I’d like to tell you a little bit about this big green monster. As it says on the tin, its a bioremediating parts washer. What does it do? Well…….. it cleans very dirty, greasy parts and brings them up like new. Why is that interesting? Well………….. for those who have visited the bike workshop in Blackhill, you’ll know how I like a clean drivetrain and am only too happy to do this for you. This is good for everyone, whether you’re an occasional family, regular commuter /sportive/ or racing cyclist. Having a clean drive train, put quite simply, reduces wear on those components. It means you are able to oil the chain – I’ll get onto that later – and keep the rest of the drive components relatively clean.
I am gathering some before and after pictures to demonstrate how impressed am I with this machine, keep an eye out for our posts in the coming weeks. It makes my job easier, as I do like to return a bike clean. When we clean a bike, by hand is the best way, we’re removing the soil that, when mixed with oil and general road/track debris, forms a grinding paste which assists in the wear of chains, sprockets (gears at the rear), chainrings (gears at the front), rims and disc rotors, as well as many other parts of the bicycle. When we clean and lubricate the bike, we are reducing the speed of that wear. Where my parts washer excels is cleaning in those hard to reach areas.
Cleaning the bike to a reasonable level after a wet or dusty ride doesn’t have to take a long time – 20-30 minutes is usually enough. You can go further but I’m trying to encourage you all to give it a go, get the kids involved. If cleaning your bike isn’t a part of your usual routine after a ride, then bring it to us and we’ll do it for you, and if you want to learn a bit more about keeping your bike in good nick, we can give you some tips about doing it yourself. There are lots of bike specific cleaners and spray degreasers on the market; I have tried quite a few and have my favourites, so please ask for more information and try them, they do work well. The main message is that we believe that cleaning your bike, as well as regular service, should be part of your maintenance schedule, and it is an effective and efficient way to keep your bike rolling along for longer.
When the chain is cleaned, lubricate it with a good quality chain lube. Again there are lots of brands to choose from. You won’t need to use a lot in one application – a little goes a long way. Re-apply regularly, especially after washing or a wet ride. Wipe down your chain after every use by using a sponge or oily rag – this will remove most of the debris that has stuck to the chain.
Of course, as with everything, a bike won’t last forever, but with regular care and maintenance, it will last a bit longer. I have had to tell a few people that their bikes/components are beyond economic repairs; we are open and honest and would never recommend keeping the machine if a new one is now the best option.
Steel Town Cycles are at 46 Durham Road, Blackhill, near Consett and very close to the Sustrans cycle routes in and around Consett and of course the C2C as it crosses through our beautiful County.