A clean bike is a happy bike

In anticipation of California’s winter rainy season, I’ve deferred cleaning and let grime build up on my bike’s moving parts. The result, unfortunately, is poor shifting, so I bit the bullet and washed dirt and filth from the chain, derailleurs and cogs. I also scrubbed roadkill remains stuck to my downtube. Yes, I had chunks of venison on the bottom of my bike.

There’s not a lot to cleaning and lubing your bike. Carlton explains the basics in this eight minute video.

Waxing Chains? If you’ve ever wondered how Ecovelo keeps his bikes so gorgeously photogenic, it’s because he waxes his chains. I gave up waxing chains about two decades ago, and Sheldon was meh on the practice as well. For the clean freaks, however, read the process here at EcoVelo. I like his crock pot idea; I used a coffee tin to dip my chain and store my dirty paraffin.

Note to Bay Area cyclists: Cold front and rain on the way for Friday! I discovered this after washing my bike on Tuesday.


  1. so you had to kill a deer before you would wash your bike? How many more woodland creatures have to die?
    ps i wax my chain in the 9 dollar frys crockpot. works great

  2. Anticipating igniting the paraffin, I also waxed my chain in some kind of electric cooking pot I found. Wax didn’t last long on the chain though.

  3. …while it prob’ly took a bit of extra energy to clean up your bike because of that grime, now, if you give it a quick hose & a quick shot of lube after friday’s rain, you’ll be good to go, ya ???…

    …i got rid of that waxy buildup a long time ago…the pro mechanics i know never liked the stuff, which told me something…

    …venison, huh ???…just remember, venison jerky is an expensive delicacy…don’t be wasteful…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.