Monsoon is here in Nepal and it means MUD! Just because its wet and muddy, it does not mean you have to stop going out and enjoying riding your bike.
Monsoon is the time of year most business’s slow down and we have more time to take holidays and ride our bikes. There is nothing wrong with riding in the rain and mud, in fact it is good for our soul, fun and helps keep your fitness levels up.
But more mud means more wear and tear on your bike, especially parts like:-
It can be expensive and time consuming to replace these parts of your bikes. Here are some steps on how to look after them properly after your monsoon ride, prolonging their life.
When you have finished your ride here are few things you can do to help your bike stay smooth and create less wear and tear, you need to remove the dirt, dust and grit from the moving parts of the bike.
One Method is to wait for the bike to dry and then use a paint brush, or shoe brush to brush of all the dust. You can use a tooth brush to get to the smaller parts. The parts you should focus on are:-
– Chain, Cassette, Pully wheels, Crank, pedals (esp SPD pedal clips) and all bearing joints. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies.
Next take a soft cloth (non abrasive) and carefully wipe around both front and rear suspension to remove the dirt, focus on the area around the seals. It is important to remove all the dirt to stop in from going inside the suspension when the suspension moves. You can also do this at intervals along the ride by carrying an old rag with you.
Once all the dirt is removed from the moving parts, make sure you re-apply a good wet condition oil to the chain. Roll the pedals and shift the gears up and down a bit to ensure an even lubing.
The frame and non moving parts of the bike are not important. Try not to dry brush them as it can cause scratching to the frame.
The second way to clean your bikes is a full wash. Please note that its best to do this sparingly as excessive use of water and pressure hoses can force dirt inside bearings and joints.
Grab a bucket, some soapy water and a few brushes. First hose of the excess mud and then attack your bike with lots of soapy water, using brushes to get into all the nooks and crannies. Once done, remove all the soapy water with a hose. Once dry, wipe the bike down with a soft cloth to help remove smears etc. Make sure you re-oil the chain, or else it will go rusty and start making noise.
To help prevent some mud getting to places its not supposed, you can also use mud guards.
We also recommend that once a month in the monsoon, if you have been riding regularly, to take your bike to a reputable workshop for a full service. This means they will pull apart the bike and remove all the dirt that has seeped into bearings and joints like Suspension bearing, hubs and bottom Bracket. They clean out all the gunk, re grease and replace, so your bike feels like brand new.
Now are you are good to go!