Drivetrain cleaning

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h34e0f
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 08:32 am

Drivetrain cleaning

Postby h34e0f » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:43 pm

I've always used White Spirit to strip the grease and gunge from my drivetrain, but have recently heard from a number of people that this is a bad idea. What is the general consensus and what do most use?

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CiB
Posts: 5785
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 08:24 am

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby CiB » Fri Oct 05, 2012 21:56 pm

I picked up one of those impossibly cheap chain cleaners when Lidl last did a bike special, and use Muc-Off in it. Does exactly what you'd expect; nice clean shiny chain which then gets a lubed with either 3-in-1 or Teflon lube.

Best way to clean the cassette (Shimano?) is to get a chain whip & cassette tool and take it off. It all falls apart so you can clean each cog properly rather than trying to get a cloth into the gaps. Try to put all the cogs back in the right order. :wink:

h34e0f
Posts: 318
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 08:32 am

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby h34e0f » Fri Oct 05, 2012 22:09 pm

CiB wrote:I picked up one of those impossibly cheap chain cleaners when Lidl last did a bike special, and use Muc-Off in it. Does exactly what you'd expect; nice clean shiny chain which then gets a lubed with either 3-in-1 or Teflon lube.

Best way to clean the cassette (Shimano?) is to get a chain whip & cassette tool and take it off. It all falls apart so you can clean each cog properly rather than trying to get a cloth into the gaps. Try to put all the cogs back in the right order. :wink:


Yep this is exactly what I do, I was more interested in the chemical used to clean. Muc Off and the likes are a bit pricey...

aleslie22
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 15:37 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby aleslie22 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 22:13 pm

yeah white spirit strips the lube from inside the chain which is bad. But I think old petrol or diesel is meant to be pretty good

DesWeller
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Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 15:36 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby DesWeller » Fri Oct 05, 2012 22:25 pm

From a chain-cleaning point of view they're all just degreasers. The problem with white spirit is it hangs around for a long time, so when you re-oil the chain it tends to run too thin when it mixes with the latent white spirit. Petrol evaporates much more quickly but goes off and storage is a little more challenging. Diesel tends to hang around a bit too but is cheap and easy to store. Basically you need to be sure that the degreaser is all gone before you reapply your oil.

rodgers73
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Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 15:05 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby rodgers73 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 06:54 am

I use WD40 as it gets into the nooks and crannies really well with the pressure of the spray.

Seems to strip the crap off the chain much more easily than the white spirit I used to use.

Bozman
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2010 19:05 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby Bozman » Sat Oct 06, 2012 08:07 am

rodgers73 wrote:I use WD40 as it gets into the nooks and crannies really well with the pressure of the spray.

Seems to strip the crap off the chain much more easily than the white spirit I used to use.


As above for the chain twice a week and the cassette once a week, i'll strip the cassette and chainset off once a month and give them a top clean and grease the parts that require it. I'll only use a degreaser on the stripped cassette and nothing else, i wouldn't go near a chain with a proper degreaser just a mild one like WD40.
After a clean i coat lightly with 3in1 and remove the excess.

tiredofwhiners
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Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby tiredofwhiners » Sat Oct 06, 2012 09:17 am

Plenty of elbow grease with a dash of GT85 has always works for me - taking the wheel off and running a lot of cloth strips from old sheets, between the cassette rings clears out the large gunk and then some sprayed GT85 to get rid of the remainder. For the chain, simply running the chain through old cloths/sheets in the hand when the bike is on the wall stand strips all the obvious muck off the chain and sprockets, followed by a slight drip on GT85 gets the last bits of much to run off the chain onto the ground.

Its always worked for me, but its certainly not the only way.

mallorcajeff
Posts: 1899
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 19:57 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby mallorcajeff » Sat Oct 06, 2012 17:05 pm

take chain off, leave in petrol for 5 mins. Shake it around. Rinse scrub clean with water. WD40 to drive the water out then once dry put back and lube it up. works for me everytime and i cllean my chain after every two rides. My usual rides are 100 miles sat then anouther 100-110 on a sunday so by end of weekend after 200 miles I do it again to keep it running smooth. Only take 10 mins with a qucik link

Woodywmb
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:19 pm

Re: Drivetrain cleaning

Postby Woodywmb » Sat Oct 06, 2012 21:12 pm

mallorcajeff wrote:take chain off, leave in petrol for 5 mins. Shake it around. Rinse scrub clean with water. WD40 to drive the water out then once dry put back and lube it up. works for me everytime and i cllean my chain after every two rides. My usual rides are 100 miles sat then anouther 100-110 on a sunday so by end of weekend after 200 miles I do it again to keep it running smooth. Only take 10 mins with a qucik link


+1

I've been doing this for 20 years, ever since the quick link appeared. Worth the flaff. Never ever had chain bother and perfect meshing between clean chain and clean cassette. Cheaper in the long run too. Use Halfords citrus degreaser in place of petrol if you wish. You don't need much of either.


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