How to clean your drivetrain??

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Emp, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Emp

    Emp New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys.I am very interested to know how do you guys wash/clean your drivetrain.I mean I know that road bikers out there have their own way of washing the drivetrain all the time and it sounds silly that I dont understand something.I realise that most of my clubmates maintained their drivetrain well(silver).But mine was kinda black like cow dung even though we cycled for similiar amount of mileage.I used an hour to wash em through.Below is the step:


    1) Drop oil onto the casette.
    2) Play it until it looks super greasy.
    3) Use water to spray it as hard as possible.
    4) Use a brush dipped into a pail of water+car shampoo to clean the casette.
    5) Use a chain washer thingy with degreaser in it to wash the chain.
    6) Finally use a cloth to wipe the drivetrain.

    BUT IT STILL LOOKS LIKE COW DUNG COLOUR!!!
    I tried to buy a new groupset and looked at it all the time after each ride.I found out that it cant be help after a ride i saw the casette eventually getting darker and darker.After a few rides,here comes again the cow dung colour.Can you guys explain how you guys wash your drivetrain???Thx for any replies! :eek: :eek:
     
    Tags:


  2. CDAKIAHONDA

    CDAKIAHONDA New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2005
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seriously, a lot of people "over-lubricate" the chain. But to clean it...

    I stand on the side, above the bike with it leaned over and the saddle against my midsection to hold it steady and get leverage. I hold the pedal with one hand and pull a rag "backwards" along the chain. Rotate the pedal to expose more of the chain and work it backwards until you've "scraped" the dung off as well as possible. Use the rag to "pinch" the deraileur pulleys and spin them to clean them as well (you'll pinch the rag a few times.) Use your rag and brush in combo to clean the chainrings and cassette. If it's too bad, remove the cassette and clean it one ring at a time.

    Then I wash the bike as usual with soap and water. I repeat the process once again with the rag on chain quickly to dry, spin the pedal quickly a few times to throw residual water. When the chain is dry I start with the master link, and drop a drip of oil on every chain pin. Spin the chain a few times, shift up and down the cassette, let the oil sit for a bit and then repeat the wiping process with the rag. The chain should be dry on the outside, and hopefully well oiled in between the pins. Wipe it again after your ride.

    Keep the chain clean and dry to the touch, it doesn't need to be "oily" on the outside, just on the "inside."
     
  3. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't really wash it. I clean it after every ride, wipe the chain, DER and chain rings and then lube chain with ProLink. It keeps the chain VERY clean. (I used other lubes but they attracted too much dirt)
    Every three or four rides, I take the rear wheel off and floss the cogs with a clean rag dampened with a little mineral spirits. I takes 5 minutes!
    About every couple of months a lube the DER and brake calipers (only pivots points)
     
  4. benkoostra

    benkoostra New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Messages:
    392
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wire brush?
     
  5. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    No, acid bath:eek:! Actually rparedes and I use similar methods. Prolink has worked best for me.

    The hard water spray is a little disconcerting. I think that it is possible that you are getting water in the bearings. Part of your problem may be attributed from corrosion occurring in places that water would not get to except if it were sprayed very hard.

    My suggestion would be to remove the cassette and clean it very well with a mild solvent like mineral spirits. Do not oil it. Run your chain through the chain cleaner a couple of times, then soak it for a couple of hours in the solvent, and then hang it up to dry. Clean your chainrings very well. If they are extremely dirty, wipe them off with the solvent. Clean the pulleys of your rear derailler.

    Now re-attach the cassette to the wheel and reassemble the chain on the bike. Use Prolink to saturate the chain and wipe it off. After that, apply a drop of Prolink to each chain bearing. Get in the habit of wiping the chain after each ride and reapply Prolink after every 100 - 150 miles of riding. Clean your cassette with mineral spririts at the same interval as the chain. Stop spraying water on your drive train. It is OK to use a fine soft spray on the bike if you are washing it, but bounce off the water and allow it to dry before putting it away. You do not need to oil your cassette, it does not need lubricated and the oil will just collect dirt and cow dung. Do not oil anything except the bearings of the chain and the pivot points of the deraillers and brakes. Oil collects dirt so you want to use as little as possible and only where you need it.
     
  6. crater

    crater New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    pretty much the same as kdelong.

    I have a wipperman link on my record chain so I drop it into a smallish jar with denatured alcohol. Shake vigorously (lid not tight! just a bit of splatter). Then I repeat with acetone (agian loose lid!).
    A drop of Dumonde Tech (I think I even saw this in performance cycle now) on each pin then wipe.
    About once a month (500 to 1000mi) remove the cassette and wipe down with alcohol. Stays pretty for quite a while.
    I love cleaning the bike on a recovery day after a really long weekend rides. Kinda reflective and puts me into a good place.
     
  7. AlanFD

    AlanFD New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    I use a cleaning device, Pedro's I think with mineral spirits and run that through until the chain looks nice and clean. The I remove the chain cleaner, wipe the chain with a cloth. Next I use "Mason" line, I got this from Home Depot and, and I use about a a 1-foot or 1½-foot length of this line and floss the cassette.

    After the flossing I give the chain and the cassette an application of "White Lightning."

    I do this about very 2 or three weeks, and when I go through the chain cleaning excercise I normally rotate my tires, this I have found really extends the life of your tires.
     
  8. Emp

    Emp New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am using the Pedro's Extra Dry to lubricate em after the wash.It is my 1st time using it.Is it good??Before this I had tried alot of things which are selling in my LBS here.They dont sell good lubricant for drivetrain.Only those taiwan made lubricant and chain spray which they said it was the best in the shop:eek: .But now my LBS had imported some Pedro's thingy.Thus I bought 1 of em and tried it out(havent try the bike for long mileage yet).
     
  9. Peter@vecchios

    [email protected] New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    2,111
    Likes Received:
    4
    Best way(IMO) is to take chain off(quick link), take cogset off, take pulleys off rear derailleur, take chainrings off. Clean all, hot water, simple green, dry, put all back on. grease inside the pulleys. Lube thenchain, wipe off well, ride the next day. If the chain starts to 'chirp', lube AFTER that ride.
     
  10. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    3
    Stop adding oil, and emulsifying (thickening) it with high pressure hose water and soap. Hoses don't belong around bikes unless you take the nozzle off.You can get high pressure water in where it doesn't belong.

    Some guys claim their chains last pretty long with regular oiling only, although their idea of oiling is a great deal more restrained than yours i.e. put a drop (ONE DROP) on each roller then wipe off the excess.

    I prefer to use a chain cleaner and gently pour a bucket of water over the chain and sprockets, then oil (each roller, one drop each), then wipe the outside of the chain dry. The only time I recklessly dump lubricant on the chain is if I am using a dry wax type product like white lightning or pedros ice wax, which is for off-road, dirty conditions.

    To put either of these methods in practice, first clean all the accumulated gunk off your chain and sprockets. If you want a shiny cassette, that is. The brown layer probably isn't hurting anything.
     
  11. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    (Apologies to those who know my typical warped reply to this question...)

    1. Resist the urge to make your bike shine and put some more grime on it by going for a ride.
    2. If you still have the energy to clean your bike, you didn't ride hard enough, go for another ride.
    3. Repeat step 2 as necessary.
    4. If you still want to clean your bike, channel your energy into repacking that hub or pedal that you've been putting off, replacing that fraying cable, regreasing that clicking seatpost, truing that wheel that is tapping the brake pads, replacing those worn brake pads, tightening that play in the headset, making that small adjustment to the saddle angle, renewing the bar tape etc etc.
    5. If you still can't get rid of the urge to clean your bike, go see your family doctor and tell him/her that you have OCD.
    7. If you still want to clean your bike, maybe it really needs it... go to step 8.
    8. Wipe chain thoroughly with rag.
    9. Put a generous drop of Prolink on each roller.
    10. Spin the cranks 10 or 20 times.
    11. Clean the chain with rag. Drivetrain finished. Leave the cassette alone. It's meant to be dirty.
    12. Resist the urge to spray your bike with water - bearings don't like it if they cop a dousing from a jet of water.
    13. (Optional. If you must, polish the frame and shiny bits with a damp or dry rag, depending on the thickness of the grime layer).
    14. Keep the WD40 well away from the bike, unless you have a seized fastener.
    15. Go to step 1.

    :) :) :)
     
  12. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    Yeah, don't use WD40 as a lubricant. It does a pretty good job as a solvent though. I sometimes spray it on my chain after a wet ride to get the water out of the rollers, and then lube the chain with ProLink a couple of hours later.
     
  13. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,696
    Likes Received:
    3
    It will cut the crap off the cassette too, if you must have a shiny cassette. Plenty of WD and a toothbrush, then wash. Then keep the chain and cassette dry except for one drop of oil (lubricating oil NOT Water Displacing formula #40)on each roller, spin the crank around a few times, then wipe the outside of the chain as dry as you can with a rag.

    Be careful not to get any on the axles or other bearings because it will dissolve the grease inside if it manages to get past the seal.
     
  14. doctorSpoc

    doctorSpoc New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    5) Use a chain washer thingy with degreaser in it to wash the chain.

    this has been one of the best things i've done to reduce the time i spend maintaining my bike... probably ever. and is so fast and painless that i actually do it regularly now. literally takes 5-10 mins to clean your chain... and your hands are clean and your whole place doesn't stink of solvent... and your significant other doesn't yell at you for stinking up the your home.

    then after.. you basically have degreaser all over everything so just wipe of the other bits (chain rings, derailleur pulleys) with a rag may need some more degreaser... then spray the whole thing off with a hose.

    take a plastic brush to the cogs the get the bigger crap off and floss them with a rag or paper towels.. lub the chain, wipe off excess and you're done... should take about 15-20 mins tops
     
  15. gemship

    gemship New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    185
    Likes Received:
    0

    No doubt that is the best way but it seems a bit labor intensive. So how often would you suggest this route given a bike ridden in dry weather conditions. Say everyr 800 miles more or less?
     
  16. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
    This is the proper way to clean and lube your chain: http://sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html
    To any who disagrees with this procedure, who are you to dispute Sheldon Brown? I sure do miss him:(.
     
  17. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2006
    Messages:
    3,477
    Likes Received:
    74
  18. Akadat

    Akadat New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    4
    My way: spin the chain under the spray nozzle of degreaser for 3 or 4 revolutions until the crud is spraying off. Do the same to the cassette, idlers, and chainwheel. Dig out any baked in crud with a spoke.

    Because degreaser is bad for lubrication I wash it off thoroughly with strong laundry detergent using a paint brush. The detergent will keep going where the degreaser left off and I give the rest of the bike a quick brush too. And because laundry detergent is bad for lubrication I rinse it off with the hose using plenty of water (low pressure). Let the bike dry, now it should be clean and free of oil and the chain will begin to rust.

    Oil all bits that need oil!

    Note: keep the degreaser, detergent, and water away from all bearings. OK, some will splash on here and there so I add oil to the bearings as well. My theory is that the grease in the bearings will dry out and allow water in. If water can get in then oil can get in too. The oil will soften the grease and extend it's life. After a few years of not repacking the bearings with grease... oil is the next best thing.
     
  19. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    2,307
    Likes Received:
    0
    Never, unless you are selling the bike.
     
  20. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    983
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll use a little WD 40 on a Q-tip to remove that annoying rust that forms in the bolt heads on my cross bike (purely asthetic). Other than that it really has little use on bikes.

    My method (and I think it works since I get years out of cassettes and even chains). Remove chain and cassette. Place individually in a small tupperware container and squirt degreaser on it. Currently I'm using Orange Peelz by Pedros. Place lid on. To quote Harry Belafonte, shake shake shake Senora. Rinse with warm water and wipe thoroughly with rag. Apply lube (been using Pedro' road rage, but recently switched to Pro-link, big fan too) and work it through the cassette by shifting up and down while pedaling slowly. wipe excess and resist urge to over lube. I do this about once a month in season. I don't remove the jockey wheels more than annually out of laziness, but try and keep them clean with a tooth brush and rag. I will probably start removing those too though since they get really gunked and the brush only does so much.
     
Loading...
Loading...