From time immemorial, the bicycle has been an inseparable part of the lives of most people. To many people, it not only serve as a means of transport, but can be used as a good way to exercise, not to mention it offers a good form of leisure activity. Even after the advent of other locomotive units, the bicycle has retained its preference among many people. Bicycle cleanliness is as important as the cleanliness of its rider, and a dirty bike not only poses hygienic concerns but safety concerns as well. Considering this cleanliness is in regards to bicycle brakes, then these concerns become graver in extent. It is no question that many bicycle owners do not know how to clean their bicycles, let alone bicycle brakes, and this is where this article comes in. While providing an in depth analysis, the article shall take a look into the various ways of how to clean bicycle brakes.
Check The Brake Pads – Even before starting the cleaning process, you need to check the condition of your brake pads, starting with the worn out ones. Inevitably, brakes will wear out, and a worn out brake pad is detected by the inability to see the grooves. As a measure of safety, worn out brakes should be replaced as soon as possible.
Another thing you should check is the squeakiness and the looseness of the brakes. Before proceeding to clean, all squeaky and loose brakes require to be tightened. This can either be achieved by twiddling the barrel adjuster by the brake lever, or by use of the Allen keys.
Wipe Out Mud Or Grit – By use of a rag dampened with household cleaner or bike wash, wipe down the brake calipers, using the paint brush for the areas that are hard to access. In the case of rim breaks, you can wipe down the brake pads so as to remove any residue or grit that may wear away the wheel’s break track.
Rinse With Water- Using clean water, rinse the brake pads plus the adjacent wheels. While rinsing, put the wheels in a cycling motion and look out for bends in the wheels and have them fixed, for bends tend to reduce a the performance of the brakes.
Continue rinsing the brake pads as you occasionally clamp them onto the rim so as to check the condition of the grooves. When done rinsing, dry-wipe and let it stand for about 10 minutes.
Lubricate The Brakes – While holding the bike on stand, gently apply paint lubricant to the brake pivot points, while slowly rotating the wheels to ensure the lubricant spreads around the break tracks. Continue this procedure for about 5 minutes as you occasionally clasp onto the brakes to ensure the lubricant is spread around the pads. Use a rag to wipe away any excess lubricant.
Evidently, the importance of bicycle cleaning cannot be emphasized, and whether done purely for hygiene or safety reasons, the fact remains that the general condition of any bike is dependent upon the overall performance of its brakes, which in itself is determined by its cleanliness.