Life’s Too Short to Ride Clean Bikes Jan 22, 2013


When I ask people if it’s ok to shoot photos of their bike, they often reply with “let me clean it first”. Where’s the fun in that? As long as there’s not salt residue from winter slush on your beautiful steel steed, there’s nothing wrong with road crud and grime. No matter how nice your bikes are, they’ll always look better with some dirt on them. More on this bike in particular, later on this week.

I have to credit Andy from Fyxomatosis for the “Life’s too short…” lead in.

  • I think you should focus more on dirty and patina tinted bikes like this. Maybe have users submit who is the dirtiest (cyclocross bikes don’t count, that’s cheating). I love Stone Tone’s dirty Pinarello from a while back.

    • street crud only, huh?  I’m gonna send you a picture of the underside of my pedicab.


  • Don’t tell me you’re building up a sweet Nagasawa with that purple anodized crank. Damn.

  • ZianStudios

    I absolutely agree, use always makes a bike look better.  They are built for function after all.

  • I’d rather see a vintage Colnago Master have the deraileur hanger and all cable routing ground off and converted into a fixed gear with a slammed stem and riser bars than see the frame sitting on the wall of some “collector”

  • Joe Roggenbuck

    I can hear my heart beating.  It’s saying “Na-ga sa-wa.”

  • Same thing I always say to my dad who is strict with things being clean “wash your bikes” “wash your shoes” “get a shower”

  • Christopher Graham

    Couldn’t agree more. As a cyclist in Minneapolis, I can even find beauty in the inevitable salt residue that becomes useless to combat when riding daily. Should probably talk with Frane about shooting a “winter rig” series after our next blizzard. Full-fender’d fixed CX all winter long baby!

    • I can relate to you there…winters in Burlington, VT really leave their mark on your daily rider. Though you still gotta keep it reasonably clean, especially when riding through so much crud day-to-day. 

      • Christopher Graham

        I work at a shop in Mpls and clean a lot of neglected bikes. I’m not saying you shouldn’t clean your bike during the winter, but unless you want to vigorously scrub your ride every night then you should swap your nice parts for things you don’t mind rusting a little bit. I’m also a bit spoiled being able to throw my bike in a stand next to a mountain of clean shop rags, degreaser and scrub brushes any night of the week. I still swap my CX wheels and cranks for some low-end stuff to keep my good gear sparkling.

  • Warren Harder

    rode through some dog crap today, didnt clean that off

  • As a bike shop worker in Minneapolis, I feel obliged to say this: clean your bike(s)! Or have your bike shop clean it for you. It will make your nice parts last longer, plain and simple! A quick wipe down of your rims, pads and chain with a dry rag will make you and your mechanic become better riding and drinking buddies.

  • Hi from Germany…
    my Mountainbike is only sprayed with a garden hose after a mud-session. So it is technical clean and ready for the next ride.
    My Racebike and my vintage Race bike I like to clean before riding – so that the Campy parts shine in the sun…

  • I like to spend most of my time riding. Not cleaning the bike. One reason why I now do more road cycling than mountain biking!

  • shoot my Sizemore next time you are in town. its far from clean.

  • I spray my MTB after having Mud-fun wtih a grden hose – so it is „technical clean“.
    But my racebike with the beautyful Campagnolo Parts I polish before riding so it coauld glance in the sun…