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You're going to need to wash your bike twice as often in the winter. Especially in places where there is ice and snow, there are a lot more elements that will damage your bike if it's not taken care of properly.
We've still got a couple months left of winter in the northern hemisphere, and your bike is taking a beating from the cold temperatures, salt, snow, ice, road debris and water. Here's some tips on how to properly wash your bike during winter months.
Recommended items: Bucket, soft sponge, Dawn dish soap, spray bottle, chain cleaner, chain lube, soft brush, dry shop towels, car wax, WD-40 (or equivalent).
If you don't have time for a full wash, at least make sure your chain is clean and lubed after every ride. It's tempting to use a pressure washer to make quick work but this. will. damage. your. bike. Use lukewarm water to rinse off debris and always TLC.
De-icing chemicals can strip the paint off a bike frame. That means that beautiful Bianchi Celeste will take damage unless you wash off your bike. Mix some Dawn dish soap and lukewarm water in a bucket or spray bottle and thoroughly clean your frame with a soft brush or soft sponge.
Why do we recommend Dawn? We don't usually advocate specific brands often, animal rescuers use Dawn dish soap to make a bubble bath and wash the oil off animals they've rescued from oil spills. Yeah the company used it for one of their marketing campaigns, but this is a real thing folks. Dawn dish soap is strong enough to clean off oil and gentle enough for baby ducks? Add to cart!
Don't let it get this bad!
WD-40 is a degreaser, not a lubricant. This is an important distinction to make. Use WD-40 to clean the old grease off your chain. WD-40 does make bike lube, and it says so on the can.
We recommend using a specific cleaning spray for your drivetrain, just make sure you're using chain specific cleaners and chain specific lube!
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