Their eyes popped and the smile spread wide…cool, it looks great!  Whats happening?  That moment they saw their new bike for the first time.  For a while it’s clean and shiny. Everyone loves a clean and shiny bike.  Fast forward – how’s it looking now?  What’s their attitude to their bike or bike cleaning?  Do they ride it and dump it, expecting it to perform every time they jump on? When something breaks or squeaks do they look at you and expect magic to happen?

Bike cleaning is heaps of fun but it will also open up an opportunity to teach the kids & you so much more.

Responsibility                Respect for equipment            
 Moving/lifting/handling their bike        Understanding how a bike works              Discovering what damages a bike      Identifying problems & solving them                Appreciating costs/money    Environment to ask questions & learn              Another opportunity to get wet!

bike cleaning for the kids.goRide

Get cleaning with the kids & you. If its their bike it is their job to help look after it.

adult kids bike cleaning together goRide 800w

Its fun and you will all learn something new

You will need – your bike, a cleaning kit, bucket of water/hose

Depending on the age of your child and how into it or inquisitive they are start to work your way through this list which includes what part of the bike to work on/how to work on it/questions you could answer together when bike cleaning.  Although this is targeted at kids, if you are new to riding or getting back into it after a long break, this is a great way to get to know your bike.  So feel free to do this without any kids.  I recommend you read through this story and the answers to the questions before you begin cleaning.  That way armed with fresh knowledge you can just get to the water and fun.

Most of these things are easiest to work with when your bike is upside down (exception – points of contact), so begin with this skill, get them to turn their bike upside down.  Now grab your cleaning kit – What’s in a cleaning kit? – and get to learning.

  • Apply a general bike cleaner then lather up with your brush

Tyres – so easy for a child of any age to clean and satisfying if they are muddy.  Give them a brush and set them to work.  Lather and rinse while checking for tread wear, splits, cracking.  What is a tyre made of?  What can damage a tyre?  What is tread?  What is written on the sidewall of your tyre?  What do these things mean?  Do you need to pump up your tyres?  (Cleaning A Bike Tyre,  Changing your Bike Tyre)

Spokes – it is good for anyone to spin their back bike wheel and have a look at how the pedal/chain/back wheel work to give you motion.  Do this by cranking the pedals (I am assuming your bike is upside down).  View the wheel, as it spins in the plane that it moves, look for wobbling.  Stop the spinning wheel with your brakes not your hand – which brake controls which wheel?  When the wheel is still inspect your spokes by giving them a tweak – do they move?  Where’s the nipple?  Should it be tight?  How many spokes do you have in your front wheel?

Cables – follow the cables from the handlebars – where do they go?  What do the cables on your bike do?  You are looking for cracks in the casing, loose cables, splitting, are they sitting in their tracks/taped down?

Deluxe Kit IMG_0271

goRides Deluxe Cleaning Kit – Everything the family needs for a thorough clean and lube of all the bikes.

Apply a general bike cleaner then lather up with your brush

Easy and satisfying cleaning bike tyres with a bike brush

This cable has popped put of its track and is resting down by the front fork.

Follow the cables – we discovered this cable had popped out.

Chain – your chain is oily so dirt, grit, sand, fine gravel gets stuck to it.  A quick way to give it a clean is to run a soapy brush over it.  A good trick for your cog set is to use the side of a cloth and run it between the sprockets – see photo.  How are the teeth of the sprockets looking, where do they wear down?  How many gears do you have on your bike?  For a thorough look into your bike chain, cleaning and lubing it start with our Bike Chain story.

The edge of my new cloth cleaning the cogset.

Points of contact – seat, hand grips, pedals.  Again easy for all ages to find these things, clean them, rinse and search for wear & tear – rips, cracking.  Spin the pedals…are the hand grips sticky?  What kind of things can damage your seat/grips/pedals?

New bike grips. Worn and ripped bike grips

Be gentle with water, use a light spray.  Dry in the shade.  Why should you dry your bike in the shade?   Why should we keep our bikes in a garage/shed/covered up?

Did you find any problems?  Are they easily fixed?  Do you have a bike tool kit?  Do you need to pump up your tyres?  If you discovered something that needs work have a go at fixing it yourself (look through our resources) or take the bike into a bike shop.

Do you have some things to keep an eye on for next time?  Have some of the questions got you puzzled…

This is a link to the goRide Bike Cleaning Questions & Answers sheet where the above questions are discussed and answered.  Now that your bike is clean YOU can relax knowing that your pre-ride safety check will be simple and you will be able to have a great day on the bike

Durable bike cleaning brush chain  goride

Cleaning the chain with a bike brush

The edge of my new cloth cleaning the cogset.

A cloth/rag between the sprockets in a cogset (or cassette)

New bike grips

New handgrips

Worn and ripped bike grips

Worn handgrips

get Ready and goRide – Bike Cleaning for the Kids & You

Thanks for reading. Used together our stories, resources & products support you to achieve and develop as a rider.

Related Resources:

Clean your bike chain

Clean your drivetrain

When MUST you clean

Lube your bike chain

Know your bike chain

Whats in a bike cleaning kit

goRide helps you find your riding SMILE.  Now it’s your turn….Contact goRide. Your thoughts, comments or feedback will make us SMILE.

Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide

Women and families learning
Types of Riding
Riding gear
Ride more places