It's great fun getting out there in the mud in the wintry conditions on your e-mountain bike, but as fun as it is there's always going to be the big cleanup after, so today I'll be showing you how to wash your e-mountain bike.
First up let's take a look at the water sources. Now the cheapest option is going to be the old school bucket and sponge. Now this is going to be the cheapest option but is by far the most tedious. Can take a long time to wash your bike with just a bucket and a sponge.
Next up, the common old garden hose pipe. Now this is a really cheap option and a great way of washing your bike. Simply plug it into the outside tap, got various spray options on there from jets to different sprays. A really cheap way of getting a load of power into that wash.
Power washers and e-bikes a few years ago where a definite no-no but Muc-Off be forward thinking and developed their power washer which they say is safe to use on suspension services, bearings, things like that. If you are using a power washer just think and use your head about how you're using it. Don't go blasting it into all the electrical components on your bike. Stand back and just take it easy. It's going to take all that tedious time that it takes to wash an e-bike, probably going to cut it down by about half.
As always before you start any work on your e-bike just make sure that a power is turned off before you lift the bike up. I suggest putting in the work stand is going to make your life a lot easier when it comes to washing the bike. You can of course wash it propped up against a wall but the beauty of a work stand means that you can get all around the bike, you can move the drivetrain, spin the wheels just make, going to make your life ten times easier. As I mentioned earlier there are various forms of washing your bike from the bucket and sponge to the hose pipe and the power washer.
Time to get the bike wet. Now I suggest starting from the top of the bike and working your way down to the bottom that way all the dirt is going to fall off the bike. You're not going to be blasting the dirt up into bearing surfaces and all your electrical components. As well on the bike you just want to look out for those electrical components to the battery, the motor and the control unit. Although they are water resistant they're definitely not going to like a direct jet from that power washer. Also think about your bearings as well. Headset, forks, suspension again, doesn't like a lot of water.
Then it's time to use some of your desired cleaner to wet that bike from the top again, to the bottom of it working it all over. This is safe to use all over the bike so don't worry about any overspray.
Next step is to agitate any of that stiffer dirt. Give it a nice soft brush. Getting all those nooks and crannies and get that dirt off of there. Don't forget to wash your brush regularly just to stop you transferring all that horrible dirt and grime all over your bikes lovely paintwork.
Once you've done that it's time to stand back for about five minutes to let that cleaner do its magic and get all that stubborn dirt off of the bike. Then it's time to blast all that cleaner off. Again, top to the bottom of the bike. Just don't go crazy with a power washer again. Just think about where you're directing that water. Then it's time to get a bit more involved and get a detailed clean going on.
It's worth investing in a few different brushes as well when it comes to washing your e-bike. If you use the same brush to clean your drivetrain as you do to wash your bike you got that risk of contaminating things like the disk so you can get different brushes, two-prong brush which is great for getting between the spokes and hubs. You've got a drivetrain brush which means you can get into the cassette and the chain, get all the nastiness out of there and this is a really stiff brush. It's really great at cleaning that chain up, winding it around getting in there trying to get all those links nice and clean.
Also you've got a nice claw on there means you can get into the cassette and pull all that gunk that's trapped into the cogs up really nice and easy. It's quite common on e-bikes to get quite a buildup of debris in that cassette.
Also just remember don't go using this brush on any other parts of your bike. It's going to be full of oil and grease. You get that on your disc rotors, you're not going to stopping anywhere and a detail brush which is great for getting into things like your motor or suspension linkages. The things where that big brush simply won't fit and now this is really great in getting in those tight little nooks and crannies like your suspension linkage, around the motor case and things like that. It's a great little brush, it's quite stiff so just go steady on the paintwork. It's great to get in all those little hard-to-reach places like the motor cover.
Then once again it's time to get the power washer in action just to get into those areas that you've done the detailed cleaning on like the drivetrain, things like that. It's just going to get the last of the dirt off of the bike.
Next step is to remove it out of the work stand and give it a quick bounce on the floor that way it's going to get rid of the majority of that built-up water off the frame and the components. Just going to save you a lot of time when it comes to drying the bike off. Once you're happy all that excess water is being removed from the bike it's time to dry it.
One thing that e-bikes don't like is being left wet. Water and electricity certainly doesn't mix. Now, to get it dry you can use a cloth or you can use such things as even leaf blowers and compressed air just to drive that water out or give it a quick clean with some water disperser, it's really going to speed up that process but whatever you do make sure your e-bike is dry before you put it away.
Now you might think that your e-bike is nice and sparkling clean because you've got all the mud off but I guarantee the drivetrain is actually still going to be full of old oil and grease from previous riding so it's time to get some degreaser in action.
If you are working around the rear cassette area, it's vitally important that you don't get any overspray onto the disc rotor because you're going to end up contaminating the disk pad so I suggest spraying the cleaner onto your brush then transferring it to the cassette and if you are working on the chain just focus on the front chain wheel just to get that brush in action.
So you can either use a chain brush when it comes to cleaning the drivetrain or use a chain bath. The great thing about a chain bath it's going to give a really deep clean to that chain. Now it's time to get rid of that degreaser off of the chain.
Now I suggest standing on the non-drive side of the bike, directing that power washer at the chain the cassette, blowing the water away from the disc because if you wash it in again, it's going to contaminate those pads. Then it's time to dry the drivetrain off, removing any moisture from the chain. Then it's time to get a bit of lube on there. Obviously if you're riding in wet conditions you need to be using wet lube and dry conditions use a bit of dry lube. When it comes to lube in the chain it's vitally important to lube it on the inside of the chain rather than the topside because if you lube the top side of the chain up here, once the chain ring meets the top the lube is simply going to be on top of the chain and can risk falling off. If you do it on the inside it's going to have max penetration when it goes around the jockey wheels and the cassette to make sure that lube stays in place.
After every wash is a really good idea to get in the habit of removing the battery from your bike and giving a quick spray or something like this water displacer or a contact cleaner just into the back two terminals and the motor terminals too. Just drives out all that standing water.
After washing your bike a really good thing to use is some disc break cleaner. It's really good at removing oil and disk and grime. Say for instances, if you did get a little bit overspray this is going to get rid of it. It's also really good reducing all that brakes grill too so get a good sprayer that going on on your rotors and the final touch to washing your bike is using some bike protection spray. It's just going to drive out a final bit of moisture out of the bike and it's also going to give the bike a nice shine and the last thing.
The last thing when wash your e-bike is just to turn it on. Either engage the walk button and let that motor spool around a few times, drive in the back wheel or go for a quick spin around the block. It's a great way of dispersing all that chain lube around the cassette and making sure that the bike works. Let us know down in the comments box below If you got any tips and tricks that you guys used to using your e-bike.