Instructables

Portable and Winter Mountain or Cyclocross Bike Washing Tip

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Picture of Portable and Winter Mountain or Cyclocross Bike Washing Tip
This is my simple solution for washing your mountain bike when water is not readily available.
As you may be aware, the mud is much easier to remove when it is still wet, so the faster you get it done after your ride the less effort required and the more thorough a cleaning job can be.

Two situations that occur to me are the following, but I'm sure there are more:
  • My outdoor hosebibs are located such that I shut down and drain the exterior water line to the hosebibs for the winter. However, that does not stop me from riding and so I often find myself with a muddy bike and no means to wash it.
  • Sometimes I will drive (by vehicle) to a remote location and encounter sufficiently muddy trails. There is no place to wash the bike, so you load it back on your vehicle and the mud dries on the way home. This assumes there is no creek nearby to wash your bike in.
 
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Step 1: The Sprayer Solution

Picture of The Sprayer Solution
I use a 2 gallon capacity pump sprayer with wand that you can purchase in the lawn and garden section of any hardware or big box store. Based on internet reviews, my sprayer is not supposed to be that great, but it was what Home Depot had for the best price, at the time I needed it, It's working for me so far, however.

When using it at home on cold winter days, I fill it with warm water from the laundry sink.

For travel, just fill it before you leave home and leave it in your vehicle. so it's ready as soon as your ride is over.

I have found the pressure is adequate for removing wet mud and small debris quite well. The spray can be adjusted from a broad spray to narrow by twisting the nozzle end.  The good thing about the light pressure is that you don't have to worry about spraying it into areas where you might worry about spraying a high pressure garden hose. Used in conjunction with a brush or two you can do a rather thorough job while out on the road.
cabnfever10 months ago
This is an great tip. Thanks!
rigtenzin1 year ago
I will purchase one of these sprayers this weekend. Thanks for the tip.
Steeler1 year ago
Works like a charm... I use a smaller 1.5 liter pump spay bottle and I use a bulk car wash soap in hot water used with one of those mag brushes"for cleaning car mag wheels" I get my bike clean in minutes. If you turn the bottle upside down it makes the soap steam all foamy and i coat the cluster and chain-rings with this spin the drive a couple of times and presto.
marple200 (author)  Steeler1 year ago
Nice.
Haven't tried it with soap mixed in yet.
I spray Simply Green on and scrub with a brush.
I'm glad it's working well for you.
What a very good idea.
I don't go mountain biking in the winter, but I do ride on the road, and have similar problem with salt, not mud. I may have to invest in a sprayer like that to clean my bike after a particularly slushy day!