How clean a mountain bike: all about cleaning your MTB

how to clean a mountain bike

An important part of mountain biking is also cleaning your bike. When you regularly clean your mountain bike, you significantly extend the life of various parts. In this complete cleaning guide I tell you everything you need to know about cleaning your mountain bike.

Why clean your mountain bike?

A mountain bike is made for cruising through the woods. As a result, it is often exposed to dirt, wetness and sand. Cleaning your mountain bike properly afterwards can ensure that your MTB lasts longer and that the lifespan of mountain bike parts is considerably extended.

In addition, regular cleaning of parts also ensures that you can continue to mountain bike comfortably. Take the bicycle chain for example: if you do not clean it regularly, the shifting will become less and less smooth and the mountain bike chain can even break in the long run.

All reasons to clean your MTB at a glance:

  • You last longer with your mountain bike
  • Extending the life of parts
  • Stay comfortable mountain biking
how to clean a mountain bike
Cleaning your mountain bike regularly is very important. ©

How to clean a mountain bike?

When cleaning your mountain bike, you can’t just grab a cleaning agent from the cupboard. And the use of a coarse brush is not always smart either. For example, the hard bristles of a brush can scratch the paintwork of your frame.

There are special cleaning and maintenance products for mountain bikes. In fact, there are even complete cleaning packages that allow you to get everything in one go. Such a complete mountain bike cleaning kit is often filled with the following products:

  • Sponge
  • Degreaser
  • Soft brush
  • Coarse brush
  • Claw brush
  • Dry, clean cloth
  • Chain lube
mountain bike cleaning kit
A complete cleaning kit from Muc-Off ©

What all needs to be cleaned?

As I just indicated, a mountain bike consists of many different parts and accessories. There is therefore no complete cleaning step-by-step plan. Each part requires different maintenance. View below all important parts of your mountain bike that need to be properly maintained.

  • Derailleur
  • Bicycle chain
  • Disc brakes
  • Cassette

Apart from the above separate parts, it is of course also important to hose down your mountain bike after a ride and let it dry.

How often should you clean an MTB?

I often get asked how often you should clean a mountain bike. The answer to this question depends on how much you use your mountain bike and under what weather conditions. For example, after cycling in a muddy environment, it is wise to hose down and degrease the mountain bike thoroughly afterwards.

Many parts do not need to be cleaned every week. Take the bicycle chain for example: after cleaning and lube the mountain bike chain you can get back to it. In the overview below you will discover some guidelines for cleaning the parts.

Mountain bike partCleaning frequencyStep-by-step plan
Mountain bike cassetteEvery monthCleaning mountain bike cassette
Mountain bike derailleurEvery two weeksCleaning mountain bike derailleur
Mountain bike chainEvery two weeksCleaning mountain bike hain
Mountain bike brakesEvery monthCleaning mountain bike disc brakes

I emphasize that these are guidelines. If you get on your mountain bike every day and cycle in the mud, you will have to clean the mountain bike much more often.

Frequently asked questions about cleaning an MTB

Can I clean my mountain bike with water?

You can easily clean a mountain bike with water. However, you will also have to use a good degreaser for a thorough cleaning. This allows dirt to loosen better.

Which mountain bike parts need to be cleaned regularly?

A mountain bike consists of many different parts. The parts that you should clean regularly are the derailleur, the cassette, the chain and the brakes. These parts have the most impact on the handling and safety of your mountain bike.

How often should I clean my MTB?

That depends on how often you use your mountain bike and under what weather conditions you usually ride. It is recommended that you rinse your mountain bike with water after each use and then dry it. Not everything needs to be cleaned after every ride. View the cleaning intensity guidelines for specific components on this page.

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