Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

How To Look After Your Riding Kit | MTB Maintenance


– Being in all weather outdoor activity, the gear and the kit that you go mountain biking in needs
nearly as much care and maintenance as the bike itself. So for today’s maintenance video, a little bit different. We’re actually gonna be
looking at all your riding gear and how you should be looking after it. (technical explosion, clanging music) So the helmet is the
single, most important thing that any mountain biker can own. Can’t emphasize that enough really. And it really needs to fit you correctly, and you need to look after it. So here’s a few tips to make sure your helmet is in tip-top condition. (medium-paced, rhythmic music) Now the first thing to make sure of is that your helmet is still effective. Now ideally, you wanna be replacing your helmet every three years or so. Now think of this more as a guideline. There are exceptions to this, of course. Now helmets don’t really degrade over time unless they’re exceptionally
old, of course. But there are a number
of things that will stop them being effective and doing their job, which ultimately is to protect your head. Now, first up, ultraviolet
light and all the other stuff out there does take its toll on the shell. And it can affect this. Usually, it’s mostly cosmetic, but it can lead to other problems. Then on a day-to-day basis, any knocks and scrapes and that, can
lead to the EPS liners on helmets actually becoming ineffective. Because the whole point of an EPS liner is the fact it’s designed to crumple and compress to absorb an impact. And if it’s already
compressed and you can’t see that because of the exterior shell, it’s not gonna do its job properly when you do hit your head in an accident. So it’s really important
to look after your helmet. When you’re not wearing it,
give it its own place to live. A shelf that it can sit
on, a hook on the wall it can hang on. Somewhere where its not
gonna fall on the floor and suffer any issues like that. Now when you’re cleaning
the outside of your helmet, make sure that you only
use a very mild soap and some warm water. You don’t wanna use any sort
of detergents, solvents, or anything like that can
damage the micro shell on the outside, or more
importantly, damage that EPS or whatever the liner it is
on your particular helmet. Now the straps themselves can absorb loads of sweat during the duration. Whilst they’re quite a hardy, still the salt content in sweat is not ideal and it can damage the
straps over prolonged use. So it’s really important
to keep these clean. And, of course, they gets
rid of the smell too. Now what we found is a really
easy way to clean these. Is by simply hosing or
jet washing the straps of your helmet flat on the floor, and that forces all of
the stuff out there. It works really, really well. Another point to add with the
straps is the plastic buckles. The straps are made from nylon. There’s a lot of plastic in a helmet. So if you’re riding in any kind of warm, or even tropical, conditions
and you need to use bug spray, be very cautious about using DEET anywhere near your head and your neck
’cause that stuff is viscous. As you know well from
rucksacks and other things, if you ever been to hot continents, you’ll know that DEET dissolves plastics and really melts it. And it can do a bad job on a helmet. So try and avoid that if you can. And, of course, the last thing
is the liner on the inside. See, helmet liner not only
helps your helmet fit correctly, but it ensures the comfort
and it wicks away sweat, which, of course, means after
a while they get pretty gross. So you wanna be washing these,
but don’t just chuck them in the washing machine with other stuff because they can tear and come to pieces, especially some of them on the market with twin-piece design
with foam on the inside. So that’s not good for those. The best thing to do with
these is carefully remove them. And I say careful because
they’ve got Velcro or hook-and-loop stickers
on the inside of the helmet you can accidentally pull
off if you just rip them out. And put them on the
inside of a helmet bag, a goggle bag, or even a pillow case. And then the effect that
has is it’s protected within the washing machine, and it does a great job of cleaning it. (medium-paced, rhythmic music). Now you’re fairly likely to
use a pair of riding glasses or goggles when you’re out on the hills. Now they work really well when the lenses are nice and clear. But, of course, they can get scratched and covered in muck and mud very easily. And more to the point, when you’re trying to clear that mud off, you can actually scratch the lenses quite severely. And this does tend to
happen a lot of the time on the trail if you
just go to clear the mud from the lens using a glove, for example. But any other time, you wanna make sure you clean them really well. So great tip we’ve got is to
actually just take the lenses off your glasses, out of your goggles, and put them in a dishwasher. Dishwasher solvents are fantastic
for cleaning these lenses. They won’t get scuffed. They’ll come out so clean. Of course, it’s not gonna get
rid of any scratches on there, but you’re gonna get more use
out of your existing glasses and does a really good job on it. And, of course, just a reminder. The same thing applies to goggles. You can pop the lenses out, put them into dishwasher with your other lenses. And, of course, for the actual frames with the foam on them,
it’s quite delicate. So if you put them inside
the goggle bag they came in, whilst that’s straight
in the washing machine, that’s gonna do a great job
of getting them nice and clean again without any risk of
the foam itself peeling away. Just make sure when you
do put things like this in the washing machine, you
put it at a low temperature. 30 degrees is about right
for this sort of stuff because you don’t wanna go too high ’cause you start breaking
down the glues in there. Cold washing is definitely better. (medium-paced, rhythmic music) So in my opinion, one
of the coolest things about going mountain biking is the fact that you can go out in any weather. You can do it literally anywhere. But to do that, you do need
some technical clothing. Granted, you don’t need too much. As long as you got waterproof jacket and some kind of wicking base layer, things are pretty good. But, of course, we all
love having decent kits. You end of with lots of different stuff, and it does need looking after to get the best use out of it. Now starting with waterproof jackets, waterproof trousers, waterproof shorts, really you need to make
sure that they stay as clean as possible to get
the best use out of them. There’s a few different
ways you want to do this. So the ideal situation is
you come back from a ride, you’re covered in mud,
you’re hosing your bike down. Get someone to hose you down
whilst you’re wearing that kit. It’s the best way to do it. You get all the mud off it. Then you can take it off and
then hang it to drip-dry. It’s the way that I prefer to
clean my own waterproof stuff. I really try and avoid putting it anywhere near the washing machine,
if I can help it. Because the more you
wash waterproof clothing, the less effective it would get in time. The other alternative, of course, is to not wash it whatsoever. And what I mean by that,
is coming from riding. You’re absolutely covered and it’s filthy. Hang it up. Leave it to dry. Next time you go riding, just
allow some time before you go. You give it a good bash or brush
it down with a solid brush. And you can take most of it off. It might look a little dusty, but it’d be back to square one, again,
and it’s just dust on there. When you do put proper technical clothing in the washing machine, in particular, waterproof like eVent
fabric, Gor-Tex, any of those sort of man-made, synthetic,
waterproof, breathable fabrics. When you put any of those
in the washing machine, only use a dedicated tech wash. Something like Nikwax Tech Wash. It’s specifically designed
to unblock all the pores in the fabric, enable it to
just be cleaned very simply with water, and then you have to retreat it again with a dedicated reproofer. Again, something like Nikwax. The manufacturer of your
clothing, of your jacket, will have recommendation on what they suggest for reproofing. But, honestly, stick to that. Don’t use any normal biological
or non-biological powders, and, certainly, don’t use fabric softener. Now when it comes to
using the washing machine, ideally with technical
fabrics you wanna be washing at a low or cool
temperature like 30 degrees. Sometimes as high as 40,
but the problem we do have with a lot of technical
clothing, in particular, base layers, short
liners, or cycling shorts with a shammy on the inside,
is bacteria can harbor there which, of course, will
lead to unpleasant smells. Now, traditionally, in a washing machine, you can at least be washing
at 60 degrees or higher in order to kill that bacteria that causes and can create and lead
to unpleasant smells. However, we know that we can’t do this with many technical fabrics. So the way around this is
by using a technical wash. Now a sports wash has
antibacterial agents in it that kills the bacteria
even at low temperatures. So definitely get hold
of some of this stuff. It’s really, really good
for all your base layers, all your other technical clothing that sits close to your skin. And, in particular, your
cycling short liners you spend hours on end sweating away in. (medium-paced, rhythmic music) Now footwear is something
that’s often forgotten about because they just do their job. Unless, of course, they get
ridiculously wet and muddy, and then you take the time to clean them. So you definitely need
to make sure you look after your footwear because
it harbors bacteria. And, of course, that leads to smelly feet. I definitely know of a few
people on the GMBN crew that could do with
listening to these tips. Now the obvious time to
clean your cycling shoes is the second you come back from the ride. Make it a habit. Just make it part of the
way that you ride bikes, prepare your bikes, and
get ready for the next one. Come in from a ride,
when you hose it down, give it a bit of a clean down. Do your shoes at the same time. With your shoes, in
particular, you wanna be paying attention to your trailing foot shoe. What I mean by that is if
you’re right foot forward, your trailing foot
would be your left foot. And the reason for that is
your trailing foot tends to be the one that gets
all of the stuff come off the front wheel when you’re in your free wheeling position. Your forward foot would always be just out of the line of the spray. That’s why when you
ride in wet conditions, one of your feet will always be clean. The other one won’t be. It’s ’cause it’s getting
all the spray on it. Now I really recommend using a household antibacterial spray. It’s fantastic for spraying
on the outside of the shoes, even when they’re not dirty
just to make sure that you kill any bacteria that is there that’s gonna lead to
horrible smells later on. Now a really good habit to
get into with your shoes, given how much you sweat
and your feet get hot when you’re out riding is, when you come in from
riding, take the liners out and just leave them next to it. That means your shoes are gonna
air properly and dry better. And, of course, it’s less likely for any smell to appear in there. And the same applies to those liners. As for drying wet shoes, there’s a few different ways you can do this. If you got a bit of cash, then
get yourself a shoe dryer. They’re a fantastic bit
of kit, but I tend to not use them myself because
they do wreak a bit of havoc with some synthetic
shoes, and they can crack out the leathers and other
materials used inside them. I prefer to use the more
natural methods of drying. The first option of that is using the classic scrumpled up newspaper. It works amazing for drawing out the moisture inside the shoes. Just make sure you put your
shoes on something, again, that’s also gonna help absorb that. A doormat works fairly well. But what I love using is
old bits of cardboard, ’cause they actually
help pull the moisture away from the shoes. Of course, leave them near somewhere warm like maybe under a radiator. But, maybe, avoid putting
them directly on a radiator. Because some of those man-made and natural materials can end up cracking. If you wanna do the pimped
out version of this, then get yourself some silica beads. You see these used in
various, different things. You get the little bag silica
beads when you buy products, that stop dampness forming in the boxes. You get them in shoes, and
shoe boxes when you buy a new set of Vans, or
whatever you’re buying. And, of course, they’re also
used for drying out flowers and other household applications. This can do exactly the
same for your shoes. All you need to do. I mean, you can use it in a pouch just like this and stuff
it into your shoes. Or you can buy a 500 gram pouch like this for almost nothing off Amazon or eBay, And using old cycling socks,
fill them up, shut them off. And use the socks and
stuff them into the shoes. They pull that moisture out
really, really effectively. Your shoes dry much
faster, which means they’re much less likely to smell damp. Honestly, they’ve work so well. And finally is to look after the external part, the sole of the shoe. Now if you using a clipless mechanism, you can have a cleat on
the base of your shoe. If you ride in winter,
you can get surface rust on these, so give them a little blast with some WD-40 or some
other sort of water-repellent that stops them getting surface rust. (medium-paced, rhythmic music) Finally, of course, there
is the hydration packs. So you’re riding backpacks that you take your hydration bladders in,
and all your spare parts, or spare clothing when you go out riding. Now these are pretty hardy
and a lot of the time. I know I’ve done this myself,
and my friends also do this. Come in from muddy ride, hang it up in the garage, go about your business. Not really the best practice, is it? Just like everything else,
it gets flickered in mud and animal dung and
all sorts of other crap that you don’t want hanging around. So when you’re washing your bike and all your other kit,
give the bag a good scrub. Hose it down, even. There’s no problem with it. It’s tough material. Don’t have to worry about that. I always like to drip-dry mine, hang them up in my workshop with a rug, or something like that, underneath. Some old cardboard. Anything like that. Catches all the drips. And then I also like to use
fabric protector on them. The sort of stuff that you put
on walking boots and stuff. You don’t need to use too much
of it, but it’s really good just to increase the
water-repellency on these bags. Of course, it’s not gonna
make them waterproof, but it does stop the major
amounts of mud and crap sticking to them, especially
on the bottom part of the bag. And, of course, if you’re bag
isn’t that water-repellent, it can have that bit extra to it. Just means the stuff inside
stays dryer a bit longer. As for the bladders
themselves, don’t do what a lot of people and just leave a
bit of stale water in there. And next time just top it
up before you go riding ’cause that’s a good, fired way of getting a bit of a stomach bug. And, of course, it’s
gonna taste rank as well. So make sure you clean your bladders out. If your bladder is quite
old, and this goes for water bottles as well, and
it’s just looking a bit dank, get yourselves some
baby sterilizing fluid. Milton is one of the
branded names out there, but if you go to your local supermarket or get their own brand ones,
which are often a lot cheaper. Now use some of this stuff
to clean out the inside. You basically make sure there’s no odor, there’s no flavor, there’s
nothing going on in there. This can be nice and clean. Now the top tip is once you’ve done that, bung it in the fridge. Roll it up, put it in the fridge. Nothing’s gonna grow inside there, and as a benefit, if you’re riding in hot weather, it just
means when you put cold water in this, stays colder that bit longer. And whilst you’re at
it, when you go and get yourself some baby sterilizing cleaner, get yourself a baby
bottle cleaner as well. It might just look like a
regular washing-up brush, but they often have these
tiny, little brushes in the handle to pull out. They’re really good for
cleaning the little bite piece on that end of a hydration bladder. So there we go. That is how you need to be looking after all your mountain bike riding kit. And it goes hand in hand with
bike maintenance, of course, something else that you have to do in order to get the best out of your bike. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed
a bunch of these tips. If you’ve got any for us, let us know in those comments right underneath. For a couple more great videos, click down here for our
Essentials playlist. That’s the back to basics
stuff that really encourages everyone to get fixing on their bikes. And click down here for
some trailside hacks. Kind of fun, but actually
some really useful information to get you back to base
when things go pear-shaped. Don’t forget to give us a Thumbs
Up if you like this video. And, of course, subscribe to GMBN Tech.

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