How To Wash a Bike: Wash Before You Wrap

Bike washing

Knowing how to wash a bike is important for every bike rider out there. The cleanliness of someone’s bicycle can tell you a lot about the type of rider/ person they are. Some individuals pay more attention to detail on their bikes than others. They clean their bikes meticulously after every ride to ensure there aren’t any specs of dirt or grime to be found around chainring teeth, cassettes, or linkages. Others ride their bikes hard, leaving them wet and dirty until the next time they shred. Every ride compiles more dirt, grime, and gunk to clog up the shifting, linkages, and bottom brackets. Finally, there is a breaking point and the individual takes a couple of hours out of their day to sort out the mess. This makes what could have been a simple task a very daunting experience.

There are benefits to both these attitudes towards bike cleaning. On one hand, you save time in the interim, and the other increases the longevity of your bicycle and its components. But, if you are planning on wrapping your already ridden steed, it will need to be in immaculate condition for the best installation experience. Any dirt or grime still on the bicycle frame when installing a protection kit will hinder the adhesion of the film to the bike.

How to wash a bike

Before Wrapping Importance

The importance of a good wash before wrapping your bicycle is the added benefit of less hassle when installing the bike protection kit. If there is little to no dirt and grime on the frame, the protective film will adhere and remain on your bike longer and better. In addition to better adhesion, there will be fewer air bubbles and imperfections to deal with during installation. To help with your installation experience, here is a detailed description and instructions to clean your ride effectively and efficiently for the cleanest possible bike going into the installation.

What You Need to Wash a Bike

  • Your bike, whether it is a mountain bike, road bike, an E-bike, gravel bike, kids bike, a BMX, or dritjumper  
  • A bike wash station, stand or flat ground to flip your bike on the handlebars and saddle
  • A water source (hose, bucket, some form of fresh water to rinse the bike)
  • A bucket for soapy water
  • Soap (dish soap works great)
  • A brush and a sponge (purpose built bike cleaning tools or household scouring pads)
  • A clean, dry rag, towel, or old T-shirt

It is good to have a well-put-together cleaning kit ready to go whenever you may need it. If you have cleaning supplies all in one place ready to go, cleaning your bike will become less of a hassle and more of a habit.

How to Wash a Bike

  • Rinse your bike off thoroughly
  • Start at the top of the bicycle, move down over the frame and components
  • Make sure to get under the seat, in the fork arch, and the junction between the fork and the downtube
  • Make sure to remove all visible dirt 
  • Sudds up the warm water in a bucket with a brush or sponge
  • Soap up the entire bike, starting from the handlebars then back to the rear triangle
  • Remember to scrub both wheels and tires
  • Rinse the bicycle off with clean non-soapy water
  • Inspect the frame, fork, and wheels for cleanliness
  • Take wheels off to get in between the wheels and the frame
  • Use the scrub brush or scouring pad on any dirt particles that are still stuck on the frame (the harder bristles of the brush will help remove the more stubborn dirt particles)
  • Re-soap up the bike making, doubly sure that all dirt is scrubbed and removed from the frame
  • Check the rear triangle and linkages by the bottom bracket are all free of dirt
  • Re-rinse the frame and fork, making sure to get all the soap off
  • Wipe down the wet frame with a clean rag or towel insuring there are not water marks or streaks

Once these steps are complete, wrapping your bike should be trouble-free and the protection film will adhere to the bike frame.

Is it easier to clean a bike wrapped with RideWrap?

There will be newfound ease when cleaning your bike post RideWrap installation. The hydrophobic qualities of the RideWrap protective film repel dirt, grime, and grease. This makes the trail debris or road grime collected on your bike seem to magically fall off with a gentle spray of the hose or the tilt of a bucket. The days of endless scrubbing to get your frame clean will be gone. The extra time will give you more bandwidth for using chain cleaners and completing drivetrain maintenance like keeping your chain clean and lubed.

Why is a Clean Bike Important?

The importance of a clean bike is threefold. First, a clean bike is the key to a successful RideWrap frame protection kit installation. Second, it feels good to have a clean bike that’s kept in good condition, increasing future resale value. Third, everybody knows a clean bike is a fast bike.