Washing a bike in an apartment

How do you get the grit, grease, and mud off your bike… in a small space (like a unit bathroom) and keep the area somewhat clean…? It can be done! In the demo below I washed a medium 29″ dual suspension in a small shower area.  Keep reading to find out how… 

1. Take off your front wheel

Take off your front wheel and give it a good rinse down with the shower head. This will soften up all the mud. Spray down the wheel with degreaser or bike spray and attack with a strong bristled brush. Once this is done, rinse down the rest of the wheel with water and leave to drip dry.

2. Position the rest of the bike in the shower in a way that doesn’t damage the glass or the bike. Make sure the cleats or cranks don’t hit the glass! 

Depending on the size of your bathroom, you might have to take your rear wheel off as well (be careful of the rear mech). Position the bike as shown or any other way that works in your space. Rinse down the bike with water to loosen all the mud (low pressure to save the mess).  Once this is done, you’ll need to cover the bike with bike spray (I like to use Krush) or mild dishwashing liquid. Make sure to give the bike a full wash down with a soft brush or sponge. When rinsing the bike down, remember to use low water pressure, so the soap and mud doesn’t spray everywhere. Low pressure is also much better for the bearings, paint and mechanisms. 

3. Drying & finishing touches

Personally I like to leave the bike to drip dry but some people aren’t a fan of this. If you prefer a bone dry bike, grab a soft cloth (an old pair of undies will even do) and dry down the bike, including the group set and chain. Relube the bike and carefully get it out of the shower area and off you go!

4. Cleaning the bathroom

Now the not-so-fun job of cleaning up the bathroom.  Use a rag to scoop up all the excess dirt and position it down the drain. The rest of the dirt should just go away by doing a quick rinse with the shower head.  Because of the grease from the bike, you will also need to use some good old fashioned Gumption or something similar to clean the tiles and glass. Some people have told me bi-carb soda and vinegar mixed together works well. But you get the idea 🙂