This is why you should/shouldn’t wash your bike

October 27, 2019 — Leave a comment

Cleanliness is next to something about religion apparently, but occasionally it turns up something that makes you curse out loud

I always laugh when I see classified ads for mountain bikes where the owner claims it’s been washed “after every ride”.

Look, I’m sure there are folks out there who do it – hi Dan Bowden! – but over my riding career, the only time I worried overly about the state of my bike was if I’d ridden through something that smelt like it would not improve should it be allowed to incubate in a hot garage for a few days.

I’m not a slob – but it’s a mountain bike that’s used hard and put away wet. And I’m flat out finding time to ride at all, let alone break out the Krush gear.

As I rolled back to HQ a couple of weeks ago, though, it occurred to me that it had been a while between tubs for the Optic – though the temptation to park-n-beer was pretty high.

For whatever reason, though, I pitched up, grabbed the bucket and brush and set to work. And I instantly regretted it.

I found a crack.

At first I didn’t know what I was looking at – it was just a black smudge on the topside of the right chainstay that wouldn’t shift.

The more I looked at, though, I knew what it was. I didn’t want to know, but I knew.


I sent a pic to a mate who wrenches on Norcos at a World Cup level, and he quickly confirmed my fear.

Double shit.

There is, of course, a flip side – had I succumbed to the urge for hoppy carbs, my next ride may well have resulted in a loud noise and a decent walk home.

A couple of days later, I ferried the Optic back to where I bought it 18 months previously, a warranty claim was logged in the spot and my poor bike was wheeled away to a storeroom to await its fate.

Now it’s just a waiting game. The odds are good that I’ll get the Optic back in full fettle and not be too far out of pocket.

Oh and hey – I get it. I ride the bike off road, I’m a beefy man and shit happens. If you break stuff, you gotta pay the price.

I know, though, that Norco – and my shop, Summit Cycles in Sydney – looks after its people, so my fingers are crossed.

Stay tuned.

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