Whether it’s dried-on mud or a thick coating of desert dust, mountain bikes can get pretty dirty. Usually, they end up getting cleaned with a garden hose, a sponge and bucket, or sometimes even the LOW setting at a car wash. Italy’s Novatec Engineering, however, has come up with something ... snazzier. It’s an automated bike-washing station, known as the QBike.
Users start by hanging their bike from its handlebar and saddle, on provided hooks and loops inside the washing station. They then select the wash cycle they want (longer washes cost more), pay, then close the station’s folding glass doors and hit the start button.
Two parallel rows of nozzles proceed to rise up from the floor of the machine, gently spraying both sides of the bike first with water containing eco-friendly detergent, and then with fresh rinse water.
After several minutes, once the wash is over, the bike is removed and dried by hand. It would have been nice to see some sort of forced-air drying feature, to get at all those nooks and crannies that a towel won’t reach.
Although someone with too much money to spend could presumably buy a QBike for their own home, it’s intended more for use at places like bike-friendly hotels, bicycle rental businesses, or bike shops. It’s also designed not just for mountain bikes, but any style of bike that’s looking a bit dirty.
You can see it in action, in the video below.