Triathlon-Werkstatt: Frühjahrsputz für Dein Rad

Finally off to the streets. A spring cleaning is advisable before the first sunny rides! But mistakes can be made here too. These tips will do the right thing.

The racer doesn't like that at all

So that you can enjoy riding your bike for a long time, you should never:

  • use a steam jet or water hose to clean the bicycle
  • Rinse the bike with water from the tap when it is silted up
  • Use dishwashing detergent or other fat-dissolving products for cleaning
  • use thin oil (Brunox, WD 40, or others) in the wrong places

The right cleaning

The following care tips are all you need to clean a bike that has been professionally serviced in a workshop. Spring cleaning is on!

After a ride in the rain or a sandy tour, you should definitely let the dirt dry. As soon as this has dried, you can easily remove it with a hand broom. I recommend covering the chain, sprockets and chainrings with a couple of old cleaning rags beforehand. When brushing off, please make sure that the dust is not attracted to the greased drive, because grease is the best dust magnet there is.

Now you can completely wipe the pre-cleaned bike with a slightly damp cleaning cloth.

The special bike cleaning agent is always applied thinly to a clean cleaning cloth and never sprayed onto the frame or components. For the simple reason that any low-viscosity cleaning agent creeps into all bearings through capillary action and destroys the lubricating film required for trouble-free operation. Cleaning agents should therefore always be used sparingly.

Otherwise, you should never save on the cleaning cloths, because dirty and clogged cleaning cloths only scratch the surfaces of the paintwork and the components.

relaxation for the chain

Now we switch the derailleur (front gear) and the rear derailleur (rear) to the smallest gears. In this way we achieve the greatest possible relaxation of the chain in order to be able to clean it better.
We now take a cleaning cloth and spray it a little with thin oil. With the slightly oily cloth we now take the chain in our hands and turn the cranks of the bicycle backwards. Let the chain run through your fingers in an S-shape, this will remove the dust from the chain. To avoid dirty fingers, I recommend using rubber gloves.

For the spaces in between

Now we clean all the spaces between the gears with a folded cleaning cloth. I use the slightly thicker button strips from old shirts or discarded bedding for this. In the case of heavy soiling (e.g. clogged gears), I use a steel brush in the workshop to clean the entire drive.

grease the chain

Then we grease the chain on the inside and turn the drive backwards. I only use products from pressure-free bottles to lubricate the chain. With chain sprays from a can, the spray adheres to the braking surfaces. Since low-viscosity oils flush the grease out of the chain rollers, I only use tough chain grease to lubricate the "chain rollers" and remove any excess residue after it has taken effect with an oil rag that I have used before. Finally, I put a small drop of oil in the plain bearings of the brakes and the gearshift.


Under no circumstances should oil get onto the hubs, headset or bottom bracket, as these are filled with bearing grease and the thin oil completely destroys the compressive strength of the bearing grease. If in doubt, it is better to refrain from "the last rites" of your bike and seek advice from your trusted bike dealer.

Our overview should not tempt you to do something that you have not learned or that you do not dare to do. If in doubt, contact your bike dealer or mechanic!

Road bike and triathlon helmets



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