How to Clean Your Bike After a Mountain Bike Ride
Many of us went through the thought “I’ll never be able to clean that” after an epic-yet-messy mountain bike ride. Sure, you can grab a hose and water everything off, but if you want to take care of your bike for the long run (or ride) we have a couple of tips you can try and common mistakes you should avoid when cleaning up your bike after a ride.
What do you need to clean up your bike after a ride? Is Chain Lubricant necessary? For this cleanup, you won’t need much. Remember, this is an everyday, fast way to wash your bike. If you want to go for a deep cleaning you may want to talk with a specialist that could give you a more accurate procedure depending on the bike you have, the dirt you’ve been riding on, and more. For this process, you’ll only need a soft and a hard brush, a hose, washing liquid, a lint-free cloth or paper towel, and a bike chain lubricant. A bike stand will make the job easier if you have one.
Keep your hose handy and don’t be shy with it, but before you turn it on, find a good washing area. A space with good drainage and away from the wind and dust. Make sure that the water doesn’t splash back onto your bike. And no matter how many times you hear it, you don’t need a pressure washer. That strong pressure can damage your bike and remove grease that is actually protecting your suspension system. Once you find a good spot, rinse your bike with cold water starting from the top and make your way down. These will help clear that soft layer of dust and dirt, allowing you to start the deeper cleaning process.
Rinse. Brush. Repeat.
If you can, switch your water temperature from cold to warm and grab a soft brush. Apply the bike-specific washing liquid to the brush and not to your bike and go through your bike once again from top to bottom. If you have one, take a harder brush and scrub your tires and rim while looking for any damage such as thorns, cuts, torn, etc. Depending on how dirty your bike is, repeat the process, going through your bike frame and components with a soft brush one more time.
Let it Dry
If you had your bike on a stand, take it off and find a sunny spot away from the wind, that will allow any sitting water to dry or drain. A bike stand may come handy not only for drying but also for storing your bike. You can let the bike air dry, but doing it manually will help you to catch up with any remaining soap or dirt and it’s important to dry your chain. Grab a lint-free cloth and dry the excess of water while inspecting one more time your bike (frame, wheels, suspension, etc.) If you want to use your lube, make sure your bike is completely dry. Before you start, run the chain through a dry clean rag to ensure it’s completely dry. Then, apply one drop of lubricant per chain link. In the end, make sure to wipe off any excess.
Remember, this is a quick, superficial way to clean your bike after a ride. We recommend a deep clean every other week. We’re sure you have your own way to wash your bike, what would you add to our process?
Why We Love Cargo Bikes and You Should Too
When it comes to biking, we all dream of the day when we can use our bikes for virtually everything, whether we’re running errands, picking the kids up from school, or cruising to plans on the other side of town. And that’s why we love cargo bikes. Cargo bikes give you the freedom to carry as much as you need to — kids included — while letting you incorporate biking into some of the moments when you’d otherwise have to drive. By allowing you the ease that a car gives you of carrying whatever you need, you can make your life a little more environmentally conscious while also bringing your favorite activity into your day-to-day life.
For the most efficient travel, electric bikes are the perfect solution. We know that there are hundreds of different bikes out there, but one of our favorite go-to spots for our bike needs is Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes. And don’t be concerned that you’ll end up stranded after filling up your RadWagon with everything you need. With an estimated 25 to 45 miles per gallon (not to mention, the ability to hold up to 350 pounds), we mean it when we say that this bike can really hold up as your main form of transportation.
If you are looking for something a little more rugged — or for the ultimate in storage capacity in the case of front-loader cargo bikes — Yuba has quickly become another one of our top choices. Of course, they do have electric options, but the classic front-load cargo bike is one of our favorites for when you really have a lot to haul.
Of course, once you add a cargo bike to your lineup, you might worry that it will only be accessible when you’re at home — a lot of storage space doesn’t seem to lend itself to easy transport of the bike itself. But then again, you know what we’re about, so you probably have an idea of our solution. Cargo bike racks, of course (not that you really needed us to remind you)! If you want to carry two electric cargo bikes on a road trip, the Sport Rider SE hitch bike rack will do the trick. It will also work for two standard bikes, but has extra heavy-duty wheel holders and a reinforced frame to keep even your heavier bikes (up to 80 pounds each) safe and secure. If your bike family includes a tricycle, the Sport Rider SE Hitch Bike Rack For E-Bikes and E-Trikes is for you. Holding up to 180 pounds (a 100lb trike bike and an 80lb bike), this E-bike rack also has locking frame hooks to make sure that your bikes stay safe no matter how long your journey is. And better yet, both of these racks easily fold up so that they aren’t in the way when you’re not using them,
We know that every cargo-bike rider has their own special reasons why they love them, so we want to hear from you! Comment with your favorite features and what your cargo bike can do! Find us on Facebook and Instagram, and then get more biking tips and inspiration by signing up for our newsletter.
The Ultimate Hitch Size Guide for Your Bike Rack
Choosing and installing a Hitch Bike Rack
Every cyclist can agree on one thing: life would be so much easier if only we could magically bring our bikes wherever we need to. And while that isn’t the case (sorry to break it to you), we want to make transporting bikes as simple and straightforward as we can for you. Having a hitch bike rack is a great solution since they’re the most secure, easiest for loading and unloading your bikes, and you also don’t have to worry about knocking your bike off of the roof when you’re pulling into a garage (oops). And for biking families, they’re even more ideal since they can fit several bikes at the same time and some even have space for accessories. Once you’ve installed the hitch bike rack, you just have to secure your bike; making a quick day trip to the mountains too easy to turn down.
Start this process by measuring the size of the hitch on your car (the width of the receiver opening). There are four different sizes, so yours will either be 1 ¼”, 2”, 2 ½”, or 3”. The two most common hitch sizes are 1 ¼” and 2”. Although some newer vehicles use a 2.5” which we have an adapter for.
Another important thing is to note the class of your hitch. The class is based upon how the hitch is manufactured and attached to your vehicle. Here’s a quick guide about the different hitch classes.
Hitch Bike Rack Comparison
The next step is the fun part: you get to shop for the bike rack that best suits your needs, whether you’re looking to travel with two fat-tire bikes or you’re taking a four-person biking trip soon. Each bike rack works with one corresponding hitch size, but we’ve listed that for you so you don’t have to do too much digging.
Choosing Your Bike Rack
Road and Mountain Bikes
Bikes with standard frames generally work well with any type of rack that mounts to the hitch, whether you’re looking for hanging or platform. The best way to pick is to first decide how many bikes you want to carry and how you want the bikes to attach to the rack. Each rack has different benefits that may be better for your situation.
Step-through Frames and Kids Bikes
Ladies and kids bikes commonly use a step-through style frame. When attaching one of these bikes to a rack, it is often necessary to use a bike adapter bar.
Carbon Fiber Bikes
With a carbon fiber bike frame, it is best to avoid making actual contact with the frame when transporting your bikes. Our TRS racks are best for these types of bikes.
Hanging racks versus platform racks
It can be tough to decide between a hanging rack or a platform rack if both options work for your bike, so here are some of the top features and notes to keep in mind between the two.
Hanging bike racks:
- Weigh less than platform racks
- Generally cost less
- They do come in contact with the frame
Platform Bike Racks:
- Easier to unload and load
- Heavier carrying capacity
- Increased space between bikes
Now that your car is ready to bring your bike on any adventure you can dream of, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for our newsletter for more biking tips, inspiration, and trip ideas. You can also check out our Fit Guide to find the ideal bike rack for your vehicle.
How to Get Your Bike Summer Ready
After a long, dreary winter, we’re all on the same page: the second the sun comes out, it’s time to get back to outdoor adventuring. Whether you kept trekking all winter or you’re pulling your wheels out of storage for the first time in months, now is a great time to make sure your bike is ready for safe and comfortable rides all summer long. It might feel like an overwhelming task, but we’ve compiled the main checkpoints to ensure your bike is ready for summer!
Clean things up
First things first, it’s time to shine her up! This is best done with soft brushes, rags, and a bucket of soapy water — using a hose can force water into spots where it can end up causing damage. Scrub down your bike from top to bottom, making sure you get rid of all of the built-up dirt, dust, and salt. Once everything is looking good, take a look around for any rust. This is the easiest time to spot rusted chains and bolts so you can get them replaced before you start cruising.
Lube the chain
After brushing off the chain (you can use an old toothbrush for this), it’s time to add some lubricant to keep things riding smoothly. After relubricating the chain, make sure you wipe off all of the excess lubricant, as too much can actually lead to your chain collecting dirt faster.
Check all cables and brakes
In terms of safe riding, this is one of the most important steps. Test out your brakes to ensure they engage evenly and without any hiccups. And since everything is clean, this is also the best time to examine all of the cables for knicks or frays, as well as make sure they aren’t stretched. If you find any issues, replace the cables or brake pads right away.
Pump your tires
After long months of extreme temperature fluctuation, your tires are probably in rough shape. Make sure that you pump them up to keep you cruising easily and to make sure you don’t damage the wheels.
Test your gears
Make sure that all of the gears are in good shape by taking a quick spin around your block, shifting through each gear to see that they don’t skip.
Transitioning between seasons is a great time to take your bike in for a full tune-up. If you don’t have a go-to bike shop, here are some great spots near you. Then you can skip all of the above steps, and all you need to do is load your bike up on your Hollywood Bike Racks and you’ll be cruising in the sun no time.
Now that your bike is ready for summer cruising, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for our newsletter for more biking tips, inspiration, and trip ideas. For all of your summer bike adventures, make sure your car is fully outfitted and ready to take on the challenge with one of our favorite bike racks. Check out our Fit Guide to find the ideal bike rack for your vehicle.
What Type of Car Rack is Best for My Bike
What Type of Car Rack is Best for My Bike
No matter if you're mountian biking or you're cycling on your new electric bike through a vinyard, there's a bike rack to help transport your bike safely to your destination wherever that might be.
The Hollywood Racks Fit Guide can give you direction on the best bike rack for your vehicle.
What type of bike do you have and How much does it weigh?
Should the bike frame come into contact with the bike rack?
Most bike owners have strong feelings about whether they are comfortable with a car rack touching the frame of their bicycle. That's why we offer bicycle carriers that cater to both persuasions: car racks that hold the bike by its frame, and racks that do not intend to hold the bike by its wheels.
Almost all bicycle carriers list the maximum bike weight in their specs, and for good reason: to protect you, your car, your bike and everyone traveling around you.
Here at Hollywood Racks our bike racks are divided into two weight classes:
1) car racks that can carry bikes up to 35 pounds.
2) car racks that can carry bikes up to 60 pounds.
The former is a collection of racks that hold bikes by the top tubes, either hanging style racks for trunk or hitch; while the latter applies to our entire family of platform hitch racks. Not sure how much your bike weighs? Most bikes fall under the 35-pound mark; while downhill bikes, mountain bikes, fat bikes and eBikes.. minus the battery, of course, tend to be in the 60-pound range. All right, now that you've figured out your options by frame contact and bike weight, let's find the best car rack for your bike.
Lighter is better, is the cyclists mantra.. and that is why carbon fiber frames have become the frame material of choice, among the racing teams. It's lighter of course, and it absorbs vibrations better and basically makes you feel like you're riding a cloud. A really, really fast cloud. For these carbon set-ups, there's no better choice than a platform rack. This hitch rack will never come into contact with the frame of the bike, as it transports the bike by holding the front and rear wheel with dual shepard's hooks. Moreover, the wheel tray has a special groove designed to specifically cradle a skinny tire.This configuration just so happens to be the most secure way to haul your prized cycle.
For those steel roadsters and those aluminum frames, of course a trunk rack is best. A trunk rack is designed to the hilt with sleek lines, an internal strap management system, and integrated locks that secure bike to rack and rack to car to help deter from theft. The best bicycle carrier for mountain bikes depends on your specific ride. Most mountain bikes come in around the 35-pounds or so, With this in mind, we recommend a platform style bike rack for your mountain bike. The rack holds the bikes by both wheels plus downtube, and accommodates any combination of bike sizes.
Platform racks securely hold the bikes by their wheels, and tires up to 4 inches wide. With folding capabilities to garner hatch access and the load speed, the bike racks will transport your bikes safely to your destination. When it comes to electric bikes there is one option and that is a platform style hitch rack. Our platform style racks, are best for hauling two bikes, which makes laoding them a sniche.
For most all size kid's bikes, a Hitch Rack is the perfect rack for families on the go. The adjustable arms help fit anywhere from 2 to 4 and even 5 or 6 bikes, depending on your need and easily transport the range of bikes that accompany childhood growth. Plus, Hitch racks are some the lightest hitch racks around and super easy to install when even your hands are full with other things.