An initial rinse is very important, or you will end up swirling round the gritty debris and scratching your frame. Assuming all that rain dancing has worked and the drought is over, you can use a garden hose on a light setting to do this, otherwise it's backwards and forwards to the tap with a bucket. Next spray some diluted degreaser (we really rate Juice Lubes Dirt Juice) onto your frame. Leave for 30 seconds then, using hot water and a sponge, go over the whole frame and wipe clean. Don't use washing-up liquid as this often contains salt, which is not good for your bike. Finish up with some frame polish (Juice Lubes Frame Polish is best), this will leave your bike looking shiny, smelling nice and prevent dirt from sticking to it.
Cleaning the Wheels
A dirty braking surface can decrease the performance of your brakes, increase the wear on your brake pads and make a horrible noise at the same time. Give the rim a quick wipe with some wire wool to take off any oxidation, follow up with a wipe using a clean dry cloth to take off any wire strands left behind. Now spray some brake cleaner (Juice Lubes Brake Juiceis great for this job) onto your rag and wipe around the rim to break down any remaining grease. A clean with some light degreaser on the hub and spokes will make your wheels shine and although it may not necessarily to increase performance, it's a good finishing touch. It is always worth checking your brake pads for grit that might be lodged into the rubber, pick anything out and carefully give the pads a wipe with an alcohol-based solvent. This could save you quite a lot of money in the long run.
Bike Health Warning!
Unless you really know what you're doing, we think it's best to avoid all jet or pressure washers. Yes, you may well wind up with a lovely clean bike but you're also quite likely to wash all the grease out of some very important places, where it really needs to be. Those dark hidden recesses of your bike where most of you never go - inside the hubs, headset and bottom bracket - must be well lubricated at all times. If they are not, you could be in for a very expensive visit to the bike shop.