A wash is just the beginning of keeping your ride clean. In order to make it shine and keep it clean longer, it needs a coat of wax. This tip always raises an eyebrow. Most riders have never thought about applying wax to their bike. Waxing your car is one thing, but waxing your bike? Not only does the wax make your ride shine, it also protects the finish from the elements and helps keep dirt, dust and mud off the frame.
If you have a dark colored, glossy frame and have never waxed your bike, you may notice streaking or a cloudiness to the finish. Waxing your bike helps eliminate the streaking and cloudy finish.
Bikes typically come in two types of finishes, glossy and matte. The different types of finishes require the application of different protectant coatings.
Although most bikes are made from either aluminum or carbon fiber frames, the wax we use comes from the car detailing industry and our friends at Detailed Image. This same wax can be used on your steel or titanium frame as well.
What do you need? Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine; Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze M205 Ultra Finishing Polish; a Fine Polishing Pad to apply the polish; Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze M34 Final Inspection Spray; Blackfire Wet Diamond Paint Protector; and a separate application and removal cotton rags for each product.
Your first step is to apply the Optima No Rinse to the frame. you can do this either through a spray bottle or by applying the No Rinse onto a rag and using the rag to wipe down the frame, using enough to make the frame look wet. With a clean rag, dry the frame completely.
Next, apply the Meguiar’s M205 polish to the polishing pad. Dab a small amount of polish onto the various parts of the frame. Then use the pad to work the polish onto the entire frame. Use a circular motion to work the polish in. The polish is fully applied once you no longer see any obtuse coating or streaking from the application. The finish will feel a bit rough and waxy to the touch.
Now wipe off the polish with another clean cotton rag. Use circular motions again to remove the wax. You have removed all of the wax when the finish is smooth to the touch.
Although it seems repetitive, the next step is to use the Meguiar’s Final Inspection Spray to remove any missed wax. Again, you can either apply the spray directly to the frame or to a rag. Either way, use a clean rag to apply the Spray to the entire frame. Then wipe it down with another clean, dry rag.
The last step is to apply the Blackfire Wet Diamond to get the final shine and protection. Apply the Blackfire to another clean rag and wipe down the entire frame. Then use a second rag as a final way to remove any residue from the frame. Finally, use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the entire frame.
If you take a picture of your frame before and after the waxing, you’ll notice a huge difference in the shine of your bike. You’ll also notice your bike stays cleaner, longer as you continue to ride throughout the season.
Having a bike with a matte finish requires different treatment than a gloss finish. Matte finishes scratch more easily and tend to trap dirt more readily. To keep your ride looking its best and get it ready to accept the matte wax, we recommend using Chemical Guys Meticulous Matte from our friends at Detailed Image.
Working with a matte finish requires the softest cloths to ensure you don’t scratch the finish as you clean, wax or dry your bike. Always use a microfiber cloth to dry or detail your bike.
After your bike is clean, or in-between washes, use Chemical Guy’s Meticulous Matte Detail Spray.
Spray the detail sealant onto a microfiber cloth and wipe the entire bike down. This gets any remaining dirt and grime off of your bike’s frame and gets it ready to accept the sealant.
Once you’ve wiped down the entire frame, its time to seal the finish. Sealing the finish keeps the mud and dust from collecting on the finish. To seal the finish, we recommend Chemical Guys Jetseal Matte.
Again, place a dab on a second microfiber cloth and work it into the finish. Let the wax sit for 20 minutes. Then use another microfiber cloth to wipe the wax off to finish.
That’s it, you’re done. It’s now time to get out there and get it dirty again!
This wash and wax is also a great final wash of the season if you are putting your bike away for winter. When you pull it back out in the spring, all you will need to do is wipe it of with the microfiber cloth and apply a new round of lube to the chain. The T-9 applied above does a great job at protecting your chain from rusting or seizing while in storage.
Whether you just got a new bike, or have been riding the same steed for years, a good wash and wax can make your ride look brand new and sparkle in the sun!