Updated on March 14, 2023
Can you spare just 5 minutes from your life to maintain your bike rack? Yes, you heard me right, only five minutes from your busy schedule are required to wash and maintain your bike rack. And the best part is you don’t even have to do it regularly, but weekly or even after two to three months.
If you follow a few easy steps accurately, which I am going to tell you below, only then you can keep your bike rack as new as you brought it on the day first. Moreover, cleaning and maintaining a bike rack doesn’t require any special product from the market, you just require a few basic items which are easily available in any household. So keep on reading to explore the easiest and most efficient method.
How to Wash and Maintain Your Bike Rack
Washing The Bike Rack
First of all, get everything ready that you need to wash your bike rack: the bucket full at room temperature, a warm water bucket, a cleaning brush with large bristles, a sponge or hand towel, liquid soap or car wash detergent, and a rustproof spray. Also, make sure that your bucket has a grit guard with it, I will tell you its benefits later on. Now let me tell you step by step how to clean the bike rack.
- Take a bucket with warm water and dip the brush in it. This will make the bristles of the brush soft and when you will clean the bike with it, later on, no swirls or scratches will be formed. Along with this, the bristles will reach even in tight spaces and will thoroughly clean the bike rack.
- Now take the bucket with a grit guard and add the mild dishwasher to it. The dishwasher is the finest choice as it doesn’t have any harmful chemicals in it and thus does not damage the paint and polish of the bike but if you feel that your bike rack is too dirty and a mild soap will give enough action then use the car washer. After making this solution, soak the sponge or wool towel in it for a minute.
Recommendation: Most people use a sponge to clean the bike rack, but I will not recommend it to you because the dirt never leaves the sponge and comes back over the object when comes in contact with it.
- Now squeeze the sponge or the hand towel and rub the bike rack with it. If you see that dirt is stubborn then you can use the dipped brush to scrub it away. As I mentioned earlier this brush will also clean the difficult-to-approach areas.
- Now use another cloth to dry the bike rack. This step is necessary because in this way the bike rack won’t react with air and no rust will start generating.
- After washing and drying the bike rack completely it’s time that you see if the paint is losing its polish or not. If you find that your bike rack is losing its polish then you can apply the polish over your bike rack and then let it dry overnight.
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Maintaining the Bike Rack
Maintaining the bike rack isn’t difficult at all. You just have to check a few things after every few weeks and that is only when you use the bike rack frequently. If you do not use the bike frequently then you can check the bike rack even after 3 to 4 months. So let me tell you the points which should be maintained the most and will certainly build up the lifespan of the bike rack if maintained properly.
- Check if any part, nut, or screw is loose, tighten the loose parts and nuts of the bike rack and if you see that they are corroded then it is better to replace them with new nuts ad parts.
- The moving parts of the bike rack should be oiled to prevent them from corrosion.
- If any part of your bike rack is loose or damaged it is better to change it as soon as possible.
- If you are not going to use the bike rack for the next few weeks then it’s better to remove it from your car.
- After removing the bike rack, place it somewhere dry but in a place where there is a window for ventilation.
- If you feel that the polish of your bike rack is fading away then you can also polish it after 6 to 7 months easily at home without any skilled help.
- Always mount and detach the bike rack carefully and properly as any mishandling can damage its parts and the car as well.
Preventing Your Bike Rack from Rust
Rust is a very common metal disease that can happen to any steel material as a result of oxidation. As the bike racks come across various weather conditions like extreme and mild rain, hot summer, snowfall, humidity, etc, they are probed to oxidate.
But one can prevent their bike racks from being corroded with the help of some products readily available on the market. You can spray these rust prevention sprays to prevent them but keep in mind that they have a certain limit like a month or two, after that, you have to respray your bike rack.
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Although these sprays are a little expensive too and if you are not tight on budget then you should definitely give this spray a try as this spray is worth it. But if you do not rely on such products then you can also prevent oxidation by properly cleaning and drying the bike rack after every use. Also, make sure you detach it from the car after every use.
Waterproof Bike Rack
If you are one of those people who love their bike racks as much as they love their cars then there is a piece of good news for you now there are also waterproof bike racks available on the market. However, these bike racks are a bit more expensive than the other bike racks, but they will make your life much easier. Also, you will not need to remove them after every trip to save them from rust. You can let it attach to the car as this can withstand any weather condition.
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How do I keep my bike rack from rusting?
There are plenty of products available in the market now which can save your bike rack from rust. Spraying these products over the bike rack prevents rust from growing and keeps the bike rack corrosion free.
Can I go through a car wash with a bike rack?
You might be thinking about what harm the automatic wash can do to your bike rack, but you are wrong here. Basically, the giant brushes in the automatic car wash area damage your car rack, making swirls and scratches over it.
Should I leave my bike rack in my car?
It is better that you take a few minutes to take off your bike rack from your car as this will make your access difficult to the trunk. But if you don’t require a trunk for keeping your essentials then keeping it over is fine.
Do bike racks damage your car?
Yes, if you don’t choose the right model of the bike rack which is compatible with your car model then it might damage the car. Moreover, the damage might also occur if the bike rack is not mounted properly.
By just putting in a little effort, you can make your bike rack last longer. Make sure that you don’t use the commercial product to wash the bike racks as they have various chemicals, try that the bike rack gets washed with simple liquid soap but if you don’t find the dirt falling off with the dishwasher only then you can use the car washer. Moreover, if your bike rack is corroding then it’s time to use the rust repellent which will stop its further spread.
Austin Jacobs is a passionate cycling enthusiast who has over five years of experience in bike repair and maintenance. He is an avid mountain biker and loves tinkering with bikes for hours on end to make sure they are running at their optimum performance level. Leland’s blog, which focuses on bike repairs and tips to keep them in good running order, was created out of a desire to share his knowledge and help fellow cyclists stay safe while enjoying the outdoors. He covers topics such as preventive maintenance, troubleshooting common issues, basic tools and supplies needed for repairs, and more.