No matter what type of cycling you do, your bike will get dirty. Of course, there is no point of comparison between the mud of a Mountain Bike route and the dust of a road trip, but in any case it is important to keep the bike clean in order to get all its performance and extend its useful life to the maximum.
There are products specifically designed to clean our bike, but sometimes we don't have access to them. Although it is advisable to use them from time to time, knowing how to clean your bike with just water is a resource that could go very well when we have little time and cleaning is general. Even so, doing it incorrectly can be counterproductive for the components of our bike and that is why we recommend you follow these tips.
Although you can clean your bike with water, you should not do it with hoses that shoot pressurized water like the ones we can find at gas stations. Pressurized water penetrates the bearing areas and can damage them, for this reason if you have no choice but to use a hose of this type, do not bring the jet closer than one meter from the bike and never direct it frontally towards its axes.
Especially if your bike is covered in mud it will be good to hose it down a bit before starting the deep cleaning. Without too much pressure and spraying the dirtiest areas, a first pass of water will help the most annoying dirt to come off the frame, axles and wheels to allow easier access to other areas later.
For this step we will leave aside the water and use a degreaser. It is not essential to carry out this step every time we clean the bike, but whenever we do it we must use specific products for bicycles, any degreaser is not worth it. With a brush, do not stop degreasing the chain, chainrings, cassette and the other elements of the transmission.
With a detergent suitable for bicycles, you must take care of leaving your bike well soaped. Here do not skimp on the soap and make sure you reach all the spaces on the bike, you can help with a brush. Don't forget about the previously degreased transmission or any tricky nook and cranny that could harbor dirt.
Now is the time to remove all soap and degreaser applied to the bike. Try to use as little water as possible, but make sure that there are no traces of detergent left, as they could give you problems, especially on the brakes, if you don't remove it well.
To finish it's time to dry the bike. As a first step it is advisable to make it bounce on the ground so that a large part of the water jumps out. Once that is done, we will use a cloth to leave it spotless. Pay special attention to the transmission, which must be completely dry before greasing it. Once the chain rolls like silk, you will have finished your wash. The bike will look like new!