How to Clean A Mountain Bike

Last Updated on August 30, 2020

Mountain bikes are designed for cycling on the rough and uneven terrain. Due to the ride on the rugged terrain, mountain bikes tend to get dirty.  We have a misconception that mountain bikes need frequent cleaning. The moment we see a speck of dirt, we decide to clean it then and there.

However, we are talking about mountain bikes. Mountain bikes will get dirty, dirtier than regular bike rides but it is normal. By cleaning the bike frequently we do a disservice to the construction of the bikes. Cleaning an MTB bike after every ride might damage the bike. They do not require frequent cleaning.

How to Clean A Mountain Bike

Once in three weeks is apt for cleaning a mountain bike, even if it was used in the dustiest of the place. Having said that, a gentle rinse with a damp cloth will help to keep the bike look a little better.

If you are a regular biker and clean your mountain bike once in three weeks, then your bike will be dirty for sure. Many of you perhaps avoid cleaning and washing a bike for months due to lack of time or plain laziness.

How to Clean A Mountain Bike

For them, it must be mentioned that thoroughly cleaning a mountain bike requires only 15 to 20 minutes. For that thorough cleaning, you must have some tools. Here, we are going to discuss those tools and explain the whole process step of cleaning a mountain bike step by step.


Cleaning a bike requires simple tools. Different types and sizes of brushes to reach and clean every part of the bike, a piece of cloth, hose pipe, water spray nozzle, bike cleaner spray, disc brake cleaner, lube for the chain, are some of the essential elements for washing and cleaning a bike. These tools cost close to nothing.

Step 1 – Finding an apt space

Washing the MTB bike requires open space. Garden area or house compound is the perfect place to clean the bike. Usually, the garden or compound area has the water tap, so connecting the hose pipe to the water tap becomes convenient.

Step 2 – Spraying water thoroughly

Connect the water spray nozzle to the hose pipe and connect the hose to the water tap.  Spray water on the bike but from a distance. It will rinse the mud from the maximum portion of the bike. Do not spray water standing close to the bike as the pressure of water from water spray nozzles are pretty high and rough. Be extra careful while spraying on the bike parts which have bearings. Spray water delicately on those parts.

Step 3 – Brush and scrub

After spraying water thoroughly on the bike, clean it a little more with a brush, and scrub the parts. Scrub the body frame of the bike with a big brush. Use a medium-sized brush to clean the difficult-to-reach components of the bike.

Scrubbing doesn’t require soap or bike cleaner. It can be done with water only if you are in a hurry. However, if you are ready to spend time washing the bike give a good scrub to the bike with a bike cleaner or soap. Badly dried mud is hard to clean with only water. In that case, use the bike cleaner.

Step 4- Chain and drivetrain

Clean the chain and drivetrain carefully. It is the most difficult and time-consuming as well. To clean the chain and other components of the drivetrain, first, wipe it properly with a piece of cloth. Though cleaning the body frame with soap or bike cleaner can be skipped but to clean the chain, chainrings, cassette, and drivetrain, bike cleaner is a must.

The oil and grease build up and dry out in these areas which can’t be cleaned only using water. A bike cleaner breaks and softens the hard molecules of the dried oil and grease and makes it easy to clean them. Use the small brush from the brush set to clean the oil and grease.

Step 5 – Suspension

Do not use a bike cleaner or soap on suspension and Mtb brake. The usage of cleaner might cause wear out. So, cleaning the suspension and disc brake just with water is the best option.

Step 6 – Rinse

After all the brushing, wiping, and scrubbing, spray some more water on the bike and rinse it again thoroughly. It is the last step of using water on the bike. This step will clean all the remaining dirt or soap from the bike.

Step 7 – Dry

Wipe the water with clean water, absorbing clothe. The effort should be made to dry the chain, disk brake, drivetrain, and suspension. Make sure that these components of the mountain bike is dry and not a drop of water left on them. Keep the bike in a place that has proper airflow.

Step 8 – Lubricate

When the bike is dry, then start applying lube on different components of the bike. Apply lubricant on the drivetrain, chain, and suspension. Do not put too much. If it happens accidentally, then make sure to wipe the excess away.

Final Words

Only a mountain biker knows the exact value of a mountain bike and how it should be strictly maintained for durable use. Though it is designed for enduring toughest of the ride, not cleaning it or cleaning it frequently, both have a negative effect on it.

Once in a month, a wash is not that tough, so make sure you clean it in regularly and maintain the time distance. Hopefully, our method of cleaning the bike will be helpful and encourage you to clean the bike once a month at least as this process saves time.


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