Finally, use a chain tensioned and focus on removing all the grime from your chain. You can use a tooth brush or a specific chain cleaning brush. Use GET or WAD to displace all excess water and run thee chain through a dry rag to ensure that all grime and muck is removed. Cleaning your chain routinely is strongly recommended is it is exposed to all the elements and worked hard every time you ride. By removing the debris that gets lodged between the chains plates and rollers can significantly reduce unwanted wear. By maintaining your chain can easily increase its life 3-fold. Prevention is always better than a cure, especially when its your chain that will always help you get home!
So what you need is a bucket plus some specific bike cleaner, as household agents may have abrasive properties. If you have a bike stand this will facilitate cleaning all round the bike. Spray the cleaner agent over the bike then using a soft brush and or sponge with hot water start cleaning the muck and grime of your bike.
We would recommend removing both wheels and cleaning these separately allowing to get into other areas of the frame easier. Once you have fully cleaned your bike (Exec Wheels & Chain) spray fresh water to remove any detergent and wipe dry with a rag. Once you have dried the frame and components, we advise using GT85 over the running components and any visible cables and wipe of any excess. And to to really finish of the frame use a polish or silicone to make it shine like new, but on a serious note this will reduce much and grime from sticking to the frame.
Now you may have seen the Pro Teams using a high pressure washer; this is true but don't forget these mechanics are professionals and will always spray parallel to the facings of bearings, furthermore they have high budgets should something be damaged.
Looking after your bike will save you money down the line, so by dedicating a small amount of time regularly clean your bike not only will it last longer but its reliability will increase. Cleaning your bike during the winter months when the conditions are wet, salty/gritty roads is absolute paramount as not doing so will accelerate unwanted wear and corrosion.
Cleaning your bike doesn't mean using a high pressure jet wash at the local garage, it means getting a bucket/soap/water and cleaning it properly with a sponge and soft brush. The problem with a high pressure washer is that the pressure of the water will force water into areas with bearings and strip that area of grease and potentially actually push dirt/grime into these vital areas.
Clean that bike
and it will look after you!
Lubbing your chain after cleaning is just as important and you have the option of a Dry or Wet lube:
Dry Lube - You apply dry lube to a chain's bushings, pins and rollers, however once applied the carrier evaporates leaving a clean dry chain. The benefit is that the chain doesn't attract dust and grime, yet the downfall is that dry lube can easily wash of if its raining so would therefore require frequent lubrication. So in essence if your MTBing on a dry dusty course you want a dry chain as if you had a wet chain this would attract all the muck and grime and turn your chain into a paste and therefore destroy your components.
Wet Lube - When you please wet lube on a chain it stays wet. This means under dry clean riding conditions the chain remains lubricated for longer even through heavy rain. The disadvantage is that wet lube is very sticky and will attract grime and muck. So basically during winter riding wet lube is the preferred option. Cleaning the wheels in the same manor but for the rear wheel use a harder brush to clean the cassette and as required use a thin rag to slide in between each sprocket to full clean this area.