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Old 05-27-07, 03:16 PM   #1
MaxBrokeAway
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Cleaning my drivetrain?

I need to know whats the best way to clean my entire drivetrain.

My LBS gave me this stuff to lube my chain called Ice Wax...its good stuff but it gets really thick and gummy when it gets dirty...I want to just spray it with the hose but im afriad that water will get into the little hard to reach parts and start to rust...like my hub and cassette...

So whats the best way to get my drivetrain really clean?
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Old 05-27-07, 04:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by MaxBrokeAway
So whats the best way to get my drivetrain really clean?
Remove the chain, chainrings, and disassemble the cogs. Wash all with a stiff brush in a degreaser and reassemble. I don't know of too many short cuts when cleaning a drivetrain well.

In fact, I am in the middle of tearing down the drivetrain as described above. I degreased and cleaned all in a bath of Simple Green, rinsed all with warm water and now the parts are drying in the sun. It's lazy Sunday, so what better way than to give the rig a good cleaning at the start of the summer season.
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Old 05-27-07, 05:14 PM   #3
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cool thanks....i dont know how to take anything apart on my bike yet but i guess ill have to figure it out.

how often should I do this? And what about the rest of my bike? Is it ok to give that a good spray with the hose?
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Old 05-27-07, 06:07 PM   #4
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help? anyone?
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Old 05-27-07, 06:28 PM   #5
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I just cleaned mine too. I have 2 main methods for drivetrain

quick:
1) with bike leaned up against something that allows pedals to turn, spray drivetrain with lots of wd-40
2)brush cogs and chain and chainwheels while pedaling backwards
3)spray lots of wd-40 again
4) repeat until clean to your liking
5) dry with towel or let air dry
6) lube with bike lubricant

thorough:
1) turn bike upside down
2) remove rear wheel and chain
3) spray cogs with lots of wd-40 and let sit
4) soak chain in jar of simple green or gasoline, wd-40, or whatever degreaser you like (shake/stir for faster cleaning)
5)while chain and cogs are soaking, spray chainwheels with wd-40 and scrub /repeat until clean
6)spray cogs again and let soak a little more, then start spraying and scrubbing while turning the cogs backwards until clean.
7)wipe degreaser off all parts and reinstall
8) lube

using the quick method my drivetrain is clean and smooth for quite a while. using the thorough method i can see my reflection in the cogs
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Old 05-27-07, 06:55 PM   #6
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what about using like a carb & choke cleaner instead of WD-40? Or using both? and how do you wipe the stuff out of the hard to reach places using your quick method?
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Old 05-27-07, 08:13 PM   #7
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Chain cleaners are the easy way to get the job done. I doubt you will be exact as the rotating brushes in those mechanisms.

Wash with soapy water until the chain stops turning the water to dirt color. Then rinse in Isopropyl alcohol. This will dilute the water inside the chain and allow it to dry much faster so you can get the lube on.
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Old 05-27-07, 08:30 PM   #8
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killer idea with the alcahol!
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Old 05-27-07, 09:32 PM   #9
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I finally bought a Park chain cleaner and love it! Can't believe I have waited 17 years to do it. It cleans the chain very well and I just thread a terry cloth towel in between the cogs and it is totally clean in five minutes.
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Old 05-27-07, 09:32 PM   #10
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i use a chain cleaner thing too.. although a toothbrush will do the same .. i just degrease .. hose .. let dry .. lube. The cogs and stuff i rarely ever clean, it's probably a good idea to clean them though.
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Old 05-28-07, 06:30 AM   #11
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heres what im thinking about doing...

step 1: spray wd-40 on all while backpedeling..then brushing it with a tooth brush dipped in gasoline
step 2: spray with carb/choke cleaner while backpedelint...then brushing it with a toothbrush dipped in gasoline
Step 3: quick rinse with water
Step 4: rinse with alcahol

do you think the gasoline will be overkill...or maybe too corrosive?
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Old 05-28-07, 09:26 AM   #12
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ok...just in case anyone was wondering...dont use carb and choke cleaner...it says may damage rubber plastic and foam...i didnt realize that till i had already cleaned my rear cassette with the stuff and a little bit got on my plastic shifter on my handlebar...i wiped it off and noticed it put a very faint shiny layer on it...i thought it was just from it being wet but it actually looks like its permenant...I took the bike for a ride and everything seemed to be fine so Im hoping it didnt damage any of the rubber in my cassette area..hub included...it didnt seem to damage the plastic on my rear derailleur and when i put some on my tire to see if it would damage it, it just evaporated in less than 2 seconds. The only thing i noticed now was that when i pedal on the road i can hear a faint clickety sound coming from my rear drivetrain...but i think thats just because i only have it lubed up with WD-40 instead of that thick stuff I was using.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:07 AM   #13
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don't use harsh cleaners, they strip too much lube out of the chain pins. you don't need a sparkling clean drivetrain, you just need to get the grit out. i'm a big fan of prolink chainlube. one of the big reasons why is beocuse it seams to be highly water soluble. when i spray the mud off my bike one a week or so, i use high pressure to spray off the drivetrain, this seams get is sparkling clean every time. i just add some lube, wipe off the chain, and its good to go.
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Old 05-28-07, 10:16 AM   #14
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should i be worried about the hub or the BB? Considering the harsh cleaner I used? I probably used more WD-40 then the carb and choke cleaner...and i used wd-40 last...so if the carb and choke cleaner dried anything out..hte lube right behind it should have moistened it back up....what do you think?
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Old 05-28-07, 12:58 PM   #15
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the wheel was on the whole time by the way
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