It’s a rainy Monday and I’m not riding today – my first day off in a long, long time – in fact, my last day off the bike was in June. I’m not over-tired, of course, I ride “smart”, but a day off every now and again doesn’t hurt either.
Unfortunately, a day off the bike isn’t necessarily a day away from bikes in the life of an enthusiast. A day off in a cycling enthusiast marriage is even more hectic.
Rather than chilling on the couch like most normal people, I tended to the bikes. My Venge got a cleaning of the drivetrain. My Trek, a longer cable housing at the shifter to improve shifting (worked like a charm), and a cleaning of the drivetrain, along with removing the crank to clean the dirt out of the bottom bracket bearings. I cleaned the drivetrain of my wife’s Alias and tended to her crank as well, before wrapping it up by cleaning the drivetrain on her gravel bike. All in the space of a couple of hours.
This ritual, the cleaning of the drivetrains and cranks, is quite normal in our home. The cranks are a little less needy, but the chains and cassettes can always use a good cleaning – especially when we’re putting 250 miles a week on the bikes.
It’s the only way I know of to keep them looking like this:
The Specialized at the top is a 2013, the Trek at the bottom left is a 1999 and the Alias at the bottom right is a 2014. Cycling is an expensive sport as it is. Clean bikes last longer and require fewer replacement parts. Besides, keeping them clean keeps ’em fast, quiet, and pretty.