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February 16, 2010
There’s no chore that is more therapeutic and gives me more satisfaction than the bike wash. I usually wipe my bike down after every couple of rides with baby wipes but once a month or so I’ll roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty. You don’t really need much except for a few simple ingredients that you can find laying around your house. The photo below shows a good assortment of brushes, sponges, lubes, etc that are ideal for cleaning the bike. However, all you really need to get the job done are the following:
Here you get a pretty good idea of how Andy (the Rapha mechanic) cleans the bikes under less than ideal conditions. He’ll freak when he finds out I posted this. He kept stressing “Bloody hell..this isn’t how I do it at home! I don’t have my tool truck! Don’t film this!“
Here are the basic steps:
YouTube link – Perhaps follow some of the related videos if you’re not at work. Not to rain or your parade Andy. I’m sure the related videos are a pure reflection of your studliness.
Andy gives a great example in the video of how the bikewash should be done. If he had all his proper tools, air compressor and pressure washer it wouldn’t have been much good to us. Keep in mind when watching these pro mechanics clean bikes they’re often not overly concerned with the longevity of the bike. They’re trying to get a dozen bikes cleaned and prepped so they can get back to the hotel and get some dinner before midnight and the restaurants close. It’s got to be the toughest job on a team.