Should you clean your bike like a 'pro' - and use a pressure washer?

Mechanic Glen Whittington splits his time between working on pro team bikes and those ridden by amateurs, he shares his thoughts on the merits - or otherwise - of getting the dirt off 'quickly'

Mechanic washes a bike on team training camp
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We’ve all seen pictures of professional mechanics at races 'jet washing' team bikes: often grainy, emotive if that's the kind of thing you like, pressurised water flying in all directions. It certainly looks the business, but is that the best way to clean your bike?

As a mechanic who splits his time between working on pro team bikes and customer bikes (and occasionally even my own bike), I’m in a unique position to weigh up the pros and cons of all kinds of systems and services, including the humble bike wash. When a customer asks, “is it okay to jet wash [pressure wash is the proper terminology] my bike? That’s what the pros do”. My answer is always the same, “absolutely” I say, “but you (or often, I) will need to spend tomorrow carrying out a full strip, regrease and rebuild!” 

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