How To Clean A Mountain Bike – Step By Step Guide

Some might say that a dirty bike is a well-used bike, by a dare-devil explorer who has tackled multiple surfaces on new ventures. Bikes also provide us with a good source of exercise, fitness improvement and stimulate mental well-being.

While this may be true, it is important to remember that your mountain bike's efficiency won't be maintained if it is contently dirty. Dirt that clogs your wheels and chains will limit your bike's performance.

Step By Step Guide On How To Clean

Here is step by step guide on how to clean your big to keep it in top condition performance wise.


Find a suitable space to clean your mountain bike. A place that has enough room, good lighting, and protective flooring. Carpets and laminate floors are not recommended. Outside in an open space is an ideal place.


Gather everything that you will need.

  • A bike stand
  • Soap
  • A bucket of water or hosepipe
  • Sponge
  • A big brush
  • Medium brush
  • Small brush
  • Bike lube
  • Disc brake cleaner spray
  • Bike polish


Feel free to use a mild soapy water also, using a bucket or a hose pour warm water onto your bike to remove loose dust and dirt. If you are using a high-pressure hose stand a little, way from the bike, the pressure could damage the frame. If there are signs of mud on your bike, once it is wet leave it to stand for a few moments.

Allow the mud to soften from the water's contact. Use the larger brush to scrub the wheels and the frame clean, the medium brush should be used for the rims and the pedals. The smaller brush should then be used to clean the cassette. Remember, the chains, cassette and derailleur’s are delicate take your time to carefully remove the dirt gently.

Mountain bike cleaning - how to clean a mountain bike


Use some of the bike cleaners to remove dirt in the drive-train. Be mindful not to use the cleaner on the bike's brakes. Once done rinse then bike with clean water.


Once you are done cleaning leave the bike in an upright position to air dry. The smaller section of the bike such as drive-train and chain may take a little longer to dry, than the rest of the bike. Allow enough time for them to dry fully.


Once the bike has dried, use the lubricant to oil, apply a small about to the front and rear suspension. Ensure that the lubricant does not fall into the brakes. Pump the suspension to ensure that enough lubrication has been worked through. Ensure that you have also wiped off the excess grease, if this remains it will collect dust and dirt.


Lubricate the whole drivetrain, push the pedals backward to ensure that all water is removed, or use a cloth to wipe away. Then add some lubricant onto the chain as you run it backward, keep an eye out for water also. Finish off by oiling the pivot point on each derailleur. Apply grease on the pedal joints, seat post joint and anywhere that metal is in contact with metal.


Clean the disk brake with disk plate cleaner. Do not use any other products in this area. Spray the cleaner evenly all over, after thirty seconds clean it off.

Cleaning Product Recommendations: recommends the following:


Soft brushes are excellent for removing dirt and grime that is not very packed onto your bike's frame. Firmer bristles will remove dirt that is locked onto your bike and hard to remove. When selecting cleaning kits select one which has brushes of assorted sizes, and bristles stiffness.

Bike Cleaning Solutions:

These are designed to help dissolve dirt and mud without damaging the paintwork of your bike. Make sure the cleaner you use is safe for metal and carbon. A dedicated cleaner will be more effective at removing dirt than washing up liquid.


Will break down grease and grime and is good for using on a bike's chain, as well as other moving parts. Keeping your drive-chain clean is very important to help ensure that you have no problems with shifting.

The best product cleaning recommended by Bike Rader are Brite Ride Form Bike Wash. They give a five-star review and state that it is 'the best bike cleaner they have come across that works as a degreaser too.

In summary, in order to fully enjoy your bike to its fullest, you must make the time on a regular basis to care for it and keep it clean. It is part of being a bike rider.

If you get yourself into a regular routine and show your bike some tender loving care, it will become a habit that is hard to break. 

There will be times where you bike may not need a full service or wash, this is fine but still, carry out an inspection to make sure that everything is in working order and safe.

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