We’ve always talked about how a weed sprayer is a great tool for cleaning a bike in a small apartment space. And I still 100% believe that it is, especially if you’re on a tight budget, since you can get a weed sprayer that works just great for $25 on Amazon or at Home Depot. But if you want an upgrade that can *really* clean your bike fast, well, it might be time to go for a pressure washer. Not a massive professional one like you see in the cyclocross pits: We’re talking a small, rechargeable, easy to store, inexpensive electric pressure washer.
At first, we were if-y about getting one of these, since we always question what new gear we’re bringing into our small space, but with the number of muddy rides Peter does, especially now that he primarily rides gravel versus the road when he’s not on the MTB, it was getting to be an issue. The weed sprayer works and we still highly recommend it for many people, but it can take a lot of time if your bike is super muddy, and if the mud is dry, the pressure just isn’t enough without a lot of scrubbing. Enter the easy-to-charge electric pressure washer. No spigot required, either, which was key for us since we don’t have a hose: it can pull water from a bucket with its hose attachment. It folds up into a small carry case, and actually takes up less room than a weed sprayer, assuming you already own some kind of scrub bucket to pull water from.
After a very wet week in Bentonville while we were down there, it was official: This tiny pressure washer was SO worth the spend. And it’s not much of a spend at all! The one we got—a Kobalt—is around $80 in the US, $125 in Canada. Honestly, if you’re a gravel rider, MTBer, or even a particularly mud-oriented trail runner, it’s such a useful piece of gear. Great for bikes, helmets and shoes—and with bikes, because it isn’t super powerful, you don’t need to stress too much about hitting your bottom bracket with it. (Though obviously, try to avoid getting too up close and personal with shifters, bottom brackets, etc.)
While we don’t love having a ton of random gear lying around, we do appreciate having all of our stuff operating in tip-top shape and looking clean. And spring cleaning season is on the way, so it’s time to start thinking towards that! If your bike gets put back in your car post-race and you do a lot of gravel or MTB racing, I’d also recommend getting a 5 gallon bucket with a lid, and filling it beforehand so that you can easily hose your bike, shoes, helmet, and kit down post-race before it all gets shoved in the van. (This is HIGHLY recommended for Paris 2 Ancaster, which is almost always a mudfest in places!)
See it in action:
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