so in the past I had an bad experience with bike wash washing away the grease on BB and stuff(mainly because it was an cheap one) but since I upgraded I want to keep the longevity of my bike, so I want to know where should I grease up and when should I do it, btw imo i do wash my bike a lot like once every 2 ish weeks, so considering that when should I do it?

oh plus if there are any other maintenance tips or stuff that beginner just can't know please let me know thanks a lot

  • How are you washing the bike? What type of bike, what quality? A decent Gravel or MTB will have bearing seals that reduce ingress into bearings. A cheap BSO or road bike will not have those seals. How you wash is as important as maintenance.
    – mattnz
    Aug 11, 2023 at 21:39
  • oh rn im riding an wiawis(an Korean brand) with dura ace everything except the rim breaks which is ultegra, in this level of bike how should I wash it?
    – Jas0n
    Aug 12, 2023 at 6:13
  • oh and I wash my bike with dish soap for the frame and stuff and wd40 for the chain
    – Jas0n
    Aug 12, 2023 at 6:34

1 Answer 1


The following are some general tips about washing a bicycle and greasing various parts. Techniques and frequencies vary from person to person, and there are probably thousands of products from which to choose for the job.

In the broadest statement possible, a general rule of thumb for bike wash is "less is more.". The amount of soap should be limited and fewer additional additives past surfactants is best to avoid grease washout, water ingress, and possible contamination of disc brake rotors and pads, if present. Dish soap is a safe bet. --A limited amount of water use is best to avoid associated problems with water ingress into bearing systems. Definitely high pressure washers shouldn't be used. In my experience, even the relatively mild stream from a garden hose spray nozzle can create problems even when careful to avoid direct spray onto the bearing areas. I've cleaned out rust colored grease from bottom brackets and hubs a few weeks after even a conservative washing. Water finds it's way.

--There are several water-free bike wash products available. Generally surfactants and perhaps some shine promoters in a spray bottle. With these you spray it on the frame and rims and wipe away the dirt and grime, followed by a buff with a second soft, dry towel. These are excellent for regular use where the bike is not getting extremely dirty. The product avoids problems with water ingress into bearings, but care should be used around brake rotors and calipers as they can become contaminated by the additives in the spray.

--Ive mentioned disc brakes a few times now. One thing I do before washing my bikes is to take a plastic grocery bag and enclose the disc and caliper within it. I make it so the open end of the bag, which I tie closed, to face down. This prevents water and soap and dirty wash water from getting into the bag and on the brake system.

-- After washing a particularly dirty mountain bike with a bucket of soapy water, a wash mitt, a soft bristle brush, and additional specialty wash tools designed for a bicycle (essentially narrow brushes and a curved hard plastic tool that fits between cogs of a cassette), I will treat the pivots with a squirt of TriFlow aerosol lubricant which has water displacement characteristics like WD-40, but contains more and better lubrication ingredients left behind after the solvent carrier evaporates. Still you want to be conservative with this as you want to minimize the chance of diluting or washing out the grease within the sealed bearings often present in the pivots. There are widely differing opinions on this practice.

Regarding greasing and other lubrication of bike parts, again, there are various opinions on the best products to use and the frequency to get it done. Modern bikes are now often outfitted with sealed cartridge bearings where once loose ball or cage bearings once resided. Cartridge bearings can be considered a wear item. While one can service these types of bearings (remove seal, clean out old, dirty grease, repack with new grease, replace seal), they are really just meant to be replaced with a new unit. In fact, because the races and bearing balls (which are typically housed in a retaining ring) are part of the cartridge unit, any excessive wear on these parts means the whole thing needs replacement. One will not readily find replacement parts for a cartridge bearing, you look to replace the whole thing.

Cartridge bearings do have a seat within the frame or hub. The head tube and headset bearing system is a good example. Whether the headset cup is pressed into or integrated into the frame, it acts as a seat for the appropriate cartridge bearing to be placed and should be prepped with water proof, all purpose grease prior to the bearing being placed. Grease here and on the inner aspect of cartridge bearing where, on top, the centering sleeve, and on bottom, the crown race, will articulate with the inner bearing is necessary for smooth, quiet function and as a water-proofing measure to further protect the sealed bearings. Depending on use and conditions of use, these should be cleaned and regreased a couple times a year.

Many modern cranks utilize bottom brackets that are non-servicable. Again, simply replace them when worn. But, the spindle--bearing interface, and spindle--left crankarm interface can be disassembled and cleaned and regreased once a year at least. Wheel hubs, same deal. Bearings are sealed, nonservicable and replaceable, however the axle, end caps, and interior of the hub can be cleaned and regreased regularly. The freehub and it's mechanism can be cleaned and lubricated regularly. Many hub bodies require a lighter grease for proper functioning and following the manufacturers guidelines for frequency and product type is advised.

A good rule of thumb is to use a small amount of grease on any threaded areas of the bike. Bolts for the stem, seat clamp, bottle cages, etc can all be greased. This prevents galling of metal, as well as corrosion. It also helps to prevent noise. Grease can be applied to the under side of bolt heads & washers where metal to metal contact occurs.

Finally, derailleur pivots and shifter internals are areas that can get overlooked. I like to hit the rear derailleur pivots at least every other time I lube the chain, which is weekly in my case.

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