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Clean mountain bikes are happy bikes. They’re better to ride, cheaper to maintain, and last longer. 

Mountain bikes, especially dual suspension bikes, are sophisticated pieces of kit with lots of moving parts that are exposed to the mud, dust and sand. When they get dirty, they work less smoothly and get worn a lot faster because dirt deposits can be extremely abrasive. 

You don’t need specialised gear to clean your bike. A garden hose, some soap, a cloth rag, and a bottle of chain lube will do the trick. However it’s better to use dedicated bike cleaning and lubrication products like the MUC OFF range we highly recommend. Also a bike work stands like the ones we use at Outside Sports bike store’s bike cleaning stations make life easier. 

Five Easy Steps To Cleaning Your Bike

Here is our simple five step cleaning method. By the way MUC OFF make a range of cleaning kits, that make it easy to have all the right mountain bike cleaning products to hand. 

  1. Washdown
  2. Detergent Cleaner
  3. Rinse
  4. Dry
  5. Lubricate


Stand your bike securely in a bike stand or against the wall and use either your garden hose or a pressure washer to rinse off the worst of the mud and grime.  But be super careful if you’re using a pressure washer as high-pressure water can get into places you definitely don’t want it, like bearings, suspension seals, suspension pivots, bottom bracket, wheel hubs, headset, and cable housings. 

Detergent cleaner

    At a pinch you can use your washing up liquid, but the specific bike cleaners from MUC OFF are a lot better for your bike.  

    Apply your cleaner all over the frame, wheels and drive train. Once your bike is nicely lathered up let it sit for 30 seconds to penetrate the grime and then lightly agitate the foam - with soft brush on the frame, components and wheels, and a small stiffer brush on the drive train. If the drive train is a really contaminated with stubborn deposits of old oil mixed with dirt you can use a heavy-duty degreaser to shift it like this biodegradable chain cleaner from MUC OFF. 


      When you’ve loosened all the dirt, rinse off your bike off from top to bottom so the soapy, grimy water flows downwards. If there’s any spots you missed, repeat steps 2 and 3 until the bike is squeaky clean. 

      Dry off

        Wet bikes can go rusty so don’t leave your bike to drip dry, wipe it down with a towel after rinsing. Be sure to pay extra attention to the drivetrain components.


          You've just scrubbed all the oil off your drivetrain, so it’s important to relubricate along its entire length. The best way is to rotate the chain backwards while dripping a very small amount of chain lube onto the inside of the chain. You need less than you might think. Too much lube is magnet for dirt. Wipe off any excess and let the lube cure according the instructions on the bottle – and you’re done. 

          Important: Make sure you don't get any chain lube on your disc rotors as it will permanently contaminate both discs and your brake pads, and they'll need to be replaced before you can use your bike again.  


          If you want to really get into the cleaning thing you can add a final step – applying a polish to the frame. Polishing has the practical benefit of make it easier to clean next time as dirt doesn’t stick well to polished surfaces. 

          By the way, after you’ve finished cleaning is a perfect time to go over your bike and check all the bolts on your bike to make sure they’re all still snug and secure. If everything looks good, then you can now enjoy a clean, quiet ride. 


          Outside Sports bike stores at Wanaka and Queenstown Centre stock the full range of MUC OFF bike cleaning, lubrication and maintenance products. And at Queenstown we have a MUC OFF wash station that you’re welcome to use. Call us on 441 0074 and let us know you’re coming. 

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