Spring Clean

The snow and mud of winter always takes a toll on a bike so the change of clocks should be seen as a prompt to clean your bike. As Easter has now been and gone you need to do your spring clean before it becomes a summer clean.

A full strip down makes this much easier so I clamped it in my bike stand and started taking off bits. If you are going to do the same then make sure you have all the spare bits needed before you take the old bits off. Small items like cable patches, gear cable ends, zip ties even, need to be replaced. I left some stuff grouped together to save a little time and removed the handlebars with the brakes and shifters still attached. This meant removing brake calipers and all the inner and outer cables but it leaves the frame clean. Wheels off, split the chain and remove the pedals, cranks and bottom bracket took only a few minutes.

This would have been enough but I also removed the fork,shock, rear mech and the suspension links allowing me to split the frame as well.

Protective tape does a great job of protecting the frame but it discolours around the edges where the mud is forced in so I removed all the tape, removed the residue and finally removed the cleaning agent.

I washed everything using a small electric parts washer, several trays for various rinsing and most well known brands of cleaners but only those with an orange citrus label.

My ibis came with some touch up paint which was applied where the odd flint had been fired through the tape. I am always surprised at the thickness of the carbon around the bottom bracket but I think a bash guard is a must.

New tape is a fiddle but worth the time to make it neat, the suspension links checked and seemed fine but I will change these again shortly. I found on my previous Nomad new bearings never seemed necessary but always made a huge difference so I will continue the practice. I did remove the seals and add a little grease in places.

All the other bits were checked and cleaned before re-assembly but close inspection finds lots of tiny things. I re-used the pads and cables but they both need more checking when the trails run brisker. The front mech HL stops were reset and the alignment checked several times. The chainset gap is often overlooked but this can be the cause of chain ache. This normally happens in the rain at night though. Brakes back on, seatpost cleaned and Michael Bubled as you need special Bubles in a carbon frame grease to stop it creaking and crooning.

You could rush through a good clean in a couple of hours including a little dismantling or you could allocate a sunny afternoon and do some of the little jobs that get missed. Clean and grease the quick release on your wheels or your seatpost clamp perhaps grease the screws on the cleats of your shoes rather than wait and drill them off.

Overall without servicing any major parts like the forks the whole bike feels better and runs quieter. The source of one creak turned out to be the freewheel which just needed a strip and clean to run silent once more.

The only negative comment was that the removal of my motocross mudguards made it seem less orange so one more job to do.


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