So I’ve been riding your bike for many weeks… Rain, hail or shine. One of the biggest things I feel shameful for is the state of my wheels after just a week of riding. The nice colour (if your manufacturer painted the wheels something other than black) has turned horrible. Caked with road grime, brake dust and chain lube. I’ve got some great cleaning tips for you so you’re not scrubbing away at your wheels for hours!
Do not reach for the garden hose or a bucket full of washing liquid. What you need is THIS:
CRC or WD40. This stuff really is a toolkit in a can. It does so much (but don’t lube your chain with it, it’s not that great for it). If you have front and rear stands for your bike, chuck them up on the stands, it’ll make cleaning a lot easier. If you don’t… Then you’ll suffer a bit.
What you need to do it spray the liquid onto your rims and let it soak in for about 20 seconds. I then use toilet paper to just wipe off the grime. It’s so much easier and saves me wasting rags and you don’t even need much toilet paper. 1 roll will last you about 6 wheels worth of cleaning.
I’ve found using CRC or WD40 works better than water or washing liquid and when you come to clean the wheels again, the dirt comes off a lot easier due to the oily layer left behind. Take care not to get it on your wheels though! It’s easy to avoid it because the spray pattern is quite narrow anyway. With washing liquid and water, the grime remains on the wheel and isn’t displaced. You need a lot of elbow grease to free up the dirt. The difference is extremely noticeable when you switch to CRC or WD40.
You can see below, three different stages. First, after I sprayed the CRC on, the grime is already running off. Secondly after a quick wipe and finally a good rub down.