A clean bike is a happy bike and a happy bike usually means a happy rider. It may not be the best part about riding, but when done properly can bring a sense of satisfaction and a job well done. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to clean your bike properly. Caked on mud, grit in the derailleurs or grime on your chain can take some serious time and energy. Enter the Nomad 18 Volt Portable Pressure Washer. This small washer may just be the answer to your cleaning needs.

Small, portable and simple to use, the Nomad 18 Volt Power Washer

Small, portable and simple to use, the Nomad 18 Volt Power Washer

The Nomad is small so it doesn’t take up much room in the car or garage, has just enough pressure to get the job done, is quiet and easy to operate. The water tank hold 3.5 gallons of water and is filled through a filter at the top. A side pocket holds the nozzle and hose and can easily hold a few cleaning brushes, rag and smaller bottles of de-greaser and chain lube for those that want to do the job right.  The shoulder strap comes in handy when lugging 3.5 gallons of water out to the garage.

The water port has a filter, and the side pocket holds the accessories.

The water port has a filter, and the side pocket holds the nozzle, cord and D.C. adaptor.

Using the Nomad is incredibly easy. The top orange section is the tank. Unlatch it from the base, fill it up, lock it back on, attach the hose to the unit and spray nozzle, turn it on and go. With 90 P.S.I. grit and grime comes right off, but it won’t take the paint off either. This portable model was designed for bikes and the like, not for industrial strength cleaning. The nozzle has a few nice features for ease of use. First, the spray is adjustable by simply twisting the barrel. Put it on the narrow stream for cleaning the drivetrain, then back it off a bit and spray off all the dust and dirt from the frame. There is also a small trigger lock button so you can let go of the trigger and it will continue to spray. The hose is 20 feet long, which is plenty.

The narrow stream get the dirt and grime off.

The narrow stream get the dirt and grime off.

The Nomad comes with two power sources. The first is an 18 volt battery (charger included) or a 12 volt power cord so you can plug it into your car’s cigarette lighter. While the battery life is not expressly stated, the battery will last long enough to go through the full three and a half gallons three times according to the Nomad website. The battery and 12 volt cord can be stored in the battery compartment when not in use.

This is a great idea for the cyclist that likes their bikes clean and shiny. A full self-contained unit, the Nomad travels easily and is even easier to use. At $250 retail it’s not cheap, but you could easliy use it to clean the car, camping gear, a kayak or, according to Nomad, your dog. For the 24 Hour mountain bike racer or the neat freak that only puts a clean bike in their car, the Nomad is worth a look. Find all the details at www.nomad2go.comNomad bike pressure washer


  1. Tom Boonen on

    Ummm NO… This is a terrible idea for cleaning your bike! Trailfu and Ohio guy do your self a favor and never power wash any bike that you care about. I ride road, cross, and various mountain bikes – and they get really dirty (If you do it right). The best way to clean your bike is by hand with rags, soapy water, degreaser, cassette/chainring brushes, and if you have one of those Park “Cyclone?” chain cleaning device w/ scrubby mini brush things they work well… I know it’s a pain in the ass to do (so take your gear off, grab a beer and get at it) it this way, but it takes less than 20 min. Power washing pushes water into places where it should not be, such as: Between the links in your chain, your bottom bracket, headset, hubs, derailleur pivots and pulleys, water can get into your shift and brake cable housing causing massive corrosion inside – all of these places water does bad things. I’ve even seen a bike get water inside the frame of a bike that was power washed – it was a carbon/steel cross bike (carbon seat stays and fork). It had a crack in the carbon stay and orange water was oozing out, we pulled the bottom bracket out and about a pint of rusty water poured out. I assume that the water entered by means of weep holes in the frame from welding and no bolts in the water bottle cages. SO clean by hand, re-lube when your finished your bike will be squeak free, parts will not wear out as fast, and you will be happy!

  2. EdwardK on

    Tom Boonen’s comments above no doubt are right when applied to real power washers, but I think he overstates the pressures generated by this device. I have a Nomad (slightly earlier model). When set to produce a spray, my Nomad’s water volume does a great job wetting the bike and rinsing off soapy water from the bike, but it is hardly a threat to my bike’s bottom bracket, and for that matter probably wouldn’t spontaneously remove really caked on mud. So I am comfortable using mine along with a bucket of soapy water. It is very convenient to have a water supply like this wherever you are.


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