It may be true that having a dirty mind can make life way more funny, unfortunately the same can't be said about your bike.
If you're a dedicated rider who gets out every day, or even if you're just a part time punter, it's super important to maintain a clean bike.
Cleaning your bike may take a little extra time and effort, but it's definitely worth the trouble to save yourself money in the long term.
A clean bike will not only look good and run more efficiently, when it's time to upgrade it will be way easier to move it on.
The following five tips have been compiled to show you how you can start to save money just by spending a bit of extra time on your bike when you're not riding.
1. Clean that dirty drive train.
Keeping a clean drive train will help prolong it's life and make it perform more efficiently.
Many people think they're maintaining their chain by simply applying lube. Indeed this will help to keep the chain quiet, but unfortunately applying lube to a dirty chain does more harm than good.
Road grime and dirt will combine with the lube on your chain as you ride, and turn it into an abrasive paste.
This will wear down your drive train, and if left unchecked it will prematurely wear it out, resulting in you forking out for a new chain, cassette and possibly jockey wheels.
Grime build up will also decrease the efficiency of your drive train making gears jump and causing friction on the jockey wheels which creates drag.
Buy a good quality chain lube, a stiff brush and some quality degreaser and get that drive train sparkling, you'll be amazed by the difference it makes.
2. Clean your brakes
Rim brakes wear out and leave black crud all over your wheels, fork, frame and calipers. Cleaning brakes will make them work correctly and obviously allow you to stop safely.
Rim brake pads also pick up small alloy fragments from the rim when they are applied causing wear that diminishes braking power. Keeping pads clean and removing these fragments will help prevent premature wear of your rims.
Although much harder wearing, disc brakes also tend to get fouled up with grime. This can clog up the caliper pistons and causes them to drag.
Ensuring brake dust, dirt and grime is cleaned out of your disc brake calipers is the key to safe and efficient braking power, especially if you're riding on the road.
Of course always get advice on how to clean your brakes correctly to ensure you don't end up causing more problems than you solve.
3. Clean your frame
Believe it or not cleaning your frame will save you money, "how"? I hear you ask, well please read on and you'll find out.
Cleaning your frame gives you the opportunity to inspect it on a regular basis so any issues such as stone chips, paint cracks or even a crack in the frame can be attended to early.
Catching a frame crack early can often mean the difference between getting it repaired or having it fail completely and costing you a trip to hospital.
Also, most bike companies usually have excellent after sales back up on their frames and forks and will often repair or replace frames cracked under normal riding conditions.
However you should always be sure to read the fine print on the warranty policy and make sure you have good insurance cover.
4. Clean your suspension forks and rear shock.
If you ride a mountain bike it's pretty much a given that it will be filthy at the end of most of your rides.
Cleaning down your bike is one thing, but you should also pay close attention to your forks and rear shock.
Cleaning the stanchions and applying a good quality suspension silicon will help them remain in top working order.
It will also help to prevent seals deteriorating prematurely that can lead to scoring or damage that may see you having to do a major overhaul on your forks costing you big dollars!
It will also let you spot any unusual oil leaks. This may signal a blown oil seal or internal wear, these should be attended to sooner rather than later to avoid extra cost due to unnecessary wear.
5. Clean your bike before it's next service.
This may sound counter productive, but if there is one thing that is considered a fail by many bike stores is a customer who brings in their bike for a service encrusted in 6 months worth of grime.
Bike shop mechanics never enjoy working on a dirty bike and will usually do a basic clean before work is commenced as part of a service.
However if your bike looks like it came from the bottom of a swamp don't be surprised if an extra cleaning surcharge is added to your bill as it will probably take twice as long to clean than a bike that is well maintained.
It's often better to save everyone the embarrassment and ensure your bike is in a reasonable state before it goes in for a service so no awkward conversations about extra charges need to be had.
It's true most of this stuff is common sense, but it really does pay to take the time to put in a little effort in maintaining your bike.
Your bike will really love you for it, and the money you save on preventable repairs can be put towards more important things like that post ride coffee, or even better, a post ride beer, or maybe two, cheers.