The best pressure washers for mountain bikers can help make light work of removing post-ride mud and grime off your mountain bike during the winter months. After a sloppy session, it’s essential to make sure you get the muck off your frame before it solidifies, because when it dries it could damage bearing internals and other delicate components.
When it comes to the best way to clean your bike, there’s a fair bit of controversy about pressure washing based on the fear of blasting the grease out of bearings, pushing water past suspension seals and peeling off paint and low-friction coatings. As long as you use your head and don’t direct a stream of high-velocity water at the bearings or suspension seals at close range, there’s no need to worry.
So here are Bike Perfect’s recommendations for the best pressure washers for MTBs, while at the bottom of the guide there are some more tips and advice on picking the washer that suits your needs the best.
The best pressure washers for mountain bikers
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When it comes to electric power washers, there is a whole hardware store full of units that will turn your water tap into a concentrated stream. For bike cleaning (and general domestic use) we like the Karcher K2 Full Control.
It’s a bit more powerful than the Muc-Off unit with 1600psi on tap but included is a Vario Power Spray Wand, which allows you to adjust the water pressure with a twist.
Karcher also includes a foam nozzle that allows you to attach a bottle of bike wash and cover your bike in a layer of foam.
The Aqua2Go pressure washer holds 4.5 gallons / 17 liters of water and runs off of an internal 110v rechargeable battery, allowing for about 12min of spray time. With the included “pistol” sprayer, the pressure can be adjusted from 44psi up to 116psi, and the 19-foot hose means you’re not tethered directly to the unit.
It’s one of the denser portable washers with the fixed battery tipping the scales at 7kg before it’s filled with water. The washer does have wheels for easy portability though.
The washer also comes with a showerhead and brush with an inline mount for soap or bike wash.
With the pump located inside the lance, Worx claims the Hydro Shot offers about 350psi of pressure on tap, and the multi-spray nozzle allows you to customize the stream.
It comes with a hose, a collapsible bucket, and works with fittings from a standard garden hose — you can even screw a bottle into the bottom.
Worx makes an extensive range of power tools, and the Hydro Shot uses the same batteries as the drills, saws, grinders and leaf blowers, so if you’ve already bought into the ecosystem, all your gadgets will be compatible.
Muc-Off’s take on the jet wash isn’t all that different from a light-duty unit from your local hardware store requiring both a power and water source. It has a flow rate of 1.7 gallons / 6.5 liters per minute and a max pressure of 1450 psi.
It comes with three lances, including a low-power head specifically for bikes — Muc-Off is also offering a snow foam head, which has an inline mount for a bottle of your favorite bike wash so that you can give your bike a bubble bath.
For the time being, the Muc-Off Pressure Washer is only available as a part of the Bicycle Bundle, which includes the pressure washer itself, Nano Tech bike cleaner, bike cleaner concentrate, Bio Drivetrain cleaner, Bike Protect, C3 dry lube and a microfiber polishing cloth.
The Mobi V-15 utilizes a 12v accessory plug to power the pump, which pushes water from its 3-gallon / 15 liter reservoir out the end of the spray nozzle at up to 135psi. From full to empty, the washer will spray for just under seven minutes at full bore.
The hose is long enough to leave the reservoir in the back of your car, and the washer uses a clever anti-lag system to deliver a constant stream from the moment you press the trigger until it runs out, preventing air from finding its way into the pump.
Mobi also includes a showerhead and brush attachment, though neither are particularly useful for bike cleaning.
Roughly the size of a piece of carry-on luggage, the Bosch Fontus is a fully self-contained unit that runs on the brand’s standard 18v cordless power tool batteries.
For a portable unit, the Fontus has a sizeable four gallon / 15 liter water tank, and weighs nearly 10kg empty — luckily there are wheels and an extendable handle, so you don’t have to lift and carry the hefty unit.
The spray gun looks like a garden hose head and offers four spray patterns and four levels of pressure topping out a 218psi.
A multipurpose electric pressure washer with a maximum pressure that could easily send your MTB flying. The G30 has a vario power nozzle and turbo nozzle that allow you to reduce the flow to exactly what you’ll need to get mud off your bike – the bonus being you can use it to blast away at your patio too when you need it to.
The G30 also has a foam sprayer so you add your favorite bike cleaning fluid and let the lather flow. There’s a generous six meter hose, but if you do need to move the G30 it has wheels and a handle so you can trundle it about – it’s very maneuverable and very easy to use, but you do need to plug it in and you just might need to experiment to find the right pressure for washing you bike.
With a two-gallon / 7.5-litre capacity, the Rinse Kit requires no battery or pumps. Instead, it utilizes an internal pressure chamber to drive water through the end of the nozzle. When it’s time to spray, the Rinsekit will give you about two minutes at full blast before the pressure starts to drop off — about enough time to de-mud a bike. If you’re cleaning multiple bikes by yourself, there is a pump accessory that allows you to top up the pressure.
The tank is insulated (Rinsekit also offers a car cigarette lighter-powered heater), so you don’t need to freeze cleaning up in a trailhead parking lot, and the washer can be filled using either a garden hose or your kitchen sink.
Roughly the size of a small cooler, it comes with a six foot hose, meaning it can be left in the back of your car while spraying off bikes.
The Sun Joe Xtream pressure washer boasts a whopping 2200psi so be careful about what you spray it at.
This model can serve many purposes, from outdoor home cleaning to grills and bikes. It comes with a stainless steel lance, which features a foaming soap cannon, and four nozzles ranging from zero to 40 degrees.
There are also two different brushes included in the bundle, and the company offers free shipping plus a three-year warranty.
Worx offers a high-pressure washer at a fair price. All you need to do is hook up the hose and plug the unit to a power outlet, although an extension cord is not included.
You’ll be able to spray at a max psi of 2,000, and it comes with two different nozzles. The lance can break down into separate pieces for ease of storage and transport too.
At a reasonably low price point for an electric pressure washer, this is a great budget option.
How to use the best pressure washers for mountain bikers
How much power do I need from my pressure washer?
If you’re looking at a power washer for your bike, you only need enough power to unstick stubborn mud. When it comes to flow rate, the lower end of the spectrum will be more than enough; look for a jet washer with a max pressure below ~100-bar or about 1400psi (and even then you won’t need the full power) and a low flow rate to minimize water usage.
How close do I need to stand while cleaning?
Even with a light-duty pressure washer at point-blank range you can still strip the paint off your frame, not to mention grease from the inside of bearings. Take a step back and start at the distance where the stream begins to transition to mist, and only move closer for really tough mud.
What kind of head attachment should I use?
Look for a nozzle that fans the water out into a sheet as this will help to get rid of the stickiest mud while also spreading the water pressure out over a wider area.