March 2013's issue of MBR, onsale from Wednesday February 6, includes a full guide to cleaning your mountain bike, plus a FREE Muc-Off expandable sponge

Mud. Although it may seem great to slide around in while you’re out riding, it’s an absolute pain to clean off when you get home.

But cleaning should be about more than simply keeping your frame nice and shiny, it’s actually essential to keeping your bike in full working order. If dust or mud gets in the wrong places it can wear out parts and leave you with a hefty bill.

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Here, our workshop maestro Al Vines shows you how to extend your bike’s lifespan while also keeping it looking as good as new.

How to clean your bike

Glorious mud

He talks you through rinsing off the heavy dirt, how to clean the all important hard to reach areas and the ways to cut down on the wear and tear. Pay particular attention to the suspension so you don’t wear out the most expensive, yet delicate, parts of your bike.

It’s a dirty job, but we’ve all gotta do it…