your mountain bike a good deep clean, remove the front tire. Using a rag or sponge, give the tire a thorough clean with soap water. Rinse it off and set it aside to dry. Next, spray your bike off to lift any dirt or debris. Remember, the water won’t hurt your bike. It’s the pressure that causes trouble 

There will likely be grime built up in your mountain bike’s cassette, so you can use WD-40 to loosen it up. Use a brush to scrub off all that grime. You can do the same thing to the bike’s chain, pulley, and derailleur. 

Next, give your bike a clean with the rag and soap water. You don’t have to buy any specific type of cleaner for your bike. Regular dish soap that you probably already have in your kitchen will do the trick. When cleaning the bike off, make sure you work your way from the top to the bottom to give it a thorough deep clean.

Now you can rinse off the soap water and let the bike dry off. Some people prefer to use a towel to dry their bikes off to prevent water spots. However, if you don’t feel like doing that you can take it for a ride to allow the mountain bike to dry naturally. 

Should I Clean My Mountain Bike After Every Ride?

When dirt and sweat sit on your bike, it could lead to all sorts of problems. For this reason, you should be washing your bike after every few rides. While it doesn’t need a deep clean every week, you should still give it a rinse off to remove any stuck-on dirt. This will keep your bike’s coating looking better and help it last for longer.

The Outdoors
The Outdoors

If it ever starts raining when you’re out on your bike, it’s important to clean it once you get home. When rain doesn’t get cleaned off your bike, it could lead to grooves forming in the rims among other problems. Often on rainy days, your mountain bike gets dirtier from the mud so it will need a thorough rinse off.

You should also give it a wash after use on very hot days because if you get sweat on the bike and leave it there, it could eat away at its clear coat. Simply giving it a wipe down with a damp rag will help you to avoid this problem.

Water Pressure

While you do need to be careful with how you use water pressure, you don’t need to be afraid to use it on your mountain bike. A quick blast with your garden hose on high in tough to clean areas likely won’t cause trouble, but if you hold the hose in one area for an extended time you could cause damage.

When you do need to use water pressure, it’s okay as long as you point it in the right direction and only use as much as you need. Getting carried away is what could cause trouble. However, you should be using a good quality garden hose instead of a pressure washer. Even if you need extra pressure, the garden hose will be a much better choice.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to getting your bike clean quickly and thoroughly, many people think a pressure washer will do the job. However, when the bike’s bearings need to be replaced later they realize that wasn’t such a good idea. This is because pressure washers send off a stream that is very powerful and it can send water and dirt into your bearings.

Many people notice how much gunk is being sent in there from the pressure washer once they remove the bottom bracket. The long-term damage is never worth it. While using soap and a garden hose may take a little longer, it’s a lot safer for the mountain bike. When cleaning your bike with soap water, it’s a lot easier to make sure the bearings get left alone. 

While it’s okay to use a pressure washer once in a while if you have a tough job, it should not be your go-to device for giving your mountain bike a deep clean. To avoid dealing with stuck-on messes that require a pressure washer, make sure to give your bike a clean-off every few rides. Remember, taking care of your bike’s parts will keep it in good shape for longer. 

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