Removing Chainrings and Rear Derailleur Pulleys



lava

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Feb 16, 2005
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I am extremely compulsive about keeping my drivetrain clean. When I clean my rear cluster I take all the rings off and scrub them in Simple Green until they are shiny. I would like to start taking off other parts for a more thorough cleaning. Specifically the rear derailleur pulleys and my crank chainrings. Is there anything I should be aware of before taking these items off of the bike?

My crank is an Ultegra triple. I see that the largest chain ring can be removed for cleaning without taking the chainring spider off. Is there any way to take the other two chainrings off without having to take the spider off? If I do take the spider off, do I have to use a bottom bracket tool to do so?

Regarding the rear derailleur pulleys, is it as simple as just using an allen wrench to remove the center axle?

When I put all this stuff back on, are these parts especially sensitive to torquing or can I simply go by feel? Do I need to use loc-tite?

Thanks for any help.
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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lava said:
I am extremely compulsive about keeping my drivetrain clean. When I clean my rear cluster I take all the rings off and scrub them in Simple Green until they are shiny. I would like to start taking off other parts for a more thorough cleaning. Specifically the rear derailleur pulleys and my crank chainrings. Is there anything I should be aware of before taking these items off of the bike?

My crank is an Ultegra triple. I see that the largest chain ring can be removed for cleaning without taking the chainring spider off. Is there any way to take the other two chainrings off without having to take the spider off? If I do take the spider off, do I have to use a bottom bracket tool to do so?

Regarding the rear derailleur pulleys, is it as simple as just using an allen wrench to remove the center axle?

When I put all this stuff back on, are these parts especially sensitive to torquing or can I simply go by feel? Do I need to use loc-tite?

Thanks for any help.
Yes to all of the above except the locktite. It would probably be easier to pull the crank rather than trying to remove the chainrings while it is on the bike. Be careful as some cranks have spacers where the chainrings are attached.

You really don't need to use locktite on your RD pulley bolts. You might want to put a bit of lube on the bushings when you are reassembling. Also be careful of any solvents that you may want to use to clean the pulleys. They are only plastic after all.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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lava said:
Is there anything I should be aware of before taking these items off of the bike?

Yes: you're going completely overboard. No drivetrain needs the attention you're giving yours. I put Prolink on my chain every 100 miles or so and wipe the chain down. I'd be very surprised if your drivetrain had a significantly longer lifespan than mine.

Spend more time riding and less time obsessing over the drivetrain.
 

dbackmtg

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Oct 9, 2005
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alienator said:
Yes: you're going completely overboard. No drivetrain needs the attention you're giving yours. I put Prolink on my chain every 100 miles or so and wipe the chain down. I'd be very surprised if your drivetrain had a significantly longer lifespan than mine.

Spend more time riding and less time obsessing over the drivetrain.

I agree, I just had to have my chain replaced prematurely because I was over obsessive in cleaning it.
 

lava

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Feb 16, 2005
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alienator said:
Yes: you're going completely overboard. No drivetrain needs the attention you're giving yours. I put Prolink on my chain every 100 miles or so and wipe the chain down. I'd be very surprised if your drivetrain had a significantly longer lifespan than mine.

Spend more time riding and less time obsessing over the drivetrain.
I figured someone would chime in and say this. I have a set amount of time I can spend riding a week, and obsessively cleaning my drivetrain does not eat into that time. Just be happy for me that I get satisfaction out of meticulous bike cleaning, that I enjoy taking apart components on my bike that I've never attempted to disassemble before so that I can better understand how the bike functions and fits together.

Alienator, I know you know your stuff. So do you mind actually answering some of my questions?
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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lava said:
I figured someone would chime in and say this. I have a set amount of time I can spend riding a week, and obsessively cleaning my drivetrain does not eat into that time. Just be happy for me that I get satisfaction out of meticulous bike cleaning, that I enjoy taking apart components on my bike that I've never attempted to disassemble before so that I can better understand how the bike functions and fits together.

Alienator, I know you know your stuff. So do you mind actually answering some of my questions?

The pulley bolts are removed as easily as you suggest. You don't have to locktite them when you put them back in, and you don't need a torque wench.

What you need to remove the crankarms depends on which model crankset you have. If you want to remove the crankarms, the Shimano website will have directions for you, in pdf form. You should, however, be able to get the middle chainring off without difficulty. It's entirely possible, too, that the granny ring might come off. You might have to jockey it a bit, clear a couple spider arms, and jockey some more. I dunno. It's not hard to try, though.

Do you take things apart every week?
 
Dec 30, 2007
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lava said:
I am extremely compulsive about keeping my drivetrain clean. When I clean my rear cluster I take all the rings off and scrub them in Simple Green until they are shiny. I would like to start taking off other parts for a more thorough cleaning. Specifically the rear derailleur pulleys and my crank chainrings. Is there anything I should be aware of before taking these items off of the bike?

My crank is an Ultegra triple. I see that the largest chain ring can be removed for cleaning without taking the chainring spider off. Is there any way to take the other two chainrings off without having to take the spider off? If I do take the spider off, do I have to use a bottom bracket tool to do so?

Regarding the rear derailleur pulleys, is it as simple as just using an allen wrench to remove the center axle?

When I put all this stuff back on, are these parts especially sensitive to torquing or can I simply go by feel? Do I need to use loc-tite?

Thanks for any help.

Simple bolts in the rder. 3mm allen. Ensure you replace them top and bottom as you take them off. I \take the little seals off the top one and throw them away. They can loosen the top pulley bolt(a shimano tech tip from a shimano guy, BTW). Take a knife blade and take the seal off the bottom pulley, grease in there. Grease into the top pulley or the ceramic will dissolve into dust.

Cannot take the smallest ring off w/o taking the crank off. 8mm allen wrench, self extractor, lefty-loosey. Make sure the rings go back on with the same orientation. Take off the self extractor caps when reinstalling. Grease onto the splines, line up the splines onto the crank, crank bolt in, tighten it till it stops, grease the cap, reinstall. Don't forget the thin crank bolt washer.
 

lava

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Feb 16, 2005
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Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'm going to keep the compulsion somewhat at bay and keep the chainring spider and the granny gear in place.
 

Aussie Steve

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Nov 8, 2005
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Hello!!! I run 105 and I can say that yes, I need lock-tite in the pulley axles- if you tighten them, the cradle binds against the pulleys and they wont turn!! my bike shop confirms this. So have they changed the manufacture or what ? I dont undertand. Plus- I am guilty of neglect in cleaning my chain + cluster, so if this guy wants to keep his clean- let him. The fellas I ride with, well their bikes are spotless and I am envious of their discipline, i'm just lazy. It makes things harder for me because when I get to work and hang my bike up, no matter how careful I am, I get gunk on my backpack which transfers to my clothes :( :(
 

padawan

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Dec 23, 2005
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lava said:
Thanks for all the advice guys. I think I'm going to keep the compulsion somewhat at bay and keep the chainring spider and the granny gear in place.
At the risk of being blasted, I'm going to recommend a wipperman connex (or other easily removable chain) to feed your compulsion. I love my wipperman because I find the whole drive train easier and faster to clean (and keep clean) by cleaning the chain of the bike, as you do your cassette. That way, when I do go to the extent of giving everything a really good cleaning, it doesn't take as long.

While I do take pride in keeping my bike clean, I definitely want to spend more time riding it than cleaning it! ;)
 

kdelong

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Dec 14, 2006
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Aussie Steve said:
Hello!!! I run 105 and I can say that yes, I need lock-tite in the pulley axles- if you tighten them, the cradle binds against the pulleys and they wont turn!! my bike shop confirms this. So have they changed the manufacture or what ? I dont undertand.
I also run 105 and have never had the cradle bind against the pulleys. I suspect that it has to do with how tight you torque the screws.
 

artemidorus

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Mar 10, 2004
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kdelong said:
I also run 105 and have never had the cradle bind against the pulleys. I suspect that it has to do with how tight you torque the screws.
+1. I do mine up pretty tight, as I once had one fall apart during riding following my first foray into "maintenance". ;)
I've never had one bind.
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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artemidorus said:
+1. I do mine up pretty tight, as I once had one fall apart during riding following my first foray into "maintenance". ;)
I've never had one bind.
+2. Believe Shimano designed the screws to be tightened, not "adjusted" and glued in place with locktite. Binding would indicate a problem to be corrected IMO.
 

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