Should you wash your bike in the heat?
Washing Your Bike In The Heat..
As we are experiencing extremely hot conditions in the UK right now, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to ensure you still look after your bike in the correct way. For many riders, just putting their bike away dusty or giving it a quick rinse with water is enough as “it’s not that dirty” right?… Wrong!
Leaving your bike dirty is not the best care for your bike. The contaminants your bike collects during riding are more than just dust. Riding on road your bike collects salts, oils, bitumen, and all other forms of dirt that if left, will harm your pride and joy. Off road tracks have all kinds of different contaminants within the ground, depending on where the soil came from to begin with and then even down to the source of the water used to prepare it. What looks like harmful dust can be several harsh elements waiting to get to work de-greasing, drying out and attacking your pride and joy.
You may think that a quick rinse is the answer to the issues mentioned above as when the bike is wet it looks clean right? Unfortunately, water alone will not break the contaminants away from the surface. Whilst it may look clean, have you ever looked at your bike the day after a quick rinse and noticed how dirty it is? Once dried, your bike is still as dirty as before you rinsed it! By using water alone, you are simply increasing the risk of corrosion.
So, it is important to care for your bike after each ride as the damage that can be caused may not be noticeable until it is too late. Your bike has many exposed parts that are expensive to replace so whether it is hot or cold, keeping it clean is the best way to avoid spending your money on things you shouldn’t need to.
How should you wash your bike in the hot weather?
Our Bike Wash, Snow Foam and Drivetrain Cleaner are 100% salt free meaning that even left to dry on your bike they will not cause any harm, however, washing in direct sunlight is never advised, especially in heat above 20°C. The heat alone will reduce the drying time of the products meaning they will dry and bake onto the surface. As mentioned, our products will not cause any damage in this situation however it will be a lot harder to remove the dried product.
Firstly, after a ride you should place your bike in a sheltered area and allow the components to cool naturally for around 15-20 mins. Then you should rinse the entire bike to wet the surface, this will also help with the final cooling stage (do not apply cold water to a hot bike, ensure the bike has cooled sufficiently in the shade first). Rather than cover the entire bike with your preferred product, in hot temperatures we recommend for you to clean a single panel / side at a time. The size of this section should allow you to wet the surface again, apply either Bike Wash or Snow Foam, agitate with a soft brush (We may have just the one coming soon) and then rinse. Do not leave the product to dry or unassisted for any amount of time, you should be always moving the product on the surface. Complete this process around the entire bike until clean.
How to clean your chain and sprockets
Cleaning and lubricating your drivetrain in hot weather conditions is extremely important. Your chain and sprockets generate heat even in the coldest conditions so adding high temperatures to a dirty or incorrectly lubricated chain can have a detrimental effect. Without the correct lubrication your chain will generate heat causing it to stretch and even break. This has adverse effects on your sprockets and in turn all its connected components.
Using the same method as above give your full attention to the drivetrain itself, wet the surface first and then apply Drivetrain Cleaner. Using a Chain Brush agitate the product within the links and sprockets to ensure you help lift all the existing lube, grease, and contaminants from the surface. Once agitated rinse thoroughly and wipe with a clean dry rag or microfibre. Then apply PTFE Chain Lube and allow 12 hours to set before riding again. PTFE Chain Lube has been designed to work in temperatures up to 180°C so it is a chain lube you can rely on to perform in hot conditions.
How to make your bike shine in hot conditions!
As you will know, After Shine is like having a brand-new bike in a bottle. A clean bike just isn’t the same without that After Shine finish. In hot weather conditions the heat can speed up the drying process and not allow the product to dry as it should (usually 25-30 mins). We recommend in high temperatures that once your bike is clean you should wet the surface and apply After Shine how you usually would (spray a mist all over the bike but avoid the seat, grips, brakes, and road tyres if applicable). Then instead of allowing to air dry, simply buff to a finish with a clean dry microfibre cloth. The results are the same, although you have had to put in a little extra work, your bike is cleaned, protected, and well maintained ready for your next ride.
We hope this guide helps you to be able to look after your ride in the summer months!
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