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Old 06-13-03, 04:35 PM   #1
Portent
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Cleaning the chainrings - any tips?

I'm finding it extremely hard to clean the chainrings, even to a satisfactory standard. So now I've decided I'd like to take the chainrings off so I can can give them a good cleaning.

What I'd like to know is are there any hazards, special tools required, any potential for things to go horribly wrong?

I've had some great advice from these forums in the past, so I'd just like to take the opportunity to say thankyou, its very appreciated.
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Old 06-13-03, 07:39 PM   #2
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Tools? Assuming you already have the allen wrenches, get one of these puppies.

The only warning is to note carefully the order and organization of chainring bolts, spacer washers, etc. as you take them out. One trick I've seen recomended in Barnett's (maybe?) is to put bolts, spacers, and other pieces on a tie down in the order they came off, and then close the tie down. You could do one as a reference for each ring.

P.S. You probably would have gotten a better response if you'd posted in the Bike Mechanics forum.
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Old 06-13-03, 07:41 PM   #3
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Does the whole order thing matter at all?
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Old 06-13-03, 09:43 PM   #4
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yeah... i hope not! they all look the same to me!!
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Old 06-13-03, 10:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by roadbuzz
Tools? Assuming you already have the allen wrenches, get one of these puppies.

The only warning is to note carefully the order and organization of chainring bolts, spacer washers, etc. as you take them out. One trick I've seen recomended in Barnett's (maybe?) is to put bolts, spacers, and other pieces on a tie down in the order they came off, and then close the tie down. You could do one as a reference for each ring.

P.S. You probably would have gotten a better response if you'd posted in the Bike Mechanics forum.
Order????:confused:

Oh no... I removed the rings coz I had the crankarms buffed the other day... I just hope it will turn out OK.
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Old 06-13-03, 10:21 PM   #6
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Also, be careful not to slice your hands or wrists open on the chainring teeth, if you're using a conventional L-shaped hex key. They can do quite a bit of damage!

Many chainrings are made with a particular orientation in mind. For instance, the outer rings often have a "peg" that fills the gap between the rear of the crankarm and the outside face of the chainring.

They usually have short teeth that encourage the chain to downshift where the torque is lowest, too. You want to re-install them in the intended position. For an example, look at this PDF file showing an XTR crankset, and increase the magnification until you can clearly see the "chain-saver peg" on the big ring, and the nub at the inside circumference of the middle and inner rings (positioned in line with the crankarm).
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Old 06-14-03, 03:50 AM   #7
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I would second the warning about skinning your knuckles on sharp teeth. Always turn the allen key away from the teeth.
Have you tried using an old toothbrush on the rings?
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Old 06-14-03, 06:39 AM   #8
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Unless you have an enormous amount of free time, removing the chainring seems like a lot of work just to make it look pretty.

Remember that every time you remove the crank, the fit on the spindle gets a little looser. I don't think it is worth doing just to do a cleaning. Removing the crank and chainring just to clean it is like giving yourself an enema after you go to the toilet.

Try this:

Wrap a couple of pipe cleaners around the spindle near the bottom bracket to make sure that solvent doesn't work it's way into the BB and bearings.

Get yourself a spray can of engine cleaning solvent. Skip past the environmentally charming Simple Green and Orange La La La. Just get a can of nasty highly potent spray solvent from the auto parts store.

Slip the chain off of the chainring and spray the chainring with the engine solvent.

Let it soak for about five minuets, and then hose it off with a strong blast of water. Repeat as necessary. If that doesn't work, get yourself a long bristle brush and use it with the solvent.

You will get that sucker clean.

Remove the pipe cleaners from the spindle when you are done.
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Old 06-14-03, 07:47 AM   #9
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I use a Park gear cleaning brush or the Pedros version and citrus degreaser. Works very well. I have done it like that for 7 years. This way you can leave everything on.
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Old 06-14-03, 02:03 PM   #10
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I've found that Automotive wheel cleaner works great. It foams, so it stays in place, then I just use a small brush, some elbow grease and hose it off. Shiney and new!
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Old 06-14-03, 08:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by KleinMp99
Does the whole order thing matter at all?
Well, sometimes. My commuter has low-end a triple, and some of the chainrings have different length CR bolts. And one or two rings have little spacer washers. After replacing chainrings one time (w/out paying attention), I guessed wrong. It was easy to tell, once I tried shifting (the chain seemed to favor the BB), then looked at the relative spacing between middle and large, and middle and small.
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Old 06-15-03, 07:39 PM   #12
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And I thought I was anal.......
Do you mean to tell me that moving the chain past the smallest ring and cleaning all with one of those curved brushes - without any solvent - is not suficient? I thought I was borderline nuerotic when I went to that much trouble........
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